Generator based power backup system

14925 pts.
Tags:
Backup
Power generation equipment
UPS
The remnants of Ike ripped though Ohio Last night, leaving some in my area with out power, possibly for days. We were able to coble together a generator system to allow our network to function well enough so that our shipping facility, located in another town NOT affected by the “power event” could VPN in and get product out the door. I'm looking for information based on experience with any systems that combine Battery/generator for long term power outages. I can Google and search, but what are the systems that deliver and those that don't that you have seen and used? The power needs would be well met by a system with a 5000 watt capacity. Some kind of e-mail/phone message system would be nice.

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

You really want to get a power specialist involved here, as the solution you need is composed of at least three components: the internal (interior) UPS, a PDU (Power Distribution Unit) and the generator itself.

I have used solutions from Leibert for the latter two items, which were tied into a massive diesel generator system owned, maintained and controlled by our facilities management department. The generated power fed the Leibert PDU, which fed the datacenter UPS racks. Leibert (now Emerson Network Power) has solutions for a variety of sizes and loads.

I was, at the time, located in Orlando, FL and we survived several near and direct hits from several hurricanes (Ivan was the biggest we dealt with) and were still able to maintain local/LAN access, WAN access and our Internet presence.

APC also has complete solutions available, but I emphasize the need to get a specialist in power disaster recovery involved.

Discuss This Question: 8  Replies

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
  • Dave mc
    It sound like you need a back up power and UPS system that is larger than just the racks. If this is the case the APC solutions are very limited although they do have bypass systems they in my view do not provide full coverage from all harmonics ( I have history) The other systems that are well known in the USA are Emerson, Chloride. But once you get over 100kva you should also consider a few very higher quality system both from Pillar (German) Thycon (Australian) and the Socomec systems (but they have been going though change lately.) With the UPS you need to be very selective as some of the big names (not discussed above) are rubbish so you need to do a lot of due diligence. The reason I discussed the Pillar & Thycon they are the only units as discussed above that do not need to be de-rated for positive power factor. Others use over sizing to cope and both have the longest reliability factors in the five 9’s, and both provide support for system in excess of 20 years. As far as the generator all the USA, UK and German ones are very good and can be combined witht eh UPS you select. The engineering and total capacities need to be carefully considered and engineered by someone who has experience with critical sites. As a last point with the need to reduce our carbon foot print you should consider the additional cost of co-generation especially if you have natural gas supply.
    470 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Dave mc
    Sorry I meant to add that APC have produced different models since my experience. (couldn’t change the original submission) Sorry APC when I read the comments They appears a bit harsh and I would certainly use APC UPS system Large & small and do in the right situation
    470 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Flame
    The suggestion to contact a "Power Specialist", as well as the idea of a CNG fired generator (which I was told requires less maintenance than a diesel fueled unit) has gotten me pointed in the right direction. Thanks to all for the advice!
    14,925 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Dave mc
    Flame You need to be very careful on where you get your advise and why thy are telling you their point of view. I am a fully qualified marine engineer & fitting & turning trades person who has overhauled many many diesel & gas engines (GAS meaning CNG, LPG, NG - Not petrol/benzine) and is considered a specialist in power generation systems and are not selling any systems or solutions into the USA. In my opinion the advantages of using CNG is not the life of the engine. it is the lower cost (depending on the costs for CNG compared to distillate) and the lower carbon emmisions. The issue of how long the engine lasts is really relevant to the engine design, quality of material and manufacture, servicing and correct maintenance resume, If you fuel is clean and the engine is maintained correctly the the engine will be just as clean no matter which fuel you use. Remember 99% of CNG engines are converted Diesel engines. CNG is a cleaner burning fuel but is also a lot hotter fuel and can shorten the life of the valves and heads and have more components than a diesel engine as it need spark plugs etc. and thus requires more maintenance in some areas. I am a great believer in gas engines and often recommend them but you need to understand the limitations. One of the major limitations is the response time to load change which is a lot slower than a Diesel (ignition compression engine). Also as natural gas engines are often harder to start we often combine both diesel and gas engines which also gives you N+1 or 2N on your fuel supply requirements. I guess all I'm saying is research well including which consultant you use.
    470 pointsBadges:
    report
  • FacilityGuru
    In response to "Flame": During Hurricane IKE, in Texas, the local natural gas lines were shut down in some areas and unless you have a large underground tank (that lasts for 7 days or so) I would out-weigh the diesel version of the downtime vs the costs of a Natural gas system. If we didn't have diesel, we wouldnt be up right now. Fuel can be delivered, gas lines take time to repair. Facility Guru Austin. TX
    95 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Denny Cherry
    I don't know much about power system designs. However I do know that when I was shopping for a colo everyone used diesel. The reason for this was the same as what was mentioned above. Gas lines take time to repair (just like the power lines) where diesel can be delivered as long as the roads are open. Unless you are storing a large amount of fuel on site you are still dependent on the grid, just a different grid.
    66,185 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Flame
    I’ve gotten lots of useful info from all who responded, and I really appreciate that. I've collected what I have found so far, including the advice offered here. It has become more of a building maintenance and management decision than one for our IT dept. as far as the exact type of power backup, but the information gained here has helped a lot. Again thank you to all for your input. -Flame
    14,925 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Flame
    [...] –> Dave mc [...]
    0 pointsBadges:
    report

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.

Following