Commercial electrician at work

How to Prepare for a Commercial Electrical Project

Commercial electrical projects are large undertakings. For this reason, they require careful planning and preparation to ensure the project is completed on time and under budget. Poor preparation for any electrical project may result in delays, cost overruns, safety hazards, code violations, and incorrect installation.

Define Your Project Needs

Clearly understand the purpose of the project. What equipment and functionalities will require electrical work? This could involve anything from lighting and outlets to complex machinery and network systems.

Commercial electrician at work

Get Professional Help

Consulting a qualified and licensed commercial electrician is crucial. They can assess your energy needs, ensure compliance with building codes and safety regulations, pass inspections, and provide an estimate.

Gather Project Information

Collaborate with the electrician to gather details like the existing electrical layout (if applicable), blueprints, and any specific requirements for the new installation.

Define Project Scope and Objectives

Work with your commercial electrical contractor to prepare a detailed project scope. This includes the specifications of the electrical work that needs to be completed, specific milestones for the project, and the deadline.

Establish a Realistic Budget

Discuss the costs associated with materials, labor, permits, and potential disruptions to your business operations with the electrician.

Develop a Detailed Project Plan

A detailed project schedule ensures that everyone understands their assigned tasks, determines responsibilities to the industrial electricians and other team members, and considers possible complications and contingencies to address them.

Complete a Site Survey

Perform a thorough site survey to assess the existing electrical infrastructure, identify potential challenges, and gather detailed measurements for equipment placement and wiring requirements.

Get Permits and Approvals

Not having all the necessary permits and approvals from local officials and regulatory agencies can be an extreme headache later in the process. Make sure you have them in place before the project begins to ensure it’s compliant with all building codes and electrical safety standards.

Order Supplies and Equipment

Order all necessary electrical supplies, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) before starting the project to limit delays and ensure a good start for the project.

Preparation is the key to a successfully completing a commercial electrical project. Completing these tasks before the start of the project significantly reduces the number of issues and complications that may occur while it is underway. It also ensures that the project is done safely, on time, and under budget.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Commercial Electrical Project

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your industrial electrical project. For more information or to get a quote for your commercial electrical project, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Completed electric vehicle charging station installation

Best Practices for an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation

Electric vehicles are more popular than ever, so there is a greater demand for electric vehicle charging station installations.

Initial Questions to Ask About an EV Charging Station Installation

Here are some of the questions you need to ask before planning an EV charging station installation:

Is it for home or commercial use? – This determines the equipment and level of planning necessary for the charging station installation.  

Where are you installing the EV charging station? – Location is critical for a smooth installation.

Does this location require permits or inspections? – Some areas require permits and inspections to implement a new EV charging station properly.

Do it yourself or hire an expert? – Electric vehicle charging station installations are complex; unless you are an experienced electrician, you should hire a reputable commercial electrical company to install it.

Completed electric vehicle charging station installation

Preparing for an EV Charging Station Installation

The one factor that influences the success or failure of a project is how much preparation the person or company makes.

Location, Location, Location – A home EV charging station is typically where you park the electric vehicle. For a business, this can be a bit more complicated. You must consider accessibility, parking, lighting, and protection from the elements.

EV Charger Level – Consider your charging needs and budget when selecting a charger level. Level 1 chargers are the slowest, and Level 3 charges the fastest.

Electrical Capacity – How many vehicles need to be charged at the same time? Can your electrical panel handle the load of an EV charger? If not, you might need an electric upgrade.

Infrastructure Assessment —An experienced team of EV charging station installers needs to review the infrastructure for the charging station. This should be an experienced commercial electrician who can determine the energy capacity for the installation and determine if any construction, concrete work, or excavation needs to happen near the charging station site.

Get Permits and Inspections  — An experienced installation team member works with local officials and agencies to line up the proper permits and inspections for the construction of the charging station.

Find Funding to Build – Many areas have city, state, and Federal incentives and rebates for customers installing green energy infrastructure. These might be tax breaks, utility company rebates, and state and local credits.

Constructing the Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Once everything is in place, you can begin constructing the EV charging station. This may involve excavation, running cable to buildings, building the infrastructure to support the charging station, and landscaping.

Choose the Right Equipment – Ensure the charger is certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL).

Prioritize grounding – Confirm that the station is grounded correctly for safety.

Build safety features – Depending on the station location, security cameras, signs, and additional lights might be needed.

Get Professional Commercial Electricians Involved – This complex installation could be dangerous if installed incorrectly. 

Are You Looking for an Experienced Electric Charging Station Installer?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is a premier electric charging station installer in the Southeastern US. For more information or to get a quote for an EV charging station installation, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

High voltage commercial electrician at work

5 Commercial Businesses That Require High-Voltage Electrical Services

High voltage electrical needs are not limited to industrial electrical customers. Many commercial businesses also require high-voltage electrical services to deliver power to their customers and keep their businesses running. Here are some examples of the types of commercial customers that require high-voltage electrical services:

1. Large Office Complexes

Large office complexes, whether they are in skyscrapers, or spread out office parks require a tremendous amount of power to function. These complexes require reliable electrical power for lights, heating and cooling, elevators, telecommunication centers, computer operations, and much more. These businesses require transformers to bring power from the grid to these buildings and robust power distribution systems to deliver it.

High voltage commercial electrician at work

2. Retail Stores

Today’s retail space features large, open spaces requiring extensive lighting systems, heating and cooling controls, elevators and escalators, power for plumbing, security systems, and much more. The commercial electrical services required gets even more important and complicated if this is a large shopping center or mall.

3. Hotels

Hotels have the same lighting and temperature control needs as office complexes and stores, but also experience variable power demand based on the current occupancy in the building. This makes high-voltage power automation systems critical to optimize energy usage to keep energy costs low to maintain profitability. Some large hotels also install high-voltage backup generators available in the event of a power outage.

4. Healthcare Facilities

A lot of medical equipment requires a tremendous amount of power. MRI machines, surgical lasers, robotic surgery systems, and more. The power supplied to medical facilities must also be robust and consistent so that surges and brownouts do not damage the delicate equipment. Rugged backup generators also need to be installed to keep life-saving equipment operational when the main power grid is offline. This power needs to be consistent and transition smoothly from the main grid to the backup generators when taking care of patients during an emergency. This requires the installation of specialized high-voltage power lines and transformers to ensure the smooth transmission of power into the medical facility.

5. Restaurants

Restaurants are another business that requires flexible lighting and temperature controls, but also need to power high-voltage food preparation equipment such as room-sized refrigerators and freezers, smoke and odor filtration systems, and cooking equipment.

Looking for Best-In-Class Commerical Electrical Services?

Give Tri-State Electrical a call. We pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your commercial electrical project needs. It doesn’t matter if you are a retail store, office complex, or medical facility we have the commercial electrical expertise you are looking for. For more information or a quote for a commercial electrical project, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Plant requiring industrial electrical services

7 Industries That Must Use Industrial Electrical Services

Many businesses rely on industrial electrical services to keep their operations running smoothly and safely. These systems require specialized industrial electrical expertise to maintain, repair, and install them.

1. Factories

Factories are full of heavy machinery, robotic equipment, conveyor systems, access control systems, generators, and much more. These require sophisticated power distribution systems, high-voltage infrastructure, and seamless coordination to work together smoothly.

Plant requiring industrial electrical services

2. Food Processing

Food processing plants also have a lot of heavy machinery, such as conveyors, packaging equipment, huge ovens, and refrigeration units. They also must maintain proper temperatures to prevent spoilage and contamination, so reliable electrical systems are a must for this industry.

3. Power Plants

To generate and distribute electricity, you require expertise in creating infrastructure that supports high-voltage systems, transformers, and switchgear. These industrial electricians are trained rigorously to engineer and construct these systems. This also includes renewable energy operations such as solar farms, wind turbines, etc. Industrial electricians play a pivotal role in installing these systems, integrating them into the main grid, and maintaining them.

4. Mining

Mining uses a lot of heavy machinery and specialized equipment that must be protected against the severe conditions and processes used to extract elements from the ground. These electrical systems must be safe and reliable to protect the workers whose lives depend on them.

5. Oil and Gas Refining

Refining oil and gas is a complex process involving hazardous materials, which require strenuous safety standards to prevent catastrophic accidents. Experienced and well-trained industrial electricians are essential for these projects.

6. Data Centers

Computer and networking equipment is the backbone of the internet and our telecommunication and commerce systems. This equipment is often highly specialized, generates a lot of heat, and must be kept cool. Power surges and brownouts can damage this equipment, so the electrical systems installed at these locations must consider this.

7. Airports

Airports are miniature cities that require robust communication systems, lighting, transportation (of both people and freight), and heavy equipment operation. Airports also have complex security and screening systems that need an industrial electrician’s expertise.

The Common Denominator is Safety

What all of these industries have in common is a need for safety. Whether it is producing goods, packaging food, or refining gasoline, all of these industries require precise and safe installation of electrical systems to support the power infrastructure for the equipment. Without these systems, products, equipment, buildings, and lives are at risk, so hiring an experienced, competent industrial electrician is paramount to ensure the safety and success of your business.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors – Provides World-Class Industrial Electrical Services

Tri-State Electrical has experience designing, developing, installing, and maintaining industrial electrical systems across many industries. To get more information or a quote about our industrial electrical services, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Home in need of a burglar alarm system

Best Practices for Burglar Alarm System Installations

Burglar alarm systems protect your home and business. But burglar alarm systems cannot ensure this protection unless installed correctly. If you want to reduce crime and increase protection follow these best practices during the installation process.

Home in need of a burglar alarm system

What Type of System Meets Your Needs?

Consider two factors when selecting a system type. The level of protection needed, reliability and time needed to install the system.

Monitored or Unmonitored?

Monitored systems can alert a central monitoring system, which contacts emergency services if necessary. Unmonitored systems sound an alarm which may be ignored by determined criminals or not taken seriously by bystanders.

Wired or Wireless?

Wireless systems are easier to install and take less time, but may be vulnerable to interference. And some systems need periodic battery recharges. Wired systems are more complex to install and more expensive, but resist interference and hardier.

Sensors and Where to Place Them

Entry points are the most vulnerable part of a burglar alarm system. All doors and windows should have sensors in place. Other access points that may be overlooked are garages, basements, attic windows, and pet doors. Interior motion detectors in high-traffic areas is a good idea as well. Other sensors that can be integrated into the burglar alarm system include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Control Panel Placement

Most homes and businesses place the control panel near the main entry. This is a bad idea. It should be in a central location and hidden from view. This makes it harder to locate and disable. But, the keypad must be easy to access and use by the people on site so it can be quickly disabled when necessary.

Include a Power Backup

Experienced burglars often cut power to burglar alarm systems to disable the alarms. High-quality alarm systems include a battery backup system to keep the alarm operational during outages.

Test and Maintain the System Regularly

Your burglar alarm system must be tested regularly to ensure all sensors and components are working correctly. You also need to follow your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and care instructions to ensure it works properly.

Ready to Install a Burglar Alarm System? Call Tri-State Electrical.

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about a burglar alarm system installation. For more information or a quote for a burglar alarm system installation, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Electrical for commercial electrical services

5 Tips for Saving Money on Your Industrial Electrical Bill

Electrical costs are a significant contributor to your industrial company’s overall expenses. So, keeping them under control is essential. Here are five tips for saving money on your industrial electrical bill.

1 – Conduct an Energy Audit

An industrial company’s best action to reduce industrial electrical costs is to conduct an energy audit. This action identifies the areas that consume a lot of power and areas that can be improved to save energy expenses.

Electrical for commercial electrical services

2 – Turn Off Unnecessary Lights and Equipment

Use sensors or timers to shut off unnecessary lights automatically. Shut down all equipment not in active use, such as computers and industrial machinery. Each unnecessary item shutdown adds to the overall industrial electrical savings.

3 – Install Variable Speed Drives

Variable-speed electrical motors create considerable savings by matching the motor output to the current demand. This allows the motor to use the energy it needs with little waste. The reduced energy consumption when compared to fixed-speed electrical motors is considerable.

4 – Replace Obsolete Industrial Equipment

Variable-speed electrical motors create considerable savings by matching the motor output to the current demand. This allows the motor to use the energy it needs with little waste.

5 – Install Renewable Energy Sources

Customers and businesses want to buy from green companies. Even if you have a small percentage of power generated by renewable resources such as wind or solar power, it will positively affect your bottom line. There are many incentives and rebates from Federal, State, and Local governments to encourage the adoption of renewable energy. You can also install a solar storage system to keep it operational during power outages.

Looking to Save Money on Your Industrial Electric Bill? Contact Tri-State Electrical Contractors.

Tri-State Electrical has experience evaluating and updating industrial energy systems. If you want more information or a quote for an industrial electrical audit, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Electrician working on an industrial electrical project

How to Prepare for an Industrial Electrical Project

Industrial electrical projects are large endeavors. For this reason, careful planning and preparation needs to happen to ensure that the project is completed on-time and under budget. Poor preparation for any electrical project may result in delays, cost overruns, safety hazards, code violations, and incorrect installation.

Define Project Scope and Objectives

Work with your industrial electric contract company to prepare a detailed projects scope. This includes the specifications of the electrical work that needs to be completed, specific milestones for the project, and the deadline.

Electrician working on an industrial electrical project

Gather Project Documents

At all relevant project documents, including blueprints, architectural plans, electrical specifications, and any existing maintenance records.

Complete a Site Survey

Perform a thorough site survey to assess the existing electrical infrastructure, identify potential challenges, and gather detailed measurements for equipment placement and wiring requirements.

Get Permits and Approvals

Not having all of the all necessary permits and approvals from local officials and regulatory agencies can be an extreme headache later in the process Make sure you have them in place before the project begins to ensure it’s compliant with all building codes and electrical safety standards.

Order Supplies and Equipment

Order all necessary electrical supplies, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) before starting the project to limit delays and ensure a good start for the project.

Develop a Detailed Project Plan

A detailed project schedule ensures that all of the people involved in the project understand their assigned tasks, determines responsibilities to the industrial electricians and other team members, and considers possible complications and contingencies to address them.

Establish Communication and Coordination

Setting up clear communication channels among all stakeholders–including the project manager—the electrical team, and client, is essential to coordinate and resolve any issues quickly.

Preparation is the key to a successfully completing an industrial electrical project. Doing these tasks at beginning of the project significantly reduces the number of issues and complications that may occur while it is under way. It also ensures that the project is done right—safely, on-time, and under budget.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Industrial Electrical Project

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your industrial electrical project. For more information, or to get a quote for your industrial electrical project call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Savings from installing a solar storage system

How to Save Money with a Solar Storage System

Solar energy technology is finally becoming efficient enough to generate an amount of power that can result in significant energy cost savings. The cost of implementing a solar storage system has dropped steadily over the last decade. But how can you save money with an excellent solar storage system? Here are a few of the ways:

Tax Credits & Incentives

Even though the upfront cost of installing a solar storage system has dropped, it is still an expensive undertaking. Fortunately, many local, state, and national governments are offering tax credits and incentives to purchase and install a solar storage system. These credits can make a purchase that might have seemed difficult to buy now affordable.

Savings from installing a solar storage system

Reduce Reliance on the Grid

Solar storage systems reduce reliance on the traditional electrical grid, which may lower your electricity bill. Getting credit from the electric company for adding your energy surplus back to the grid is possible.

In areas with frequent brownouts and outages, reduced reliance on the grid can prevent the loss of productivity due to lost connectivity or food spoilage because of the loss of refrigeration. A solar storage system is also beneficial if you live in an area with a high electricity rate.

Peak Hour Saving

If a time-of-use rate determines your electricity rate, the cost is higher during peak hours, usually in the late afternoon and early evening. If you store excess solar energy during the day and use it during peak hours instead of using power from the electric provider.

Provide Backup Power

With a solar storage system, no expensive home generator or the fuel to run it is necessary. It can provide backup power if there is a power outage. This keeps things running smoothly at your home or business during an outage, so you don’t lose money on lost productivity.

Monitor Energy Use

Look for ways to so you can reduce your energy consumption. If you reduce the load on your energy storage, the stored energy lasts longer. You should do this even if you don’t have a solar storage system.

Get a Solar Storage System Installation from Tri-State Electrical Contractors

We have much experience installing, maintaining, and repairing solar storage systems. If you want more information or a quote for some solar storage work, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Solar storage installation for the Tesla Powerwall storage system in Knoxville

5 Factors That Contribute to Industrial Electrical Services Cost

An industrial electrical project is typically very expensive. This post identifies and describes five factors that contribute to the cost of an industrial electrical services project.

1  – Scope of Work

Solar storage installation for the Tesla Powerwall storage system in Knoxville

Typically, the project scope is the most significant contributor to your industrial electrical services project’s cost. All industrial electric projects begin with a scope of work, a statement about what specific actions the electrical services company takes to complete the project.

These can range from a simple repair, such as upgrading wiring to one industrial component, or as large as installing new electrical systems in multiple buildings at a site. The longer the project will take, the more expensive the estimate.

2  –  Experience Required to Complete the Project

Most industrial projects are highly technical jobs that need to be customized to fit within the plant. Many laws and regulations must be followed to have the work pass an inspection. Therefore, an industrial services electrician has to have specific skills and experience to complete the work. The training and certifications required for performing complex or highly specialized tasks is very expensive. For this reason, the labor cost of an industrial electrical project will be high.

3  –  Time of Service

It would be great if industrial electrical equipment would choose to break down sometime between 8 am and 5 pm on a weekday, but the reality is that this can happen at any time and that includes at night, on weekends, and during holidays. Businesses must pay a premium rate for after hours or emergency services.

4  –  Location of the Project

The location of the project can have a significant impact on the cost of an industrial electrical services project. For example, if the project is far away from the electric services company, there will be travel expenses and travel time that need to be built into the cost. If the location is in an extremely hot or cold place, the industrial electrical contractor may need special equipment or training to work in these locations. Some locations, such as a refinery or heavy industrial manufacturer, may require special training and safety equipment to complete the project.

5  –  Materials Needed for the Project

Simple electrical projects might need a new switch and wiring to repair one piece of industrial equipment. Still, others might require a significant amount of wire, conduit, electric panels, PLCs, and much more. The materials needed, their availability, and the amount needed will increase the cost of the overall project.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Access Control System Installation Needs

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your industrial electrical services project. For more information or to get a quote for your industrial electrical project, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Worker inspecting a solar storage installation

Best Practices for Maintaining a Solar Storage System

A solar storage system is not just the batteries and capacitors that hold the energy. To process that energy and store it efficiently, you need to examine all of the components in the system. This includes the solar panels, the wiring and connectors within the system, and the solar batteries.

Here are some best practices for maintaining a solar storage system. But before you get started, review your manufacturer’s instructions for each system component and follow their guidelines.

Maintaining Solar Panels

Worker inspecting a solar storage installation

Solar panels cover the most square footage of all components within the system and are outdoors. Therefore, they are more susceptible to the acts of nature. What are the best ways to maintain solar panels? Take these actions:

  • Making sure the light can get to the panels is the first place to inspect within the solar storage system. Check the area around the solar panels to ensure that nothing obstructs the light to the panels. The most common obstruction is trees. This might mean you need to trim them or cut down the trees altogether
  • Clear off any dust, dirt or debris such as leaves, sticks, grass and other common causes of dirty solar panels.
  • Clean the solar panels using the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning equipment and solution. Most of the time, a cleaning solution such as water and vinegar wiped on and off with a soft brush or cloth will be good enough.
  • Finally, inspect your solar panels for any chips or cracks. If you find damage, contact a qualified solar storage system installer to repair or replace the panels.

Maintaining the System Wiring and Connectors

The wiring and connections within the system are often the most fragile and vulnerable part of the solar storage system. As a result, you need to inspect all of the wires and connectors carefully to make sure they are not showing signs of damage or excessive wear.

Maintaining the Solar Batteries

Solar batteries require the most care of any components within a solar storage system. Do these to maintain them well:

  • One of the best ways to prolong a solar battery’s energy storage capacity is to monitor the battery’s charge to ensure it doesn’t completely discharge.
  • Regularly inspect the fluid level in the batteries and fill them with distilled water if needed.
  • Prevent corrosion by periodically cleaning the battery terminals with a terminal cleaning brush. This ensures that there is excellent electrical contact and limits inefficiencies.
  • If you are extremely handy, apply a sealant or high-temperature grease to the battery terminals to protect them from corrosion.

Get a Professional Solar Storage System Inspection

If any of the actions above are too difficult, or you do not have time to complete them, hire a solar storage system maintenance company, such as Tri-State Electrical Contractors, to perform a complete system inspection and take care of any maintenance the system needs. This protects your investment in the solar storage system and ensures it remains reliable and efficient for a long time.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Solar Storage System Needs

If you are considering installing a solar storage system, such as the Tesla Powerwall, reach out to Tri-State Electrical. we pride ourselves in answering your questions about any solar storage system’s needs. Whether you want to install a new solar storage solution or require maintenance or an inspection of an existing system, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.