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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

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


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