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Electricity is a crucial resource when it comes to construction work. A construction site sees many big pieces of equipment like excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks, and so on, which run on diesel or petrol for power. But beyond that, there are many smaller pieces of equipment that need an electrical supply. That being said, one cannot help but wonder, from where do these job sites with no visible electrical outlets in sight get their power?
In this article, we discuss why electricity is a crucial factor on construction sites and the equipment that consume a heavy amount of electricity.
1. Lighting for Sundown Construction
Most construction sites work round the clock in shifts. The people who work the morning shifts do not usually need extra lighting, but those who work at night cannot do so without a steady light supply. This is why many construction sites need drop lights.
Most construction projects will also have large exterior light poles, illuminating a more significant portion of the site. These options typically require electricity, especially if the construction process is supposed to take some time.
So most sites use a GFCI extension cord to connect the light to the power source available on site. This is usually a generator that aids the process of making headway in the construction process.
2. Running Electrical Heaters
Many areas of construction heavily rely on heaters. These processes typically require a very high intensity of heat with precise temperature control. Otherwise, there can be significant setbacks, and the process can be botched. That is only possible with an electric heater. This is because the ventilation and airflow management mechanism is more advanced in electric heaters and much more easily manageable.
For these purposes, most construction sites prefer electric heaters over other market options.
3. Electricity for Power Tools
As can be imagined, construction is a complicated process and requires the completion of numerous activities, all in tandem, for the end product to come to life. This means several power tools have to be used on-site to complete the construction process. One such power tool would be the air compressor. Though many air compressors can run on gasoline, the more powerful air compressors usually work on electricity.
Other tools, especially the ones used for carpentry processes like the orbital sander, a bandsaw, and even a drill, require electricity to run.
4. Operating Ventilation Equipment
Construction, especially when it comes to below-the-ground level work, requires ventilation. This is crucial to ensure that the working environment is suitable and safe for the construction workers. The main types of ventilation used are forced ventilation, exhaust ventilation, and circular ventilation.
Setting up all or either of these models pneumatic equipment that can either pump new air in, or suck loaded air out, or in some cases do both. This equipment cannot function without an electricity supply. This becomes another crucial element that demands electricity on construction sites.
5. To Run Heavy Machinery
There are many heavy-duty machineries like cranes that always require a tremendous amount of power to run. Many of the machinery used on construction site waste management systems, like a compactor, typically use electricity to start the machine. It is impossible to use these large machines without a steady supply of a great amount of electricity.
The consumption here is so high that many manufacturers are trying to build battery-operated heavy machinery to lower environmental impact. But for as long as that is not a prevalent option, electricity is an elementary requirement for taking any construction work forward.
6. On-site Housing and Offices
Many construction works are undertaken in remote areas with little to no available accommodation for workers and supervisors. It is common practice to build temporary lodging for workers and officers to stay on the construction site. These lodgings require electricity and running water. This is another added requirement on the list of things that would not function without electric power on the construction site.
Similarly, a construction site has a ton of administrative work needed to keep it up and running. The temporary offices that cater to these purposes need computers and other office equipment, which, once again, cannot run without electricity.
What are the Sources of Electricity?
Now that we know how important electricity is for any construction process, it brings us back to the first question. How do construction sites manage to get electricity without electrical outlets?
There are a few options that one can exercise here. If the construction is happening in a place within the city or inhabited areas of land, the people overseeing the project can get permission by connecting to the local power grid. It is the easiest option, but in most cases, it is not possible to do so.
Most contractors rely upon generators of various power capacities to keep their construction process up and running in such scenarios. Larger equipment usually need high-powered generators, while smaller projects can do away with a medium-powered one. Most sites also have a portable generator in hand for convenience's sake.
The Bottom Line
Construction is a complex and arduous process. It requires getting a lot of clearances and managing a large crew. Electricity and power, in general, play a huge role in successful construction processes. As you move towards a greener society, cleaner construction is something you need to look out for.