Continuous Monitoring Is the Key to Avoiding Facility Power Outages

Gary Jones

Director of Energy & Infrastructure Market -- Square D / Schneider Electric

Aug 15, 2003, 01:00 ET from Schneider Electric

    PALATINE, Ill., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- With the recent power outages in
 the U.S. and Canada as a wake up call, companies across North America are
 beginning to assess their own operations to determine what they can do to
 minimize the threat of a similar catastrophic outage at their facilities.  The
 loss of continuous, reliable power can not only lead to disruptions for
 financial data centers, industrial facilities, large government buildings,
 retail outlets, and airports just to name a few, but unexpected financial
 losses as well.  For other operations, such as healthcare facilities, the
 impact moves beyond a productivity or financial impact, to actually
 jeopardizing human life itself.
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     "Although the situation in the Northeast was driven by a failure in the
 electrical grid, individual companies who don't take proactive measures within
 their own facilities can fall victim to similar outages," said Gary Jones,
 Director of Energy & Infrastructure Market for Square D / Schneider Electric.
 "The key to uninterrupted power is to continuously monitor electrical
 equipment for issues that can affect reliability.  If you can detect potential
 problems early enough, you can correct them before they turn into an outage,"
 explains Jones.
     For added protection, many companies also contract protective coordination
 studies to virtually guarantee that power problems are isolated and cannot
 travel upstream into the electrical system and cause a facility outage.  Using
 a quality power monitoring system, companies can also improve system
 reliability by monitoring harmonic and transient conditions that if left
 undetected, can lead to expensive downtime and lost productivity.
     While the Northeast outage is extraordinary due to the number of people
 and companies affected, businesses throughout the world experience power
 outages everyday.  Jones says that if more facilities followed the fundamental
 steps toward maintaining reliable electrical distribution systems, many of
 these outages could be avoided.
     "By monitoring all aspects of the electrical distribution system,
 companies have the opportunity to mitigate or even eliminate power problems
 within their facilities before they can cause an outage," says Jones.  "In
 fact, the same power monitoring system that can help companies avoid power
 outages can also supply information which can lead to lowered utility costs
 and increased electrical equipment utilization.  In our experience, companies
 can actually save up to 20% overall by using these types of systems, so it's
 easy to see that the benefits go beyond eliminating power outages."
     North American Operating Division
     Headquartered in Palatine, Ill., the North American Operating Division of
 Schneider Electric had sales of $2.7 billion in 2002.  The North American
 Operating Division is one of three geographic divisions of Schneider Electric,
 headquartered in Paris, France, and markets the Square D, Telemecanique and
 Merlin Gerin brand products to customers in the United States, Canada and
 Mexico.  In the United States, Schneider Electric is best known by its
 flagship Square D brand, with Telemecanique becoming increasingly known in the
 industrial control and automation markets and supported by many Square D
 distributors.  For 100 years, Square D has been a market-leading brand of
 electrical distribution and industrial control products, systems and services.
 Schneider Electric is a global electrical industry leader with 2002 sales of
 approximately $9.5 billion.  Visit Schneider Electric at , , or .
     Schneider Electric:
     Give the best of the New Electric World to everyone, everywhere at any
 time Schneider Electric is the world's power and control specialist.  Through
 its world-class brands Merlin Gerin, Square D and Telemecanique, Schneider
 Electric anticipates and satisfies its customers' requirements in the
 residential, buildings, industry and energy and infrastructures markets.
 Schneider Electric generated sales of approximately $9.5 billion in 2002 in
 130 countries.

SOURCE Schneider Electric