p
pwarren
Nov 08, 2011

How best to deal with lengthy electric power outages?

I'm surprised at the length of time that thousands of businesses and homes have been without power on the east coast. If my company didn't have electricity for a week or more, we would be in serious trouble. I had considered our current UPS (uninterruptable power supply) - an APC Smart UPS - to be an adequate level of protection that would keep our network up and running during short power outages. The catch is that the amount of time provided is in the hours, not days. What can be done when there is an extended period of outage?

becker
11/09/2011

A UPC is a necessity, but as you noted, there is a relatively short period in which it can provide backup power, even if you drop a lot of money into upscaling it.  The answer is to invest in a standby generator with an Automatic Transfer Switch to transition from your normal utility supplied power to the generator when a outage occurs.  A diesel powered generator will provide runtime that extends as long as you keep it fueled.  APC, the same company that makes your UPC also makes generators, so you might want to take a look at what they offer:  http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=285

becker
11/09/2011

A UPC is a necessity, but as you noted, there is a relatively short period in which it can provide backup power, even if you drop a lot of money into upscaling it.  The answer is to invest in a standby generator with an Automatic Transfer Switch to transition from your normal utility supplied power to the generator when a outage occurs.  A diesel powered generator will provide runtime that extends as long as you keep it fueled.  APC, the same company that makes your UPC also makes generators, so you might want to take a look at what they offer:  http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=285

jimlynch
11/08/2011
Well on an individual level a portable generator is a good idea. I am not sure what you could get or use at the company level, but there might be some sort of alternatives like that for lengthy power outages.

It's quite frustrating when a natural disaster happens and you're stuck with no power for a long time. But it's something that we all have to deal with from time to time. So it makes sense to have some sort of backup power supply that can be refueled and kept running while the power companies run around and fix all of the damage done to the power system.

Here's a good table that has information about various backup strategies, you might find it useful as you think about this issue:

http://www.smps.us/backuppower.html
Answer this