> FOCUS BY DARLENE BREMER
Life Go EMERGENCY POWER RELIABILITY
IN THIS POWER-HUNGRY WORLD, people find it unacceptable to lose their connection to
electricity. A backup generator can supply peace of mind, bringing home- or business-owners the
emergency power they need. Fuel sources vary—diesel, biodiesel, gas or a biodiesel blend—while
some can even be installed with photovoltaic (PV) or wind systems. The global generator industry is
an $18 billion market; in North America, that figure is about $3 billion for nonresidential applications.
In the home, emergency power protects homeowners and
their belongings and keeps life uninterrupted.
“It varies from region to region and depends on the size of
the home and the homeowner’s needs, but, in general, residential emergency power protects the home’s HVAC [heating,
ventilation and air conditioning] and other critical items, such
as refrigeration and lighting,” said Rama Menon, marketing
manager for the residential and light commercial segment of
Cummins Power Generation Inc., Minneapolis.
Some residential generators also support even more critical
needs, such as medical equipment. Less critical, but nonetheless important to many homeowners, generators ensure the
continued operation of communication and entertainment
systems and garage doors.
“Residential emergency power enables homeowners to stay in
their homes and protects them from events such as freezing pipes
in cold climates,” said Melanie Tydrich, senior channel manager,
residential/light commercial for Kohler Co., Kohler, Wis.
In commercial or industrial applications—including man-
ufacturing plants, office buildings, grocery and convenience
stores, and medical offices—emergency power reliability is
essential for protecting companies’ investments in inventory,
equipment, critical processes and data; for the comfort, use
and safety of their employees and customers; and for ensuring
continued operations or service to the community.
“If nothing else, backup power enables the orderly and safe
shutdown of sensitive computers, servers and other sophisticated,
critical equipment,” said Rich Thompson, director of product
marketing for Generac Power Systems Inc., Waukesha, Wis.
Backup power additionally enables enterprises to continue
to operate cash registers, gas pumps, security systems, first
responder systems, refrigeration and elevators.
However, the most important asset in today’s world that
requires the protection offered by backup emergency power
might not even be physical. Rather, it’s data.
“Every company has a data center, whether it’s a large facility
that processes a great deal of information from different sources,
or a single server,” said John Steele, inside sales manager for Mit-subishi Electric Power Products Inc., Warrendale, Pa. “It’s the
flow of that information that reliable emergency power protects.”
42 ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | MAY. 15 | WWW.ECMAG.COM