7 Steps to a Successful Energy Monitoring System: Part III
For those who love to get their hands dirty and who only feel content when they’re physically building something, we are now ready to start on the fun part.
Steps 3 and 4: Acquiring and installing the metering and communications hardware and infrastructure.
As a side note, the fact that this is fun is precisely the reason why so many metering projects fail. Too many of us, myself included, want to jump into the “fun part” before taking the time to work through the planning, designing and engineering. Hopefully, if you’ve been following me through the previous two posts, you now understand the importance of doing the preparatory work and you’ve committed yourself to the process.
While it might be fun for some people to get their hands dirty, many of you might choose another path. The question is, “how do you intend to move forward?”
- Are you going to do the work in-house, using your existing staff, or
- do you plan to outsource all or part of the project to outside contractors?
If you are doing all the work with in-house staff, the plans provide your purchasing agents with all they need to price sources and purchase the required components. With components in hand, your staff of qualified electricians can then deploy and install those components in accordance with the plans. Again, all it takes is competency with electrical work and an ability to follow the plans.
On the other hand, if you intend to outsource all or part of the work, you will need to determine who you want to have do the work. Some of you probably already have a relationship with an electrical contractor that you would want to use. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with that. Contact your contractor and get started!
If you are a public entity, you are probably required to open it up to a bidding process. If that is the case, you will almost surely be more familiar with the bidding process than I am so I won’t try to tell you how to proceed.
I don’t know what I want to do…
If there are some of you who might want to get bids but don’t quite know how to proceed or who simply don’t want to be bothered with it, don’t worry. There are alternatives. For example, Summa Energy Solutions offers a bid request and process supervision service for a very reasonable price. If you would like more information on this service, simply follow this link.
Regardless of your approach, the design plans are the key. A well-designed plan, properly followed, will assure a viable system that is ready for programming and commissioning.