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Preparing for Power Outages

It can be months or years, depending on location, before utility power fails. Industry and residential sectors that are prepared suffer less during these outages. Read More Here!

Power Failures are Imminent

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The power grid in the United States is one of the most advanced and dependable grids in the world. We are connected with the Canadian grid, which allows for the purchase of power from outside of our country's borders. No business or residence is free from loss of utility power. Any advanced grid is subject to failures caused by unavoidable events. Location plays a large role in the type of problem that can cause a power failure.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding, snow, and ice storms all contribute to the destruction of the grid. An industry located in any geographical location can experience multiple threats. The question is not "Will power fail at my location?" but instead, "How long will power be out when it fails?" This depends on the amount of infrastructure damage, equipment, and manpower availability, and access to areas with damage. A level of difficulty and added time is added with each additional element in the repair scheme. 

Plan for the Outage

In the electrical power supply world, the best offense is a well-designed and proven defense. Having a game plan in place will ensure a smooth transition into life without power from the utility company. Business and industry with critical power needs, industrial emergency power, and residential emergency power can be a division of sectors. Each one of the sectors has a different set of plans for power loss. Hospitals, data centers, steel mills, and correctional facilities are some examples of buildings or complexes with critical power needs. Regulations require these facilities to have backup power and a plan for the event of a power loss.

Buildings that do not have critical power requirements often have an emergency generator to supply power to life-safety systems (elevators, emergency lighting, security, etc.). Large residential condominiums and apartment buildings often have emergency generators for building life safety systems but do not provide power to individual units. Every plan will differ from the other because of building design differences. Below are some basic concepts to use when designing your plan:
  • System Knowledge - Understand the installed emergency generator and associated equipment. Identify emergency exits and lighting.
  • Generator Maintenance & Testing - Make sure generator scheduled maintenance and testing are completed and on-time. Associated equipment should have scheduled maintenance and testing as well. Generator Source has over 35 years of generator experience. Contact Us with all of your generator and system needs.
  • Training - Make sure everyone in the building understands electrical capabilities during power loss and their function, if any.
  • Emergency Kits - When weather conditions trap workers in the building without power, basic kits are developed to support human life. Water, first-aid kit, blankets, and individual lighting can be minimal components of the kit.
The prepared company or individual lessens the helpless feeling of a power loss. The time has passed to develop a loss of power plan when the lights go out, it gets dark, and the temperature begins to drop in the winter months. Having a sound plan prepares one for the loss.

Long-Term Outages

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A lengthy power outage can happen in a large area such as an island community or remotely located business with power poles located on difficult to access terrain. No matter the reason behind the loss of power, every business requires some form of electrical supply to operate. Long-term interruptions to power can cost business large amounts of money and can even cause them to close operations. Most U.S. businesses today have an emergency generator for life-save systems only. Day to day business cannot be conducted with this style system. 

Businesses located in geographical areas prone to extended shutdowns can begin the investigation of a long-term shutdown and add it to their plan. There are three basic options to additional backup power:
  1. Rental/lease - Establish generator size/style and review vendors. Investigate company lease to own options and service availability.
  2. Pre-Owned Generator Purchase- Low-hour, tested generators offer substantial saving in the initial purchase.
  3. New Generator Purchase - New generators offer the latest advancements in technology and include factory warranty.
Generators are manufactured for both indoor and outdoor applications. Outdoor generator sets are complete generating systems. The engine, cooling system, and alternator (generator end) are mounted on a skid. A fuel tank is combined into the framework. All are surrounded by a weather-tight or weather-proof enclosure that can be a sound attenuated for quiet operation. Place the generator on a level surface that will support operation, connect to the building grid, and it's ready to supply electricity. Portable models allow for ease of transportation to the job site and movement around the complex without crane or forklift service.

Generators manufactured for indoor use are constructed the same way as the outdoor models, but without the enclosure and fuel tank. These units are suited for permanent installations. It is helpful to purchase the generator from a company that has deinstallation, installation, service, and testing capabilities. This eliminates finger-pointing between vendors in the event a problem occurs during the installation and testing phase. All-in-one companies assume 100% of the responsibility. 

Generator Source specializes in pre-owned, new, and rental generators. All pre-owned generators must pass a 31-point inspection prior to sales. Go to Inventory for a list of in-stock new and used generators. Rental and lease to own options are available. With a large on-site inventory, we can many times arrange for shipping within 24-hours of purchase. For more information, go to Generator Source.


Diesel Blog Team | 8/27/2019 9:51:52 AM | 0 comments
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