Five Important Standby Power Tips Before Hurricane Season
Cristobal Storm Track June 4, 2020 credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce
For the first time since 2016, two tropical storms have reached US soil prior to June 1st. NOAA is warning that this could be a sign of a potentially severe hurricane season.
The fact that the world is still in the midst of a global pandemic (and its associated lead time delays), makes it more important than ever that essential businesses are prepared for temporary or prolonged loss of power, and right now is the time to prepare for what could be a severe weather season.
If your business is in need of an emergency standby power system, here are 5 important tips to consider before this hurricane season.
1. Plan Ahead
When preparing for backup power, timing is a critical. Due to the unpredictable nature of hurricanes, there can often be little to no warning that your facility will be without power for a sustained period of time. Allowing for proper planning and timing to get a backup power system in place is essential for any business, and something we highly recommend.
When these emergencies happen, it’s typically too late to start looking for backup power equipment. Roads can be damaged or un-passable, making it impossible to get equipment to your location, and rental supply is usually unavailable by the time a storm hits. Additionally, any available power equipment can be commandeered by the government. For these reasons, we recommend planning in advance for a permanent emergency backup power solution.
2. Know Your Budget, CAPEX vs. OPEX
Understanding the costs associated with renting or purchasing a generator should be one of the first decisions in any backup power conversation. Know your budget and how your company works. Sometimes it's better to rent equipment, which can be expensed as an operating expense (OPEX), while other times there may be room in the budget for capital expenses (CAPEX), and it may make more sense to purchase a generator outright. For additional information on the affordability of backup generators please read our article on the Paradigm Shift – The Affordability of Backup Power Generators
3. Capacity is Key
Prior to purchasing a backup power system, it is crucial to make sure that it has been properly sized and configured to handle your facility’s electrical load. Quite simply, a generator that is not properly sized can fail, leaving you without emergency backup power. A generator that is sized too big for the application may not run hot enough, leading to fuel issues such as wet stacking, and a generator that is sized too small will not be able to handle the electrical load. Either of these situations can result in generator failure.
Capacity is usually determined by the total amps and voltage of the electrical loads, but can also vary based on the type of equipment or type of electrical motors being powered. Whether it is a temporary or a permanent installation, it is important to consult with a qualified electrical engineer to ensure that your back up power system is correctly sized.
Your physical location is an important consideration. Emissions and sound requirements can vary greatly from one location to another. In order to get a backup power system properly permitted and installed, local and state regulations need to be checked and the generator needs to be configured to meet the required specifications.
Additionally, businesses should consider the specific location at the business where the generator will be installed. It is important to allow for the proper space to accommodate connections, access, and sound attenuation. The distance from the building where the generator is installed can also greatly affect installation costs and should be minimized where possible.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider ahead of this coming hurricane season is your choice of a power solutions provider. Choose a company that can work with you on your budget requirements and provide a comprehensive reliable backup power solution. Your power solutions provider should guide you through the process and explain your options from start to finish, building understanding, trust, and ultimately, a reliable backup power solution that is always there when you need it.
At Global Power Supply, we're experts at helping businesses find their best possible backup power solutions. Since 2004, we have helped our customers maintain power continuity through many natural disasters, hurricane seasons and countless other power outages. Whether it's a state-of-the-art data center or a small farm in the country, we have a solution for you. We specialize in high-quality used, surplus, as well as new equipment to meet the needs of any business. Additionally, we offer a full turnkey service option, in which we take care of all aspects of the project from design, permits, installation, startup and maintenance.
Contact our experienced sales team with any questions, quote requests, or expert advice you may need.