What Does A Power Solutions Company Do?

Power solutions companies design, build, operate, and maintain electrical systems that keep electricity flowing to homes, businesses, industries, and electric vehicles. They handle everything from power generation to transmission, distribution, and storage – making sure customers have the reliable, resilient, efficient, and sustainable energy they need. This involves harnessing resources like natural gas, solar, wind, and water to produce electricity with power plants. The generated energy travels through high-voltage transmission lines over long distances before being stepped down for local distribution. Power solutions companies also integrate renewable sources into the grid, develop microgrids for specific communities or facilities, and implement smart technologies for real-time monitoring and control. With expertise across the entire electricity value chain, these companies enable modern life by powering the essential infrastructure that underpins society.

Power Generation

Power generation is a core focus of most power solutions companies. They manufacture, install, and maintain a wide range of power generation equipment like gas turbines, steam turbines, engines, boilers, heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), and generators.

Power solutions companies often provide power plant engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services. This involves handling all aspects of planning, designing, purchasing equipment for, and constructing complete power plants. They work closely with utilities and independent power producers to deliver customized power generation facilities.

Ongoing maintenance, repair, and operations services are also a major offering. Power solutions companies have extensive experience operating power plants and keeping generation equipment performing optimally through preventative maintenance and by supplying spare parts and components.

Many firms also offer generator set (genset) systems for distributed power generation and standby/emergency power applications. This includes gas, diesel, and alternative fuel gensets customizable to meet specific power needs.

With expertise across fossil fuel, nuclear, and renewable power generation assets, power solutions companies enable reliable, efficient electricity production through comprehensive equipment, construction, and services.

Power Transmission

Power transmission systems are vital for transporting electricity over long distances from where it is generated to where it will ultimately be used. Power transmission lines, transformers, and other infrastructure enable the bulk transfer of power across regions.

Power solutions companies design, build, operate, and maintain transmission systems to ensure reliable delivery of electricity. This involves constructing high-voltage overhead lines as well as underground and underwater cables. It also requires substations with transformers to increase voltage for efficient transmission over long distances.

Companies monitor and control transmission systems in real-time to instantly respond to changes in supply and demand. They deploy automation and smart grid technologies to optimize transmission performance. Rigorous maintenance programs and upgrades are implemented to sustain aging infrastructure and expand capacity as needed.

Expertise in power systems engineering is essential for planning and executing effective transmission projects. Companies utilize the latest tools and techniques to model complex networks, assess options, and deliver robust solutions. They partner with utilities and grid operators to enable a resilient, integrated transmission system.

Power Distribution

Power distribution networks carry electricity from the transmission system to end-use customers. Distribution networks consist of lower voltage lines, substations, transformers, and other equipment that reduce voltage levels and deliver power to homes, businesses, and industrial facilities.

Power distribution companies build, operate, and maintain complex distribution grids that include overhead and underground power lines, poles, towers, substations, and advanced monitoring and control equipment. Distribution grids transport electricity to neighborhoods at voltages between 4kV and 34kV through a network of feeders, distributors, and service lines.

Distribution operators closely monitor power flows and load levels across their networks. They use advanced sensing, communications, control, and automation capabilities to optimize grid performance. Power distribution companies coordinate work with transmission operators to balance generation with load and address power quality issues.

Reliable and efficient distribution systems are critical for delivering safe, high-quality electric service to customers. Power distribution companies plan and engineer their systems to provide adequate capacity while meeting stringent reliability and power quality standards.

Smart Grid Solutions

Power solutions companies implement a wide range of smart grid technologies to modernize electrical networks. Smart grids utilize sensors, monitoring, communications, automation, and data analytics to improve the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of power delivery systems.

Some of the key smart grid solutions include:

  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) – These are smart meters that allow two-way communication between utilities and customers. They provide real-time data on energy usage and allow utilities to remotely read meters, connect/disconnect service, detect outages, etc.
  • Outage Management Systems – These systems use smart meters and other sensors to quickly detect, isolate, and restore power outages. They can automatically re-route power and mobilize crews to impacted areas.
  • Distribution Automation – This involves automated control of distribution grid components like capacitors, switches, and voltage regulators. It allows for real-time monitoring and optimization of power flows.
  • Wide Area Monitoring – Synchronized sensor data is collected across large regions to visualize the real-time status of the grid. Operators can use it to identify issues and improve situational awareness.
  • Energy Management Systems – These gather data from smart devices and assets to optimize energy usage. Utilities can balance loads, integrate renewables, and shape consumer demand with these systems.

By deploying an intelligent, connected grid with these solutions, power companies can operate their systems more efficiently, reliably, and sustainably.

Energy Storage

Energy storage plays a critical role in optimizing modern power systems. Power solutions companies offer a range of energy storage technologies and services to help utilities, businesses, and communities better manage their energy use.

Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most common energy storage systems installed by power solutions companies today. These battery systems can store electricity when production exceeds demand or costs are low, and discharge it when needed to meet peak demand. Lithium-ion batteries provide reliable backup power and help smooth out fluctuations in renewable energy generation from solar and wind farms.

In addition to lithium-ion, other battery chemistries are also used for energy storage including lead-acid, sodium-sulfur, and flow batteries. Power solutions companies evaluate each unique use case to recommend the optimal energy storage technology based on performance needs, operating conditions, and budget.

Beyond just installing energy storage systems, power solutions companies also provide software and digital tools to optimize their performance. This includes monitoring battery health, enhancing safety, increasing efficiency, and enabling seamless integration with utilities or microgrid systems. Their energy storage expertise helps customers maximize economic returns.

With their end-to-end capabilities in deploying and managing advanced energy storage systems, power solutions companies are accelerating the transition toward more sustainable, resilient and economical electric grids.

Microgrids

Microgrids are localized grids that can disconnect and operate autonomously from the traditional centralized electrical grid. They integrate various distributed energy sources like solar panels, wind turbines, combined heat and power plants, and battery storage. Microgrid systems developed by power solutions companies provide resilience and reliability to communities and organizations. Companies in this space specialize in designing, building, operating, and controlling microgrids to optimize efficiency, integrate renewables, and keep critical operations powered during outages.

Microgrids contain control systems and software to balance generation and load demand. When connected to the main grid, microgrids can reduce costs by load balancing locally. And if the main grid goes down, they can island and function autonomously. Companies provide turnkey microgrid implementation, from feasibility studies to system design, deployment, and 24/7 monitoring and management. Experienced power solution companies work closely with customers like hospitals, military bases, campuses, and communities to understand their unique needs and sustainability goals to deliver optimal, customized microgrid systems.

In addition to keeping the lights on during storms, wildfires, and other disruptions, microgrids using solar, wind, batteries and other distributed energy resources can help customers achieve emissions reductions targets. Power solutions companies integrate high levels of renewables through innovative controls and energy storage. Leading microgrid developers also provide cyber-secure systems to protect operations. By working with experienced power solutions companies on microgrids, organizations gain resiliency, optimize efficiency, integrate green energy, and future-proof their power supply.

microgrids can provide resilient power solutions

Renewable Energy

Power solutions companies are increasingly involved in renewable energy as demand grows for clean, sustainable power generation. They provide services to develop, build, operate, and maintain renewable energy projects utilizing sources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass. Their expertise covers various renewable energy technologies:

Solar: Companies engineer, procure, construct, and maintain utility-scale solar farms as well as distributed solar projects. They handle permitting, grid integration, panel/inverter supply, civil works, installation, and O&M.

Wind: For onshore and offshore wind farms, companies conduct feasibility assessments, manage permitting/approvals, engineer the turbines and electrical balance of plant, procure equipment, manage construction/installation, and provide long-term O&M.

Hydro: Companies build and refurbish hydroelectric plants of all sizes, integrating the civil, mechanical, and electrical components. Services include project management, engineering design, penstock supply, turbine installation, commissioning, and plant operations.

Geothermal: Companies tap into geothermal reservoirs to generate reliable baseload power, handling field development, drilling, plant construction, steamfield installation, and ongoing operations/maintenance.

Biomass: Converting biomass feedstocks like agricultural waste, forestry residues, and energy crops into electricity, companies handle fuel sourcing/handling, plant construction, boiler supply, emission controls, and plant management.

With expertise across these technologies, power solutions companies enable greater renewable energy deployment to meet sustainability goals and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Their end-to-end services help scale up renewables on grids worldwide.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important for companies and consumers looking to reduce energy costs and environmental impact. Power solutions companies offer a range of services to help improve energy efficiency.

They can conduct energy audits to identify areas where efficiency can be improved. This may involve inspecting building insulation, HVAC systems, lighting, appliances, and processes to find energy waste and opportunities to optimize. The audit provides a baseline to measure improvements.

Upgrading to energy efficient equipment and technology is a key service. This can include installing LED lighting, occupancy sensors, high efficiency HVAC systems, variable speed drives, and upgrading to Energy Star certified appliances. Power solutions companies may provide, install and maintain these technologies.

Monitoring and controlling energy use is another service. Smart metering, building automation systems, and energy management software give visibility into energy consumption patterns and allow remote control. This empowers measures like adjusting HVAC schedules, optimizing lighting, and identifying malfunctioning equipment.

Ongoing commissioning ensures buildings continue operating efficiently over time. As equipment ages or tenants change, adjustments are required to maintain optimal performance. Power solutions companies provide these commissioning services.

They also offer advice on behavioral and process changes to improve efficiency, like shutting off idle equipment, optimizing load scheduling, and purchasing energy efficient products.

Financial incentives like rebates and tax credits may also be available for efficiency investments. Power solutions companies can assist customers in obtaining these incentives to improve return on investment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, power solutions companies perform a range of vital services related to generating, transmitting, distributing, managing, storing, and conserving energy. From building and maintaining power plants, transmission lines, substations, and distribution networks, to developing smart grid technologies, energy storage systems, microgrids, and renewable energy projects, power solutions firms enable society to access the electricity we all rely on. Their expertise in power engineering, project management, construction, operations, and innovative technology development ensures that electricity is delivered efficiently, reliably and sustainably across cities, communities and industries. By constantly evolving their capabilities to meet society’s energy needs now and into the future, power solutions companies provide the power foundations that support economic growth, infrastructure development and improve standards of living globally.

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