A well-designed temporary power solution can make or break a project -- and goes way beyond sizing the right generator. To make sure your project’s power generation and distribution equipment solution is working as hard, and as efficiently, as the rest of your team, you need the right vendor — one who’s experienced and committed to your project.
But what does “the right vendor” look like? And how can you tell if you’re dealing with a temporary power expert who’ll save you time and money over the long term, or someone who wants to rent you equipment with a minimal amount of effort?
With a good temporary power supplier, everyone benefits. That’s why we’ve created this list of five traits to help you identify whether or not you’re working with a true expert. We’ve enlisted Kurt Guess, one of Trinity’s own temporary power experts, to weigh in.
“A good temporary power provider will be available for any aspect of the project,” explains Guess, “from the beginning design stages to actually implementing and managing that process.” That means they will want to be present for the feasibility studies, in order to gain a thorough understanding of what is both possible and economical. They will often want to conduct a site visit, which can be crucial for determining cable lengths and equipment footprints, and for “ensuring that existing infrastructure is going to be protected,” says Guess. Finally, a temporary power expert will be able to manage equipment delivery and installation, as well as its maintenance during the project and removal at the end. “That’s really a sign of a temporary power expert — being able to get involved in any aspect of that project’s timeline.”
Temporary power experts have a deep understanding of what equipment is out there, what options exist for different scenarios, and what has worked in the past. So when a customer calls looking for equipment, a good vendor will have a lot of questions, often starting with “why?”. “They’re trying to get a full understanding of the job — when the project’s starting, what you’re using the pieces of equipment for,” explains Guess. That way, they can determine what the best equipment will be for your particular project.
A good vendor will also want to know about the potential risks involved in your project. “They might ask whether specialized equipment is needed; if the project is near a body of water and spill containment has to come into play; what the implications are of a power outage or a failure during this project; if they should have redundancy in the system; what sort of dollar value is attached to any sort of failure in the equipment.”
These are the kinds of questions that will allow a good vendor to determine the most appropriate and economical solution for your project.
When a customer has questions, temporary power experts who are engaged in the project will be able to answer thoroughly and quickly — often right away — because they’ve considered all the likely scenarios, and are always thinking ahead to the next steps.
“Most people at Trinity have a journeyman electrical ticket. Or an extensive background in the electrical fields. And beyond that, specifically the temporary power field,” explains Guess. “We have the experience to not only take an order for equipment, but more importantly recognize opportunities to improve a rental solution. For example, if a customer requested a single 500kW generator running 24/7 to power a building, but that building had power requirements that varied from 100kW to 450kW throughout the day, we could suggest paralleling two 250kW generators with an auto load sync set up. This would allow one generator to run during the low power requirements and the second to start automatically and shut down automatically as required, resulting in fuel savings, reduced servicing costs and redundancy benefits.”
A good vendor is able to draw on their experience and knowledge to anticipate potential roadblocks or concerns and discuss solutions to these hypothetical situations.
There are many companies out there that offer temporary power as one of many services. Similarly, many companies have in-house electricians or engineers who are experts in the day-to-day operation of that particular facility. But when it comes to temporary power, there is value in working with a company that specializes in the field.
“The design, the procurement stage, getting the equipment to site, coordinating installation time and ongoing servicing — all of that can be managed by us,” says Guess. “And because that’s what we specialize in, it’s going to take us much less time. And we offer that value at no additional cost.”
The value provided by a good temporary power provider is not only in saving time and money — it’s in peace of mind. Says Guess, “The benefit of working with a well-established company is that all of the questions that are going to come up throughout any given process have already been answered. All of the work has already been done.”
To ensure you are working with a true expert, look for companies that are well-established and have been doing temporary power for a long time. Look for companies that employ journeyman electricians and other people who are certified, and are experts in their own right.
As part of the project design, an excellent vendor will always include a contingency plan. That means not only are they making sure that there is an appropriate level of redundancy in case something goes wrong, they’re also checking with other vendors in the area to ensure additional equipment is available in a worst-case scenario.
Expert vendors will include this kind of planning in their design, along with associated costs, so that if the worst happens, the customer is taken care of and doesn’t have to go calling around to other vendors, or watch their budget spiral out of control.
At the end of the day, possibly the biggest value in working with an excellent temporary power vendor is the freedom it allows -- freedom to focus on running a successful project, without worrying about how you’re going to power it.
As Guess explains, “Bringing us on board and letting us manage that whole aspect of the temporary power really allows our customers to feel at ease and concentrate on the bigger picture.”