The Importance of Maintenance in Power Distribution Systems

coal plant

In the world of electrical production, nothing happens without maintenance. Every system has countless points of failure – some of them critical – that can disrupt or outright halt power production if they fail.

And system components are far more likely to fail if they’re not properly and regularly maintained.

Unfortunately, underfunded and understaffed maintenance programs only lead to broken equipment that needs to be repaired or replaced before production can resume. That means there’s a direct relationship between poor maintenance policy and inefficiency that leads to downtime and lost revenue.

Here are the essential elements of a maintenance plan that works and can keep a power distribution system running smoothly without unplanned interruption.

The Perks of Being Proactive

Most maintenance policy in use today is reactive. This is the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy that sees work done only when a problem has already arisen.

In many ways, reactive maintenance is the default policy for power plants. This is mostly due to tradition. The cult of “It’s always been done that way” can cause a lot of problems that eat into a plant’s bottom line, especially when the traditional way leads to problems that for decades were passed off just as “getting unlucky” or a “cost of doing business.”

Proactive – or preventative – maintenance doesn’t wait until a part fails before it’s maintained. This policy is built on:

  • Regularly scheduled inspections
  • Ongoing testing and evaluation
  • Constant monitoring
  • Upgrades and replacements before things get critical
  • Predictive analytics that can alert you when a problem might arise before it actually does

The benefits are enormous. Proactive maintenance is less expensive over the long run because it cuts down on costly repairs and replacements. It’s better to keep a car in good running shape, after all, than to wait until there’s a critical issue and you have to replace the entire engine.

Proactive maintenance also makes planning and funding a maintenance department more predictable – as well as making your outages more predictable, too.

In short, proactive maintenance goes a long way toward maintaining your power generation and distribution systems to keep electricity flowing the way it should – the way your customers demand.

Power distribution systems can succumb to many different causes of failure. Only a planned and proactive maintenance program can keep the systems up and running consistently, allowing the plant to avoid the dreaded outage that costs real money.

Southern Field maintains vital equipment for the energy industry. Contact our team for more information on how professional, preventative plant maintenance can cut costs and risk – and save money.