Electrical Retrofits, Equipment Upgrades and ModernizationWednesday, November 4, 2020
Electrical retrofits, equipment upgrades and modernization are topics that we get asked about a lot. How do you complete them? What are the costs associated with them? And what can be expected for down time?
These solutions can be a great option for those who need specific equipment replaced, but aren’t necessarily looking to upgrade their entire system. We’re here to explore each of these concepts and answer your burning questions.
What are Retrofits, Equipment Upgrades and Modernization?
The process of replacing old electrical equipment with new equipment can be called a retrofit, an equipment upgrade or modernization project.
Retrofitting consists of replacing old electrical components with new ones in order to improve functionality and upgrade outdated equipment. Not only does old become new, retrofits come with a lot of additional benefits.
Why choose an electrical retrofit?
In general, a retrofit, upgrade or equipment modernization project is beneficial to building managers in many ways.
Enhanced Operational Safety and Code Compliance
Upgrading is often completed in order to ensure equipment meets current safety codes and standards. If your equipment no longer meets these standards it can be problematic as the safety of your system is at stake should your equipment fail.
As aging materials reduce equipment reliability, a retrofit allows you to keep safety at top of mind. You can avoid serious risk of injury and damage that becomes more likely as equipment ages, while keeping costs down.
Implementing new technologies into your electrical equipment can also allow for more capabilities and better performance long term.
Eliminate the Risk of Equipment Failure
As equipment ages many of the insulating materials used in switchboard construction lose their original insulating properties and physical strength. This is largely due to long term exposure to heat and other elements. Therefore, aging equipment can result in operational failure of components during switching or overall insulation breakdown.
Replacement of aged components (breakers, switches, insulators, auxiliary devices) removes this risk of failure and effectively returns the equipment to a ‘new’ condition. This replacement comes with the added benefit of enhanced monitoring and system analysis through embedded digital protection.
It’s important to note that most electrical equipment was intended to have a service life of approximately 30 years. Well maintained equipment operating in an environmentally controlled location can last well beyond this however, all components have a finite life expectancy.
Replacing old equipment often means for extended shut down periods that can last days or even weeks. This can have a large impact on the ability to run your business.
Equipment upgrades are a great solution to this as installation downtime is significantly reduced while safety is maximized. Efficiently done electrical retrofits can often be completed within just a day, which is great for facilities who need their services up and running within a limited amount of time.
Check out our project posting on the Brookfield Retrofit we completed within just one day!
Upgrading equipment over entirely replacing it lowers the existing infrastructures environmental impact. Some of REV’s environment friendly solutions include salvaging and reusing existing cabinets and enclosures, recycling scrap materials, replacing harmful asbestos insulation and switching to less hazardous materials such as vegetable-based transformer oils.
Retrofitting proves to be a much more environmentally friendly solution in comparison to complete equipment installations.
An Affordable Solution
Retrofitting is a cost-effective way to prolong your electrical equipment’s lifespan. If you can make smaller, more affordable changes to your equipment you can get even more out of your initial investment.
Electrical retrofits can cost as much as 50 percent less than the price of new equipment. As equipment ages it starts to take on associated risks of failure. Modernizing and upgrading existing equipment can reduce necessary maintenance and labor costs.
REV’s In-House Manufacturing
REV is highly qualified in completing retrofits and modernizing electrical equipment. Not only that, we have the capabilities for electrical manufacturing, engineering and field services all under one roof.
This means that we are able to provide an even wider range of upgrades and provide our customers with any type of electrical upgrade from assessment to installation or replacement.
Our team makes it our top priority to ensure that downtime is always as low as possible and that we provide the lowest cost solution to our customers. We can modernize anything from electrical switchboards and emergency transfer switches to protection and control or power metering systems.
Our standard equipment modernization services also include:
- Standard Arc Flash mitigation designs and studies
- Engineered designs and full acceptance testing at factory
- Site installation and start-up services
Is it time for an electrical retrofit, equipment upgrade or modernization project? REV’s technicians can assess your equipment right on onsite and provide you with a solution for your needs.