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Backup Power for Educational Facilities

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 11, 2018
South Shore Generators - Generac Natural Gas Generators

Generac Makes the Learning Curve Easy for Educational Facilities Requiring Backup Power

Educational facilities can face weather events, grid failures, or potential threats from outside parties. Power outages can cripple schools with impacts on class schedules, as well as the potential for data loss and critical equipment damage. For universities, this could mean losing thousands of dollars and countless hours of student and faculty time should heating/cooling units preserving grant-based experiments become inoperable.

Even elementary and secondary schools have fire alarms, phone systems, and computer networks that may need protection from a backup generator in case of a power outage. In addition, many educational buildings are used as fall-out shelters, so backup power is needed for emergency lighting to ensure safe passage for everyone in the building.

Power Up with MPS

With so much at stake, many educational facilities are relying on high kW generators to provide the standby/emergency power needed. These generators can ensure the heating, cooling, ventilation, refrigeration, security, and elevator systems can continue to work. These capabilities allow a school to continue functioning until normal power is restored.

Generac’s inventive Modular Power System (MPS) for paralleling generators offers educational facilities the power, redundancy, scalability, and safety required. The MPS approach does not require dedicated third-party switchgear. Future expansion generators simply tie directly to the generator bus. Because the paralleling is already built into the generator, the Generac MPS system inherently has greater flexibility for growth, requires less electrical room space, and reduces initial capital cost.

With Generac’s MPS system, the generators do not have to be next to each other to be paralleled. Many universities are using separate gensets located inside/outside different campus buildings to ensure safety from potential threats and maintain smooth operation.

In addition, the MPS allows you to combine fuel options: diesel, natural gas, or even bi-fuel. This not only gives you the benefits of genset redundancy, you also have fuel redundancy. Natural gas relies on a strong underground pipeline network that is rarely impacted by weather. Win-win.

Reduced Maintenance Natural Gas Generator Solutions

Natural gas generators are also becoming the preferred solution for many secondary and elementary schools as they do not typically have dedicated facility managers on staff. Natural gas generators require much less maintenance, while diesel generators need to have the fuel re-conditioned every 12-16 months, requiring either a skilled maintenance person or a third-party vendor to perform this task.

Natural gas generators also provide:

  • much longer runtimes
  • easier permitting
  • 90% fewer emissions compared to diesel generators

Generac is the expert in natural gas generators: with two Frost and Sullivan “Company of the Year” Awards and a recent Consulting Specifying Engineer (CSE) award for our 500 kW gaseous generators.

Take the Fear Out of Medium Voltage Generator Systems

With the vast needs for more power at educational facilities, medium voltage applications with a medium voltage alternator and ANSI C37.20.2 gear are becoming specified. At the same time, many staff members can be hesitant to work with medium voltage systems. The solution—our integrated paralleling MPS concept.

By paralleling on the low voltage side and feeding one or multiple transformers, various system advantages can be realized:

  • facility staff are typically more comfortable interacting with low voltage generators
  • flow voltage equipment is much easier and quicker to source
  • flow voltage rental equipment can be used when needed
  • fno medium voltage paralleling switch-gear sections are required resulting in a smaller footprint and significant cost savings

Generac Understands the Needs of Education Facilities

While every educational facility has different needs, we know the protection of students, staff, and visitors is principal. At the same time, maintaining the privacy of personal data and the preservation of valuable research experiments is vital. With more than five decades of experience, Generac can provide the solutions you need. Our wide variety of sizes, fuel choices, and configurations allows facility managers, engineers, and contractors to make the selections that provide the best value, while meeting your kW requirements.

South Shore Generator provides support during every part of the process from sizing to specifications to design and installation. We remove the learning curve entirely with proven products. Contact us.

Generac.com

Standby Power for Telecom

Joseph Coupal - Monday, August 27, 2018
South Shore Generators - Back Up Power for Data Centers

Competition in the telecommunications industry means your network must be the best and most reliable. Factor in more than 400,000 calls to 911 being made every year on wireless devices. This means no failures, even during major grid or weather-related outages.

People are counting on you and you count on Industrial Power.

Backup Powr for Urganand Remote Cell Towers

Cell tower space is becoming crowded with so many other industries vying for the rented space. You need backup telecom generators that can deliver the need kWs, while fitting into a smaller footprint. Industrial Power provides rugged diesel and natural gas generators to provide the standby power for telecomm needed. They work well with critical power components such as UPS systems, rectifiers, and HVAC systems that ensures power will be continuous as the generator starts and runs up to speed.

Cell tower locations vary: they are either in the middle of cities or in the middle of nowhere. Generac manufactures sound-attenuated enclosures that reduce the noise level for city or urban cell tower locations. We also produce extreme weather-resistant enclosures, should your tower be located on a mountain, near the ocean, or in the Midwest and subject to a variety of weather events.

A range of controllers for remote monitoring are also available that shows all the vital operating parameters of the generator set.

Data Collection Centers Need More Power

Most providers use data collection centers to receive input from cells phones and other wireless devices and then re-transmit that data. These facilities require substantial backup or even prime power gensets to ensure the flow of information never stops.

Our line of 750 kW – 2 MW industrial diesel generators combines the precise components, designed, manufactured, and supported by a single source—Generac Industrial Power. We control every part of the production and testing process—engines, alternators, control systems, enclosures, and base tanks. These components are all specifically designed and built to meet the highest reliability and performance standards.

Take the Stress out of Medium Voltage Generator Systems

With the need for more power, we are finding more medium voltage applications with a medium voltage alternator and ANSI C37.20.2 gear, are becoming specified. Many staff members and contractors are hesitant to work with medium voltage systems. The solution is our integrated paralleling Modular Power System (MPS) concept.

By paralleling on the low voltage side and feeding one or multiple transformers, various system advantages can be realized:

  • Facility staff are typically more comfortable interacting with low voltage generators.
  • Low voltage equipment is much easier and quicker to source.
  • Low voltage rental equipment can be used when needed.
  • No medium voltage paralleling switchgear sections are required resulting in a smaller footprint and significant cost savings.

While diesel has been the traditional fuel choice, many telecommunications companies are now considering the use of natural gas or bi-fuel generators as standby power for telecomm. This is done upon approval of the AHJ, to meet the need for extended runtimes.

Two Natural Solutions

Natural gas generators offer many benefits. They have reduced emissions compared to diesel generators, the permitting requirements are easier and you are connected to the natural gas pipeline which is rarely impacted by weather or other crisis events.

Bi-Fuel is another great option as you have the strong initial start from a diesel engine and then transition to primarily natural gas under load. Generac offers fully integrated solutions that are the only EPA-compliant generators straight from our factory in both the 500 kW and 600 kW nodes. These units can also be paralleled to create even larger kW requirements.

For more information, contact South Shore Generator in Wareham, MA.

Source: generac.com

Assisted Care Facilities Upgrade Emergency/Backup Power Systems to Ensure Safety and Comfort

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 31, 2018
South Shore Generators - Back Up Power for Data Centers

It’s no secret our population is getting older. Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation indicate that by 2030, global female life expectancy will be 85.3 years and male life expectancy will be 78.1 years. This means more assisted living and nursing home facilities will be needed to properly care for our seniors. All assisted care, nursing homes, and medical facilities must meet the backup/emergency power codes of NFPA 110 and NEC 700, ensuring essential electrical systems must be able to supply enough light and power for life safety in the event that normal electrical service is interrupted.

In addition, there may be state and local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) requirements that address resident safety, zoning, noise, and other requirements that have to be addressed.

As a result, many assisted living facilities are upgrading their on-site generator units to ensure residents are not only safe, but comfortable during harsh weather or potential grid failures. On-site generation is also becoming a key selling point for assisted living centers as many families want to ensure their loved ones receive the best care.

Generator Retrofits/Upgrades for Assisted Care Facilities May Pose Challenges

Many health care groups purchase existing assisted care facilities to expand services in different cities. Many times, these tend to be older buildings that require upgrades for health and aesthetic purposes.

For on-site generation, the first step is to perform a comprehensive analysis of the facility to determine:

  • where the power sources are entering the building,
  • whether the existing systems meet current life/safety codes, and
  • potential growth opportunities, so generator sizing can be addressed.

“Frankly we see a lot of odd issues when we first evaluate an older building such as oversized units with 3000 amps being fed into a 200 kW generator, conduits buried in concrete, and annunciators that are not located near nursing stations or other areas to meet monitoring requirements,” said Keith Findley, Power Solutions Manager, EVAPAR, a Generac Industrial Power distributor.

“In addition, we still find that essential life/safety equipment and non-essential lighting and comfort systems are on the same circuit, which is no longer acceptable—those systems must be separated to meet code,” he noted.

An assisted care facility in Indiana, part of a large consortium of care facilities, had some unique challenges as it upgraded an assisted living center to better serve the residents.

“When we performed the initial evaluation, we determined the service feeders coming into the building were single phase 208 volts and three phase 480 volts, so it made sense to provide two different diesel generators–350kW and 500kW—along with the appropriate transformers,” said Findley.

The two units are not paralleled at this facility, although Generac’s innovative Modular Power System (MPS) can provide the needed kWs to address comfort systems along with the benefits of redundancy, scalability, and safety, through integrated paralleling.

“We selected diesel for the fuel as the staff was familiar with the products, fuel prices tend to be constant, and the Generac diesel gensets are tough and reliable. They also meet the requirements for on-site fuel storage and local AHJs tend to have more experience with diesel generators, although natural gas is gaining acceptance as on-site fuel,” he said.

With respect to sizing, EVAPAR evaluates overall electrical usage at the facility and sizes up at least 25 percent to ensure all key medical equipment, lighting, and essential systems can be powered in an emergency.

“We have also found that many facilities are sizing up to ensure non-essential systems such as refrigerators, stoves, air conditioning, and more, can be served by on-site generation,” said Findley.

Services for Assisted Care Facilities

With strict enforcement of the air emissions regulations, diesel powered generators do require extra care and regular fuel polishing. Distributors train the maintenance staff at the facility to perform the weekly generator runs and log the results to ensure compliance.

Many of Generac’s Industrial Distributors also offer programs to assist with annual fuel testing and polishing as needed.

“With so much on the line, it’s vital assisted living centers work with experts who understand the current and future needs, the rules and regulations, and can then design practical on-site generation solutions that keep the residents the top priority,” said Findley.

For more information on power generation for senior living facilities, contact South Shore Generator in Wareham, MA.

generac.com

Cold Weather Generator Operation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 02, 2018
South Shore Generators - Generac Natural Gas Generators

Diesel generators are notoriously problematic during cold weather. Not only does diesel fuel become unstable in cold temperatures but when the engine block and heads are cold, they absorb the heat of the compression required to ignite diesel fuel.

When generators used for standby or continuous power will be operated at 32°F (0°C) or below – especially for extended periods of time – operators must take precautions to ensure the generator will start reliably, get to the desired load quickly, and continue to run without incident and unnecessary stress and wear on the engine.

Although fuel additives and other intermittent measures have long been common for generators, there is also a wide variety of purpose-built equipment that protects generators and their components against the cold. Some specialized add-ons keep the engine block warm; others keep coldsensitive equipment such as batteries and control boxes operating at the optimal temperature. This equipment is especially important where generators are being used in remote environments without any oversight by technicians or other company staff.

This blog looks at some of the equipment that can help companies protect their generator investments and ensure reliable startup and operation. It also offers a few pointers on selecting a provider to source generators and engines that are properly equipped for extremely cold weather use.

Battery warmers

Battery warmers enclose generator batteries in a thermal wrap, keeping the battery at a constant 80°F (27°C), the optimal temperature for maximum cold-cranking amps. Battery warmers should have durable, fire-retardant covers that resist oils and acids.

Thermostats, if available, can eliminate battery damage from possible overheating and subsequent acid spillage. Battery warmers prolong battery life and can boost cranking power by as much as 75 percent.

Block heaters

Block heaters, which are installed on the coolant circuit, keep the engine’s coolant warm enough that the unit is able to start immediately and attain/maintain the required engine load. They are generally powered by an external power source rather than the generator engine itself.

Hydronic coolant heaters

Hydronic coolant heaters gradually raise the temperature of the engine’s coolant, assuring even heating of the engine block. They enable generators to have warm starts, which reduce engine stress and wear, and reduce demand on the battery. Hydronic coolant heaters work independently of the engine, yet they tap into the fuel and power supplies of the engine. This approach eliminates the need for an external power or fuel source, which enables them to operate anywhere a generator could be located.

Control panel box heaters

For enclosed generators, cold weather operation brings another peril: condensation due to the differential between the external temperature and the temperature inside a heated enclosure.

These heaters keep the control box at an even temperature, preventing the condensation that can damage sensitive electronic parts.

Louvres

Louvres (also called dampers or shutters) open and close based on a specific trigger, eliminating both overcooling and overheating by regulating the amount of ambient airflow through the generator engine’s radiator.

Louvres can be thermostat activated, in which case a thermostat is installed inside the generator enclosure and an electronic switch triggers their operation when temperatures rise above a preset threshold. Electronic louvres such as these should always include electronic stall protection.

Louvres can also be hydraulic, being driven directly by the temperature of the engine’s coolant. Coolant-driven louvres open gradually, allowing the engine to cool effectively but preventing a sudden influx of cold air that could cause the temperature inside the generator enclosure to drop precipitously.

Hydraulic louvres are a preferred option in extremely cold climates because they do not contain sensitive electronic parts that are prone to seizing and failing in cold weather. Both types of louvres should also be able to prevent snow intrusion into the unit.

Snow hoods

Snow hoods are specialized coverings designed to prevent snow from accumulating inside the generator enclosure. Some manufacturers can relocate the generator’s air exhaust when they install snow hood kits, further preventing snow intrusion into the exhaust pipe without restricting air flow.

Final thoughts

When a generator is needed to supply power, there may not be much time for warm-up. A cold pack (winter pack) is a proven solution for ensuring generators can start without a long warm-up time and stay running dependably at temperatures ranging from 32°F to -50°F (0°C to -46°C). Depending on the situation and condition of the generator itself, this equipment can reduce the incidence of generator failure in cold conditions by 50 percent or more. For more information on industrial generators and sub-zero temperatures, contact South Shore Generator in Wareham, MA.

Source: oilandgasproductnews.com

The Use of Natural Gas Generators, Is Natural Gas or Diesel More Acceptable in MA?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 23, 2017
South Shore Generators - Generac Natural Gas Generators

Generac Industrial Power recently attended the 2017 NFPA conference in Boston, Mass. to discuss the use of natural gas generators in emergency system applications with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) community.

The reliability of natural gas as fuel for emergency generator applications tends to create interesting discussions within the market. As the standard for standby power generation, NFPA 110, has plenty to say about reliability concerns and best practices relative to adequately maintaining on-site diesel. However, it provides little guidance for the acceptance of natural gas reliability. The National Electric Code (NEC) article 700.12(B)(3) states: “Prime movers shall not be solely dependent on a public utility gas system for their fuel supply - except: ‘Where acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, the use of other than on-site fuels shall be permitted where there is a low probability of a simultaneous failure of both the off-site fuel delivery system and power from the outside electrical utility company.’”

So what is reliable enough? According to a 2013 report by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Lincoln Laboratory, natural gas distribution systems operate at a reliability rate exceeding 99.999 percent, with the exception of seismically active areas. Incidentally, that makes the natural gas distribution system approximately one thousand times more reliable than a single-engine generator set, which is typically assumed to be 99 percent reliable. To probe these questions, Generac surveyed 110 attendees at the NFPA show with three questions:

Is natural gas acceptable in your area?

The first asked if natural gas was an acceptable fuel for emergency system applications in their jurisdiction. Sixty-four percent replied yes; another 25 percent was uncertain. This illustrated a very high acceptance rate that mirrors the explosive growth in natural gas generators documented by Frost and Sullivan – 38 percent of the total North American market revenue is now natural gas generators, which is up from 28 percent only three years prior.

Who dictates acceptance? What guidelines exist?

The second question asked who determines if natural gas is an acceptable fuel for emergency systems and whether there are guidelines for accepting or rejecting this continuous fuel source. To this question, the respondents identified AHJ & fire marshal by 36 percent, but 43 perecent were uncertain. None of the respondents provided guidance regarding guidelines for acceptance. This highlights some of the challenges that are created when the code uses subjective language and provides little guidance regarding reliability. To that end, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a guideline regarding the evaluation of natural gas generators for nursing homes. The reliability of a natural gas fuel source can be proven with a letter from the natural gas vendor that contains the following:

  • A statement that the fuel source is reasonably reliable
  • A description supporting the assertion that the source is reasonably reliable
  • A statement of the low likelihood of an interruption
  • A description supporting the assertion that the likelihood of interruption is low
  • A signature from technical personnel

Similar processes, which leverage a letter from the local gas utility, are often utilized by the AHJ community when natural gas reliability is perceived as questionable within the market. Another method for determining reliability may leverage the guidance given for determining electric utility reliability in fire pump applications. NFPA 20 A.9.3.2 defines reliable as not having experienced any shutdowns longer than four continuous hours in the year prior to planning. This standard does not require the utility source to be infallible; it only requires a utility source free from routine outages. Using these criteria, most natural gas systems across the United States should be deemed reliable.

What is your personal perception of natural gas?

The last question focused on each attendee’s personal perception of natural gas reliability. Fifty-five percent of the respondents felt natural gas was favorable to diesel with 38 percent uncertain. This relatively high perception of natural gas reliability is influenced by personal experiences with hurricanes Irene and Sandy, both of which destroyed the long-standing conventional wisdom that diesel fuel delivery was assured even during the most severe emergencies. Both storms caused enough damage to the petroleum supply networks, making refueling requirements a challenge. Hurricane Sandy devastated fuel terminals across the Northeast. Even if a delivery truck was able to get to a terminal, it was unlikely it would be able to obtain fuel. The available fuel and trucks within the region were often redirected by the government to hospitals and targeted emergency response facilities.

It is incorrect to conclude that diesel fuel, simply by its on-site presence, is more reliable than natural gas. A reliable fuel supply is one that is consistently available in sufficient quantity and quality to ensure reliable emergency power. It is necessary to holistically examine external factors influencing the relative reliability of natural gas and diesel.

The Boston NFPA conference allowed Generac a great opportunity to explore these topics directly with a cross section of the AHJ community. These insights help illustrate that natural gas acceptance continues to grow within markets that have an established natural gas infrastructure. In these markets, the resulting awareness and acceptance of natural gas-fueled emergency generators is quite high.

For more information, contact South Shore Generator in Wareham, MA.

Source: generac.com

Diesel Generators are Built for the Most Critical Jobs

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 05, 2017
South Shore Generator - KOLHER Diesel Generators

Think about the most important places in the world: hospitals, airports, data centers, water treatment plants, etc. Those are the places we protect. The ones that absolutely have to have power—no matter what.

And with diesel generators ranging from 10 to 4000 kW, there’s no job too small, no building too big. KOHLER diesel generators are available EPA-certified. And you can customize them any way you like with a variety of accessories.

  • EMISSION-CERTIFIED - EPA-certified, industrialgrade engines meet the latest emissions requirements
  • HIGH-AMBIENT COOLING - Designed to meet extreme operating conditions
  • KOHLER PMG ALTERNATORS - Provide advanced short-circuit capability and meet NEMA MG 1, IEEE and ANSI standards
  • KOHLER DECISION-MAKER® - CONTROLS Available with a variety of controls–basic, advanced and paralleling
  • OPTIONS AND ACCESSORIES - Improved motor-starting alternators, heavy-duty air cleaners, enclosures, fuel tanks, block heaters, multiple circuit breakers and more.

For more information on diesel industrial generators, contact South Shore Generator in Wareham, MA.

source: resources.kohler.com


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