Residential Critical Power
Critical power has many facets. The length of an outage affects both residential and commercial customers. Often, residential power is not classified as a critical power requirement. However, residential power becomes critical when the electrical infrastructure for a large area suffers catastrophic damage.
Refrigerated goods can spoil, and water pipes can freeze and burst in cold weather. Folks with standby generators or backup heating source can weather the outage. However, those without power generators may have to seek other lodging until power is restored.
Critical Power for Hospitals
Hospitals, nursing homes, and any building that has systems for human life are required to have an emergency power system. The National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) creates and enforces codes and operating standards. They divide emergency power distribution for hospitals into the following three categories:
- Life Safety Branch - provides power for egress illumination, medical gas and vacuum system alarms, emergency communications, selected receptacles, elevator control and communications, automatic egress doors, and auxiliary fire alarm systems.
- Critical Branch - provides power for fixed equipment in critical care areas, isolated power systems for special environments, receptacles in patient care, and other needed stations, nurse call systems, blood/bone/tissue banks.
- Equipment Systems - can be delayed, manual, or an automatic connection to the emergency grid. Provides power for space heating equipment, specific care patient rooms, hyperbaric and hypobaric facilities, autoclaving equipment, controls systems, and other equipment.
Power provided to the above equipment groups allows hospitals to operate during outages without endangering human life. Generators require a bit of time to start up and assume the load. Uninterruptible Power Sources (UPS) systems assume the load for critical systems while the generator assumes the load. UPS is often referred to as a battery backup system. After the critical power generator assumes the load, the UPS returns to the charge mode. When utility power is resorted, the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) transfers the load to the utility grid. Generator Source has more than 35 years of generator sales and services. Go to Inventory
to see our generators and associated equipment.
Industry & Critical Power
The business model of some industries allows for minimal backup power requirements. Their plan is to shut-down during the power outage and resumes operations when power is restored. Their backup generators only supply egress lighting, elevators, fire alarm and warning, emergency lighting, and other safety systems. Emergency power is not used for operation but is critical to safe personnel egress.
The rail and mining industry are examples of the use of generators for critical power. Each drive wheel has an independently powered electric motor. Diesel generators power the drive wheel motors. Additionally, they power all electric and electronic controls. If a locomotive diesel generator fails it can impede or completely stop the train. Tracks blocked by down trains add to the cost if the locomotive generator were to fail.
The mining industry uses generators to power equipment in remote locations. Gravel pit mines remove larger rocks from the quarry and break them down into chunks that can go through a crusher(s) to obtain the right size product. The crushers and conveyor systems all run on electric motors and controls. Crushing rocks generates an extremely dusty environment and may be located away from the needed power source. Diesel generators that have been modified to work in a dusty environment provide the power critical to rock crushing operations.
Steel and aluminum foundries have switched from traditional fossil fuel furnaces to electric arc furnaces. These furnaces operate on extremely high voltages. If utility power fails during the smelting process, molten metal can harden in the pots. Financial losses can be large because of downtime and equipment damage. Electric arc furnaces offer operating savings but must have a backup power supply. Emergency generators satisfy this requirement. The furnace requires a step-up transformer for the smelting process.
Data centers and communications centers (cell phone towers) use systems of the same style as hospitals. Data centers run the risk of losing data and startup issues for components that are not properly shut down. Emergency generators, UPS, ATS, switching and distribution, circuit protection, and advanced control hardware and software are part of the system that provides backup power during a utility failure. Cell phone towers require a constant electrical supply to process signals. The same style of components are used to support operations, only on a smaller scale.
Critical Power Generators
The above examples illustrate the different needs for critical power. Data centers and hospitals require advanced systems to ensure emergency power is available during utility outages. Other industries such as pharmacy and smelting can suffer large financial losses if not properly supported with backup generators.
Three basic models serve the requirement of buildings and construction sites. Each model is developed to fulfill the different needs of indoor, outdoor, or portable applications. Each of the models is available in various capacities. Below is generator model description:
- Generator & Skid - Developed for indoor operation. Generator is a complete unit but requires auxiliary systems connections. Radiator must have access to outside air via louvers, or Heat Exchanger (HEX) system must be used. Fuel system often consists of a day tank, main tank and associated control systems.
- Sound Attenuated Container - Generator framework contains the fuel tanks. Engine, alternator, and radiator mounted on the frame. The container is mounted on the framework surrounding the generator and components. Used in outdoor and roof-mount applications.
- Portable Generators - Sound attenuated generator mounted on a trailer. Common connections are ball & hitch, ring & pintle, and 5th wheel. Adhere to all Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Can easily move from location to location within a job site. Widely used by the construction industry.
We offer a large stock of used generators to reduce the initial investment cost. While critical power is often thought of for life safety systems, we treat every generator as a critical power generator. Each must pass a 31-point inspection prior to being placed into inventory. We can often arrange for shipping within 24-hours of purchase. Our rental fleet serves customers with temporary generator needs. Contact Us
with any of your emergency or backup power needs.
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