When considering construction site power, specifiers have many factors to consider and challenges to overcome. Issues such as environmental legislation, site security and internal corporate policies can all impact decisions. These factors can increase in complexity when working in densely populated residential locations, where noise abatement and emissions reduction are also paramount and site footprints and access can be extremely tight.
For every one of these challenges, generator hire suppliers are developing innovative solutions to ensure site power procurement is a simple task, giving contractors the ability to focus on delivering projects on time and within budget.
Aggreko’s eGuide to The Challenges of Delivering Construction Site Power explores these solutions in more detail, whilst below, Ben Vincent, Construction National Accounts Manager gives a brief overview of the challenges:
Fluctuating power demands
It’s common for construction sites to have variable power demands that differ during operational and non-operational times. Such variances can lead to generator inefficiencies; however there are effective solutions to optimise power output.
Aggreko is increasingly using hybrid power units for low load requirements, such as powering lighting and CCTV systems at night. A hybrid unit can operate in tandem with a generator – the hybrid operates during low load requirements and the generator charges the battery and meets larger peak-time needs.
For increased load demands, load-on-demand generator solutions are an excellent option. This is where the load capacity is shared between more than one generator, according to output demands. This allows power to be generated more effectively at lower loads, improving the fuel efficiency versus power output.
Local authorities require construction sites to use the most practical measures possible to control noise and vibration. Noise control is particularly important in residential areas and many local authorities insist on total quiet at unsocial hours, such as night time.
Quality generators are acoustically optimised to provide very low, industry-leading sound attenuation levels. In addition, acoustic curtains can deliver further noise reduction, whilst load-on-demand generation and hybrid units can offer ways to lower noise levels at times when load requirements are reduced.
Aggreko is seeing mounting pressure from the UK government to tackle air pollution and many local authorities and city administrations, particularly in urban areas, are introducing stiffer emissions controls for construction sites.
Whilst gas generators can reduce emissions by up to 40% compared to regular diesel sets, biodiesel fuel can also offer a cleaner, greener alternative.
Particulate filtration units can also dramatically reduce emissions from diesel generators, in particular particulate matter.
Finally hybrid units or load-sharing generators offer a more fuel efficient and greener option for lower load requirements.
Contractors often report that the security of generators and supporting equipment can be an issue on sites in remote locations, crime hotspots or when they are unmanned.
Aggreko’s secure containerised generators are proven to be a popular answer to this problem. These un-branded containers house a generator, along with its fuel tank and cabling. To ensure obscurity, the container is unbranded and designed to look like a standard site container.
Site-wide power on large projects
On larger construction sites which require multiple generators across the site, a high voltage distribution solution might be a viable option.
Rather than using multiple, lower voltage generators around
the site, Aggreko has the expertise to set up one generator with a transformer to distribute power across the site, proving to be a more efficient and scalable choice.