Perform a pre-crisis risk mitigation audit and identify ways of minimizing vulnerability in the event of a disaster. Your audit should include a plan for the failure of communication systems.

Backup Generation

Traditionally, diesel and natural gas generators have been used to provide long-term backup generation. When combined with energy storage, continuous power can be provided without disrupting even the most sensitive medical and electronic equipment.

It is important to consult local code requirements for emergency power before installing a backup generation system, as well as pollution and greenhouse gas emissions regulations. Generators must be connected properly, because improper connections can result in electrocution or fires.

It is prudent to have sufficient emergency generator fuel on hand to allow at least 48 hours of operation or as required by code.

It is important to work with a power generation firm that can help assess backup power needs to ensure selection of the optimal backup power system. The following companies can help you make a decision about which type of backup power is right for your needs:

The following companies can help you get started with your project:

Consult an Expert

Distributed Generation

Many companies currently offer distributed generation solutions for commercial and residential applications. Solar panels, micro-turbines, wind turbines, and energy storage can all fit on the roof of a building and can provide substantial energy generation.

It is physically and financially feasible to incorporate wind, solar, and fossil energy into your current system.

Various companies manufacture wind turbines that can be placed on the roof of your building and connected to your other building systems.

Many companies manufacture solar panels that will fit on the roofs of most buildings. There are also numerous startups geared solely toward installing solar systems in existing buildings.

Similar to wind turbines, many companies manufacture generators that are powered by fossil energies. The inclusion of these turbines tends to have a meaningful impact on the return on investment period. Diesel and natural gas are relatively cheap, and using them in conjunction with other resources will offer peace-of-mind during power outages.

Energy Storage Systems
Energy storage is the lynchpin that makes your distributed generation systems viable solution in your building power system. Solar panels do nothing for you if the sun isn’t shining when the power goes out. The same is true for wind energy. Accompanying these panels or turbines with an energy storage measure lets you tap that solar and wind energy if the power were to go out.

The rapid response to outages makes energy storage an effective way of combatting loss of power. Generators typically have a startup time associated with their particular model. The addition of an automatic controller can greatly reduce the startup time of a generator, but that time is not negligible. Energy storage typically has little to no lag in the transition between charging and discharging. Use energy storage to supply energy to your building in the intermittent seconds between loss of power and your generators powering up.

Electrical Wiring, Conduit, Cabling, and Components
For cities where much of the power infrastructure is below street level, install submersible transformers and switches. Deploy switchgear specially designed for subsurface application in vaults resistant to flood waters containing contaminants.

Medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, especially for electrical substations, is available in gas-insulated form, which means that all electrical conductors and vacuum interrupters are protected from the environment. This type of containment makes MV switchgear conductors resistant to water contamination.

Damage to cables occurs because the flooding wiring is not designed to withstand submersion in water. The answer is to use robust wet-rated cables indoors in any areas that can be exposed to flood waters. Using wet-rated products in industrial and commercial applications, especially in critical circuits, can reduce the time and cost of restoring operations after flooding. Wiring in basements and other vulnerable areas can be made more flood-resistant by substituting a wet-rated product for the commonly used dry-rated one. This may allow power to be restored to buildings more quickly without extensive wiring replacement.

Surge and Shock Protection
Install premises-wide surge protection to protect sensitive equipment, electronics, and other electrical loads from pulses during power restoration.

Install advanced arc-fault and ground-fault protection to remove power from storm-damaged circuits so that power restoration does not cause fires and electrocutions.

Relocating or Repositioning Electrical Equipment
The National Electric Code® requires risk assessments for mission critical facilities. An important part of the risk assessment is evaluating the positioning of critical equipment. For instance, are backup generators located above ground so that they are safe from water in the event of flooding? Are the pumps supplying fuel to the generators located above ground so that in the event of flooding it is still possible to fuel the generators? A simple and cost-effective solution is to elevate backup generators to higher elevations less prone to flooding. This concept is particularly important when deciding where to place new equipment. Be sure to analyze the new positioning of electrical equipment to account for future maintenance, as well.

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