Standby Power Solutions – Why and When?

Standby Power Solutions are required when the utility mains supply is unreliable or where the load is critical and has to be supported without any failure, however short. Whereas the UPS Power Solution is required to provide an uninterrupted supply for a finite time, the Standby Power Solution operates in conjunction with the UPS Power Solution to ensure that a supply is continuously and seamlessly available irrespective of the utility mains supply.

Standby Power Solutions in their basic form will consist of a single generator, usually a diesel generator and a manual changeover switch. In the event of a utility mains failure the generator can be started manually, and by the action of the changeover switch its output can be applied to the load while isolating any feedback from the utility mains supply connection.

More complex forms of Standby Power Solutions will consist of the UPS Power Solution together with the provision of a generator installation that is controlled by a fully automatic mains failure panel. The automatic mains failure panel will sense the loss of the utility mains supply, start the generator and automatically connect the output of the generator to the load. Typically, as a stand-alone system the generator is capable of supplying the load for 8 – 10 hours using its internal fuel tank. Additional fuel storage and transfer pumping systems are required to provide longer periods of support.

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Standby Power Solutions will not just support the essential load, servers and associated networks, but also the complete infrastructure to ensure the smooth operation of the load. This larger load will normally consist of the air conditioning modules and lighting. Without the air conditioning being available the server room will very quickly fail due to overheating. Overheating of the comms room is a common point of failure.

More sophisticated Standby Power Solutions can also consist of a mobile suite of equipment including both UPS Power Solutions: UPS N+1 and Generators N+1.

Standby Power Solutions can also be as simple as a stand-alone generator, in the case where a building is in an isolated location and constant availability of power is essential, such as for a nursing home. Uninterruptible power is not required, but a standby source of power is essential to supply heat and light for the duration of the outage. By virtue of a rural setting these locations can often experience lengthy power cuts that can only be covered by diesel generators.

In conclusion, Standby Power Solutions are required where there is a necessity to support a critical or essential load where a total and prolonged power failure, such as those experienced in the case of storm damage where it may take several days to restore the utility mains supply, is totally unacceptable to the operational status of the business or would put lives at risk.

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