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Energize Creating certainty: Reliable power in complex times
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Creating certainty: Reliable power in complex times

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by John Lewis, Agrekko

As the world moves towards a new future, a new normal as defined by the coronavirus and its implications, there is an urgent need for organisations to invest in agile and capable foundations which will enable them to adapt to what lies ahead.

In South Africa, organisations are facing the crisis on multiple fronts, not least of which being the ailing power utility and its volatility in terms of power provision and management. Many other African countries face a similar situation, with ageing infrastructure and unreliable power provision. In uncertain times power must be reliable.

John Lewis

Power is critical to the sustainable and manageable success of the food and beverage industry. Temperatures must remain consistent, moisture must be monitored correctly, air must flow properly, and humidity must be measured precisely. Any variations beyond the normal ranges in these areas can fundamentally affect production and product quality. This is an expensive problem, one that few companies can afford, particularly now.

If the power goes off or equipment fails, getting the systems back online has become incredibly complex. The shutdown affects access to premises and time spent resolving problems can mean loss of product and revenue. The industry needs reliability and control now more than ever.

Companies in the food and beverage industry require relevant solutions that they can rely on during the crisis. One way to achieve this is to invest in equipment which is customised specifically for this industry – equipment which can be remotely monitored and managed to reduce personnel movement and risk of exposure. Companies such as Aggreko allow for both instalment payments and long-term rentals which help organisations manage their systems with absolute precision. The company’s as-a-service solution adds on an extra layer of security by providing continuous remote equipment monitoring that catches issues before they become real problems.

Recently, the company designed and installed cooling units for a European cheese processing company. The system replaced more than 1600 kW of cooling capacity at -8°C within 24 hours, and it now handles five zones which range from 29 000 to 39 000 m3 at multiple temperature ranges. This took less than two days to implement. The company specialises in uninterrupted refrigeration during equipment breakdowns or power failures to ensure that your produce is stored and secured.

One industry which absolutely cannot afford downtime or power cuts is the healthcare industry. Always a critical service, healthcare is under incredible pressure to ensure the safety of its employees and the survival of its patients during COVID-19. If power fails, the impact would be significant, and the cost would be in human lives. It has become essential for the industry to invest in solutions which meet the specialised requirements of healthcare – solutions which take its demanding environments and specifications into account.

Solutions designed for healthcare need to be planned, designed, and executed within tight parameters. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” here – everything needs to have rapid response and safety in mind. Emergency cooling, redundancy power systems, failsafe systems, and temporary measures need to be planned and implemented with the worst-case scenario in mind. The loss of cooling can stop emergency theatre procedures, the loss of power can affect ventilators and chillers, and a lack of backup power solutions can knock systems down for longer than anticipated. Power in healthcare must be reliable, include redundancies, and be capable of handling the most extreme circumstances. Aggreko has worked with numerous hospitals across the world to develop power-relevant solutions that ensure energy is always on, no matter what. This has included redundancy power systems for hurricanes and rooftop chiller systems to ensure ongoing theatre operations during a system failure.

Contingency planning has moved from a “nice to have” to an immediate measure for most companies. The unexpected has happened, and now we need solutions which reduce the risks of production loss or service downtime and which keep the economy flowing during the crisis. This makes power the next big focus for the industry right now. From critical environments in the financial sector to healthcare to pharmaceutical and food and beverage companies, redundant energy supply should be on everyone’s minds.

Contact Aggreko, Tel 086 124-4735, globalpressenquiries@aggreko.biz

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