ACF Standby Systems Blog

Ana being formed

Ana First Named Storm of 2015

We are a currently less than one month away the from the start of the official hurricane season and the first named storm of the season has arrived. Early May storms are rare and Ana the subtropical storm may not be packing hurricane strength winds, but she comes with a warning. It’s clear, even if we have a relatively calm storm season as predicted we should still need be prepared. All it takes is one storm to affect your business.

The season got an early start and ends in November. As always we at ACF Standby Systems believe that it is not only advisable but necessary to be ready for a hurricane. During and especially after a storm has passed over, there is a chance that you and your business may be left without electricity.

  • A lack of electricity can cause multiple problems. Consider these potential benefits that you can experience in the event that you are left without power after a storm if you are prepared.
  • Increased Revenue- If you provide products or services that people will need after a storm, it will be increasingly difficult to operate without power. Obviously, if you cannot do business you will lose revenues. A working generator can provide you an influx of cash to pay for your own post storm repairs.
  • Social Responsibility- Your customers depend on you in good times and bad. If you are able to do business during a blackout or after a storm you will there for your customers and they will remember that. This will help down the road as it has the ability to create positive sentiment.
  • Decreased Damage to Your Facility- Without power you will be less able to address damage inside your actual facility. This can lead to structural damage and loss of equipment and files. With a working generator you can carry on operations as soon as possible.
  • In order to avoid these and other issues you should take some time to prepare your generator. If you have not done it yet, take the time to follow these tips to stave off unnecessary hurricane damage
  • Make sure that your generator is a deliberate part of your emergency plan. Does it have the capacity to meet your needs. Perhaps you bought the generator several years ago and have purchased more or larger equipment since. Ensure that your generator has the wattage capacity needed to operate your equipment/facility. Be sure to clear your equipment with your local electricity supplier to ensure you meet code. For a new or additional generator we suggest you consider one of these.
  • Properly store your generator. Is a mounted generator in a location that is above potential flood levels or your portable generator stored in area that will not be underwater? If not, relocate it immediately. Also, be sure that your generator is in a location that can accommodate the potential exhaust. This will keep your air breathable while you work after a storm.
  • Check to make sure your generator works. Start the generator to make sure that it will be ready when you need it.
  • Have the generator inspected by a professional. Even if you generator starts you may want to consider service. Carburetor and other common problems can be avoided with timely checkups by certified service technicians.
  • Be fuel ready. Regardless of which type of fuel powers your generator in times of need, have extra on hand. Being prepared will pay dividends when the lights go out. Also, you may need to remove old fuel that has been stagnant in the tank of your generator. Certain types of fuel need to be replaced if left in the generator for an extended period of time.

Your generator may be just one part of your hurricane preparation, but remember how important electricity will be after a storm. Electricity will power televisions and radios that will deliver news, refrigerators that will store food and even air conditioning which may be one of the few creature comforts available directly after a storm. More importantly, it will be impossible to get computer servers and alarm systems back online or to get employees back into a functioning office without electricity.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

Urgent Care Clinic

Power to Keep Patients Safe and Healthy

In Florida urgent and pediatrics care clinics can turn ACF Standby Systems and Generac for their emergency backup needs. All clinics and urgent care facilities need to keep vaccinations on hand for patients, which must be kept at the temperatures recommended by the vaccine manufacturers at all times.

Failure to adhere to recommended specifications for vaccine storage and handling can reduce vaccination’s potency, thus resulting in an inadequate immune response and inadequate protection against vaccine preventable diseases. Even worse, patients who receive vaccinations that have not been handled properly can get extremely ill.

Refrigerators are often required to meet vaccine storage requirements. If an extended power outage occurs, vaccines can be rendered useless, putting patients at risk. In addition, it could cost the clinic thousands in wasted inventory, and could possibly mean the loss of patients, especially if they have to visit another facility to receive their required treatment.

A relevant recent example is the number the vaccine dosses spoiled due Hurricane Sandy in New York City. The doses that were spoiled exceeded 45,000 and worth ~$1.5 million dollars.

With hurricane season approaching it makes sense to equip your clinic with a new reliable Generac commercial generator. A good solution for average size clinics would be 100 kW Quiet Source™ natural gas generator, which would provide backup power for your clinic’s essential circuits. The Quiet Source is part of Generac’s commercial product line, designed to be one of the most affordable backup power systems on the market.

It’s available with advanced controls that enable 24/7/365 monitoring with a smart phone, tablet or PC, and offers quiet operation, so patients in healthcare settings aren’t disrupted should it need to operate. The smart design allows for fuel efficiency and easy installation – even in the tightest spaces.

Generac’s innovations have made natural gas generators more powerful and cost effective for businesses like yours. Natural gas units offer extended runtimes during power outages because there is no need to refuel. These products don’t require onsite fuel storage, which eliminates fuel maintenance and spillage concerns. Special permitting is also not required.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

DOD Symbol

DOD Study Suggests NG Infrastructure Could Be Onsite Storage

Study for Department of Defense Suggests that the US Natural Gas Infrastructure Could be Considered Onsite Storage

Federal, state, and local regulations, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes require backup power systems to have onsite fuel storage for safety and security purposes. Many Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), assume the onsite fuel requirement excludes the use of natural gas as the sole source of fuel for an emergency backup generator, however a 2013 study* commissioned by the Department of Defense and prepared by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, disputes this claim. In fact, the study supports the premise that the country’s natural gas infrastructure could be considered onsite storage, and that it has the capability to last significantly longer than a tank of diesel fuel during an electrical grid failure.

“Initially, the study appears to fly in the face of logic as electricity is needed for natural gas production,” said John Hoeft, Generac Power Systems’ Director of Power Solutions Management. “However, once the natural gas has been extracted from the ground, the system is much less dependent on the electrical grid. Furthermore, the large number of wells combined with historically reliable transmission and distribution systems, makes natural gas a resilient fuel option for backup power.”

Overview of the U.S. Natural Gas Delivery System
There are three main components in the natural gas delivery system:

  • Gathering of gas from multiple small wells
  • Transmission of gas by long-distance pipelines
  • Distribution of gas to local customers

Natural gas is collected from multiple small wells that are powered by two main methods – gas that comes from the well (self power) and electric motors dependent on a local supply. Electric motors tend to be more common in locations that have stringent emissions requirements, such as California and Colorado (Diesel motors are also used, but that is primarily for off-shore production.)

Once the gas is extracted, it is compressed and sent to the processing plant. At the processing plant, water, natural gas liquids, CO2 and other impurities are removed. There are many gas processing plants located throughout the country to serve various regions so no one area of the country is vulnerable (see map).

Source: US Energy Information Administration

Once clean, dry gas is produced, it is compressed and sent to the transmission pipelines. These large transmission lines crisscross the country and meet at 90 intersections called hubs. This interconnectivity significantly reduces the vulnerability of the transmission lines, as others can be used should lines become inoperable (see map).

Source: US Energy Information Administration

For long-distance transmission, the gas needs to be recompressed periodically due to friction losses. The compressor stations are often powered with gas-fired engines or turbines, using the natural gas in the pipeline to self-power the transmission portion of the system. Again, there are some locations with emission restrictions so those compressors are powered by the local electrical utility.

Once the gas reaches its destination, it goes through a gate where it is metered and distributed to customers, or goes into storage for use at a later date. In the distribution phase, compressor stations are typically no longer required. Instead, gas is distributed to the end user through pressure regulators that reduce the pressure of the gas to the expected level for the consumer.

These regulators are operated by many different companies, and are controlled and monitored on the way to the customers. The equipment that is used to monitor the properties and the flow of natural gas relies on microwave communication, satellite links and/or telephone lines, to respond to changes in users’ natural gas needs. Electric power is not needed for operation of the distribution/monitoring equipment. And, should communications fail or be interrupted, natural gas distribution continues at the last recorded setpoint.

This essentially means that the natural gas network has few single points of failure that could lead to a system-wide collapse. There are a large number of wells, storage is relatively widespread, the transmission system can continue to operate at high pressure even with the failure of half of the compressors, and the distribution network can run unattended and without power.

One concern with using natural gas has been the cost of fuel and lack of price stability. However, a review of gas costs from 1998 to 2014, at one of the key natural gas hubs in Louisiana—the Henry Hub, shows the cost of natural gas has stabilized since 2009, due to the large shale deposits currently being drilled within the U.S. In addition, large end-users have the ability to negotiate long-term pricing contracts to help mitigate variation in supply and pricing.

Source: US Energy Information Administration

Study Conclusions
Based on a review of the natural gas infrastructure and using several very conservative assumptions, [link to Study Assumptions below the article] the study found that the natural gas system is robust enough to handle moderate electricity outages occurring between two weeks and three months, with minimal risk of interrupted deliveries. Compare this to a diesel powered generator that will only last about three days during an outage.

It also shows that America’s natural gas infrastructure is strong and should be considered a significant asset when energy security and reliability are factors, Hoeft said. In addition, natural gas production is less carbon-intensive and can be part of the increased resiliency power.

(Article Excerpted from: Generac Power Connect 3/17/2015)

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

*Information for this article was gathered from Technical Report 1173, “Interdependence of the Electricity Generation System and the Natural Gas System and Implications for Energy Security”, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense by Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ACF & Generac Generators at Night

Generac Earns Company of the Year Award

Generac Power Systems Earns Frost & Sullivan’s Company of the Year Award

Generac receives honors for contribution to the North American Natural Gas Generator Set Industry

WAUKESHA, Wis., March 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Generac Power Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of backup power generators and engine-powered tools, is pleased to announce that it has been honored with the 2014 Natural Gas Generator Company of the Year Award from Frost & Sullivan for its contribution to the North American natural gas generator set industry.

Recipients of this prestigious award are selected based on their demonstration of excellence in growth, innovation and leadership. According to Frost & Sullivan chairman David Frigstad, “Businesses that receive the Company of the Year Award have a keen eye to the future and drive innovation that meets future needs before they become commonly visible, thereby often being first to market with new solutions.”

Generac received the award for its continuous performance in identifying untapped needs in the market and its ability to develop product solutions for residential, commercial, industrial and mobile applications that utilize natural gas. The company’s strategic business acquisitions were also noted for extending Generac’s long-term growth opportunities.

“We are honored to accept this award from Frost & Sullivan, which recognizes our current achievements and the path to our future success,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, president and chief executive officer of Generac Power Systems. “I’d also like to thank the employees at Generac for their incredible work ethic. This award is a result of their dedication and commitment to excellence, which has made everything we do possible.”

In the award recognition, Frost & Sullivan highlighted Generac’s natural gas products. Generac’s innovations have made gaseous-fueled generators more powerful and cost effective. Natural gas units offer extended run times during power outages because there is no need to refuel. These products don’t require on-site fuel storage, which eliminates fuel maintenance and spillage concerns. Special permitting also is not required. Along with these benefits, natural gas units have enabled customers to significantly reduce operating costs, saving thousands of dollars each year. Another advancement is the use of these products in the oil and gas industry. Generators can be used to power remote sites by utilizing the existing natural gas source. This helps to reduce flaring, providing faster return on investment for customers.

Frost & Sullivan evaluates two key factors in determining the Company of the Year: visionary innovation and performance, and customer impact. For more information on how award recipients are selected, click here.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, The Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achievement through growth, innovation and leadership. The company’s Growth Partnership Services provide the CEO, as well as the CEO’s Growth Team, with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses, and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth partnership, please visit http://frost.com.

COPS, ACF Standby and Generac

Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) – Part 2

This article is a continuation of the article from the I posted in late January regarding the requirements of Critical Operations and Power Systems (COPS).

Fuel is a major concern when evaluating a facility’s ability to defend in place. Through the grid failure of 2003, the Florida hurricanes and the flooding in New Orleans, it has become apparent that during significant events the generator’s ability to be refueled is significantly impacted. In certain situations, owners can’t just call for another tank of fuel or expect it to be available upon demand. It may be days or even weeks before a diesel fuel truck can reach your destination. NEC 708.22(C) requires COPS to have a minimum operating time of 72 hours with the DCOA at full load. In addition to this requirement, NEC 708.20(F)(1) mandates that fuel for the generator may not be solely supplied by the public gas utility.

On first evaluation, many system designers will approach these fuel requirements by configuring the system with a diesel generator and utilizing main storage tanks to assure a minimum of 72 hours of run time. Is this the best approach? Will this mitigate the failure risks as required by NEC 708.4(C)?  Is this enough fuel or is this too much fuel? There are a number of competing issues that are in conflict. Too little fuel and the generator will run out prior to refueling; too much fuel and the fuel goes bad.

The NEC does not directly reference any other NFPA standard but it does use fine print notes (FPN) to reference key related codes. NFPA 110 is a repeated FPN reference within Article 708 and will probably be adopted by statute for COPS. NFPA 110 has numerous requirements related to fuel: the system design shall provide for a supply of clean fuel (7.9.1.2); the fuel must be consumed in its storage life or provisions shall be made to replace stale fuel with clean fuel (7.9.1.3); an annual fuel quality test is required (8.3.8); sulfur, naturally occurring gums, waxes, soluble metallic soaps, water, dirt and temperature all begin to degrade fuel as it is handled and stored (A.7.9.1.2).

To understand why NFPA 110 makes so many references to fuel condition, understand that the typical standby generator doesn’t run much. If the tank is sized for 72 hours of full load operation, it could easily take 22 years to get one fuel turn on the tank (assumes 60% typical load level, weekly no load exercising and an average of 4 hours of outage per year). So what is the storage life of diesel fuel? Exxon’s web site responds to this question: “If you keep it clean, cool and dry, diesel fuel can be stored 6 months to 1 year without significant quality degradation. Storage for longer periods can be accomplished through the use of periodic filtrations and addition of fuel stabilizers and biocides.”

So where does this lead us? At a minimum, the fuel tank will need an aggressive maintenance program that may require the fuel to be replaced.  However, if the generator shares fuel with other diesel devices (boilers, etc.); the fuel will be turned more often.
Another option may be to use the generator to support a significant optional standby load with a modest runtime requirement. The optional standby load could be shed after a minimum run period under normal outage situations or immediately shed during a significant event. This would maximize the fuel available during more significant outages.

For areas with sufficient and reliable natural gas infrastructures, innovations in the standby generator market also make bi-fuel (diesel and natural gas) configurations a very good fit for this application. Bi-fuel units typically run with 75% of the engine’s power coming from natural gas, thus extending the duration of the engine’s on-site diesel fuel by a factor of four.  This technology also has the ability to operate on 100% diesel, meeting Article 708’s requirement for not being solely supplied by the public gas utility.

Finally, for smaller applications dual fuel (LP and natural gas) may present another highly reliable option.

Generator location is also a consideration when designing high reliability systems.  Article 708 requires that the generator meet physical security and restricted access requirements. The generator location must also provide protection from natural and human-caused events.
These requirements may lead some system designers to initially show a preference for locating the generator indoors. Though indoor locations have some advantages, they also have some often overlooked disadvantages. Indoor locations:

  • have increased supporting system requirements: airflow, exhaust, thermal considerations, and fuel transfer.
  • present greater challenges in controlling fire risks. The building is a fire risk to the generator and the generator is a fire risk to the building.

When paralleled generators are utilized, outdoor generators provide inherent fire isolation between units. Outdoor units, located in separate locked enclosures, also tend to be impacted less from inadvertent human interactions – breakers left open, fuel lines closed, controls not in automatic, control parameters over adjustment, etc.

One potential solution that combines some of the benefits of indoor and outdoor configurations is outdoor units located inside a secure, walled-in area.

Article 708 takes a holistic approach to critical power system reliability and, as such, challenges system designers to consider all risks that can impact system operation. This is a significant departure from the traditional NEC regimented rule based approach. Reasonable people will choose to disagree on relative risk levels and thus system design preferences.  Whatever the form of the final design, system reliability will be improved simply by challenging ourselves to work through these tough questions.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

(Article Excerpted from: Generac Power Connect 1/20/2015)

Generac Expands Industrial Product Portfolio

Generac Expands Industrial Product Portfolio

Generac Power Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of backup power generators and other engine-powered tools, announced today that it has revamped its large kW product line with three new power generators, and a new integrated paralleling control. Additionally, two existing models received system upgrades, improving performance, functionality, and competitiveness.

Generac added the 750 kW, 900 kW, and 1500 kW diesel generators to its industrial product line, creating a complete offering from 750 kW to 2 MW. They can be used as either a standalone SD series generator or as an MD series generator in Generac’s innovative, marketing-leading paralleling Modular Power System (MPS) with outputs up to 100 MW of power. All of the generator systems are available in an open set configuration, or with weather protected, Level 1, or Level 2 sound attenuated enclosures.

All industrial generators up to 2 MW are manufactured in Generac’s Wisconsin facilities, offering engineers and contractors a fully integrated solution from a single source of accountability.

“Generac continuously invests significant resources into research, innovation and product development, which is why we can offer this breadth of line that meets even the most strict customer requirements,” said Russ Minick, Generac Power Systems’ Executive Vice President of North American Sales. “Generac has effectively doubled its industrial product range, and we’re excited at how fast we have expanded our industrial product offering, thereby becoming a true full-line solution provider. If you need a large, industrial generator, go big with Generac.”

The generators are designed to give engineers and contractors the option to choose from a wide range of Generac alternators with optional temperature rises for improved motor starting in stringent application needs. Both 40°C and 50°C ambient cooling systems are offered with an enhanced option to meet various ambient temperature application requirements, while optional critical- and-hospital-grade exhaust silencers enhance sound attenuation. The robust Mitsubishi Heavy Industries engines offer market-leading altitude derates as well.

Other features include:

  • Full range of multiple unit-mounted circuit breakers up to 3000A
  • Listed to UL2200 from factory
  • NFPA 110 compliant
  • UL142 listed fuel tanks for 12 and 24 hour runtimes to meet various code requirements

For information on the units engine displacement and power ratings, click here.

Generac’s new, highly-reliable PowerManager System Control (PM-SCi) is ideal for project managers looking for a more cost-efficient and space saving MPS solution for paralleling multiple large generators. The advanced integrated (on-board) paralleling and load management capabilities allows for the management of up to 31 paralleled generators, and can control multiple, separate transfer switches. There are six default levels for priority loads and three default levels for load shedding during system failure. The control’s flexibility enables users to add both priority load and load shed levels in boolean logic. The built-in Modbus® technology allows for remote monitoring.

Other key features include:

  • Touch-screen display
  • Diagnostics capabilities through InteliMonitor® software
  • Data logging and trending capabilities
  • Programmable exerciser
  • Backup mode

Generac’s industrial generators and the PowerManager System Control (PM-SCi) are now available for purchase.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

(Article Excerpted from: Generac Power Connect 02/06/2015)

Critical Operations Power Systems

Understanding the Requirements of Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS)

As a result of 9-11, Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, the Department of Homeland Security determined new requirements were needed to protect electrical systems at vital infrastructure facilities that could impact national security, the economy, and public health and safety. Article 708, Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS), was added to the NEC based on the need for standards that could strengthen homeland security. Since the requirements of Article 708 are quite detailed, we are dividing this article into two segments.

Historically, the NEC has been focused on the installation of electrical equipment with an emphasis on fire safety. Article 708 significantly extends that scope to include operations, monitoring, control, and maintenance of the on-site power system for “Designated Critical Operation Areas” (DCOA). Article 708 was directed by the NEC’s Technical Correlating Committee Task Group on Emergency and Standby Power Systems for Homeland Security and created by Code-Making Panel 20.

With its traditional focus on fire safety, the NEC’s existing emergency system requirements (Article 700) are primarily concerned with evacuation. Article 708 is about maintaining operations through disastrous events, or defending in place, and it creates a new load category, COPS, legally required standby and optional standby. This allows municipal, state, and federal agencies as well facility engineering documentation to mandate COPS compliance as deemed appropriate. While police stations, emergency responders and-fianl key government operations will typically fall under this designation it could be extended to wastewater treatment operations, healthcare facilities and other businesses deemed to be critical to the public health and safety by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

A significant element in developing COPS is risk assessments (NEC 708.4): In critical operations power systems, risk assessment shall be performed to identify hazards, the likelihood of their occurrence, and the vulnerability of the electrical system to those hazards. These hazards are to include natural and human-caused events. Once the risk evaluation has been performed, Article 708 requires an action plan to mitigate hazards that are not already mitigated by the minimum requirements of the code.

This is the point where the discussion becomes interesting. What are real risks and what is hype? What are the most common failure modes of back-up power systems? Though Article 708 was conceived in a post 9-11 environment filled with fear about terrorist attacks, how do intentional human-caused failures statistically compare with other potential failure modes for on-site back-up generators? Those more typical risks would include generator failure, bad diesel fuel, running out of fuel, human error, inadequate cooling, fire risks, wind, flooding, etc. Separating and prioritizing real, everyday sorts of risks from hype will be the practical challenge facing facility managers and systems designers in implementing a COPS.

Timothy Croushore, a P.E. from Allegheny Power and member of Code-Making Panel 20 said, “If the risks of a particular catastrophic event are realistic or probable at some level, then protection from that risk should be considered and implemented. However, if the risk of a particular event is very low, then protection from that risk needs to be considered appropriately.” (Source: NEC Digest, February 2007.)

An on-site back-up generator is a complex mechanical and electrical system. The reliability of this equipment is strongly affected by system design, installation, and preventive maintenance. Article 708 recognizes this by requiring a commissioning plan, baseline testing, and witness testing by the AHJ at start-up and periodically afterward. It also requires that the system have a documented preventive maintenance program, written records of testing, and means for testing all critical power systems “during” maximum anticipated load conditions (NEC 708.6(E)). The use of the word “during” seems to imply that the generators may need to be tested with the defined DCOA as the load versus a load bank. The testing practice of transferring critical operations onto a generator during peak usage is something that most facility managers typically avoid.

Though a single back-up generator can be well designed, properly installed, maintained and tested, as a complex system it still has hundreds of possible single point failures. Article 708 does not directly require parallel generation but does require single generator configurations to include a means for connecting a portable generator and requires that portable to “be available for use” whenever the generator is out of service for maintenance or repairs.

The AHJ will need to determine if “available for use” means connected to the power system. Given the focus on reliable power and the failure risk presented by a single generator configuration, the facility managers and system designers will have to convince the AHJ that this risk is adequately mitigated per the requirements of NEC 708.4(C). The case for using paralleled generation in the COPS design is further strengthened by current market innovations. Various manufacturers offer integrated generator paralleling solutions that are cost effective and feasible in smaller kW configurations—even as small as 100 kW.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

(Article Excerpted from: Generac Power Connect 10/31/2014)

Generac's Truck Visited ACF

GENERAC INDUSTRIAL POWER TRUCK CAME TO FLORIDA

Jan 5th – Jan 9th

The Generac Industrial Power Truck came to Florida on behalf of ACF Standby Systems.  The purpose of the visit was allow several engineering firms and IEEE Members in our territory to view a live demonstration of Generac’s Modular Power System.   The most advance fully integrated generator paralleling system on the market.

Some of the firms that participated included APG Company (Tampa), Sims Wilkerson Engineering (Tampa), OCI Associates Engineering (Orlando), and ERS Engineering (Jacksonville).

The truck was designed to travel the country and provide live demonstration and educational seminars for engineers, project managers and contractors that work and design standby power projects. When Generac offered to bring the truck and trailer through our territory we jumped at the chance.  What better way show Engineering firms and end-users the latest technology available for their project.

The trailer is 53 feet and large enough to hold demonstrations and showcases several new Generac products.  In the rear of the trailer are two new diesel generators that fully demonstrated the MPS technology.  A large full size cutout of a Bi-Fuel System is also displayed inside the trailer.  In the front of the trailer is a classroom with a large screen that demonstrated the Power Design Pro Software.

We at ACF Standby Systems are proud that we had the opportunity to demonstrate Generac’s Modular Power System to the above firms and engineers.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

ACF Standby Systems Generac Generator

Generac Relaunches 800 kW to 2 MW Generators

Generac is relaunching its new single-engine generators from 800 kW to 2 MW, and multi-megawatt integrated onboard paralleling systems. The units are ideal for industrial applications, such as data centers, hospitals, wastewater treatment facilities, manufacturing facilities, and entertainment complexes. Our large diesel generator power nodes currently include:

At the heart of our packaged Industrial Diesel Liquid Cooled generator set is a fuel efficient, emissions certified Mitsubishi diesel engine and a brushless alternator with a permanent magnet generator excitation system. The base generator set is fitted with a primary fuel filter and electrical gear along with features that can include battery charger, engine coolant heater, oil level monitoring, and other options. A large integral fuel tank is added along with internal mount exhaust silencer and heavy duty air cleaners.

The generators are available in open configuration or fitted into a Level 1 or Level 2 sound attenuated enclosure, which is designed and manufactured by Generac, and UL2200 certified before being shipped to a final destination. In addition to standard weather and sound attenuated enclosures, Generac offers special enclosures including:

The 800 kW to 2 MW generators operate with the Generac InteliGen NT controller, which offers expandable I/O modules and custom logic capabilities – similar to a PLC – for flexible operation. InteliGen NT also supports integrated on-generator paralleling or switchgear integration in low and medium voltage applications.

With the country’s growing need for more power, Generac saw an opportunity to expand its product offering with large, single-engine generator units and multi-megawatt paralleled systems with integrated on-board, as well as traditional switchgear paralleling. The addition of the 800 kW to 2 MW generators allows electrical contractors, engineers and end-users to select a standby power solution that is best suited for their industrial application.

  • In situations where space is an issue or with large motor loads when you only want to bring on one generator to take the load, a single large Generac kW genset will meet those needs.
  • For mission critical systems which demand no single point of failure; we provide N+1 and 2N+1 type systems were the topology provides the highest reliability and redundancy available.
  • For large projects from 3 MW to 20 MW, you can parallel fewer units to provide the needed MWs, and still reap the added benefits of redundancy and reliability.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today!  866-308-7133.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com

Generac Generator

ACF Standby Systems’ Generac Bi-Fuel Solutions

Let’s face it, there are several good reasons to equip your business with a bi-fuel generator solution for emergency backup power.

Bi-fuel generators capitalize on reliability. They share the benefits of both diesel and natural gas fuel while minimizing each of their drawbacks. It is true that the initial bi-fuel generator investment is typically 15% to 30% higher, but this cost is offset because the less expensive natural gas is the predominant fuel.

Since natural gas is the predominant fuel in a bi-fuel generator, running times are extended and on-site fuel storage requirements (along with storage maintenance costs) is decreased.

A More Reliable Solution

Because on-site fuel remains part of the system, reliability is improved. Should the natural gas supply fail for whatever reason, the generator can run on 100% diesel.

Enjoy Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Because natural gas costs less than diesel, fuel costs are significantly reduced over the long term. And since less on-site diesel fuel is required for long running times, installation, operational and maintenance costs are reduced.

Risk Mitigation via Fuel Redundancy

Despite the perceived reliability of on-site diesel fuel, power outages can damage infrastructure and make diesel refueling difficult or impossible. Generac Bi-Fuel generators mitigate refueling issues by operating primarily on utility-supplied natural gas. That means less on-site diesel fuel is required and running times will be greatly extended compared to diesel-only solutions. And because the natural gas infrastructure tends not to be affected by the same conditions that lead to power outages, fuel reliability is improved.

Scalability as Part of a Modular Power System

Generac Bi-Fuel generators can be configured as part of a Modular Power System (MPS)—connected via integrated paralleling with other Generac generators. This makes the system scalable, meaning there is no need to install more power than you need.

Code Compliance

Generac Bi-Fuel generators meet the on-site fuel requirements for emergency systems as referenced in NEC700 and NFPA 110. Less on-site diesel fuel means easier permitting. And indoor fuel installations with capacity limits per NFPA or local codes become a viable option.

Reduced Exhaust Emissions

Bi-fuel generators are cleaner and more environmentally friendly than diesel-only generators. They emit about 30% less nitrogen oxides and 50% less particulate matter than comparable diesel-only units.

Fully Integrated Solution

Generac’s Bi-Fuel generators are fully integrated solutions, not after-market conversions in the field. That means every component is specifically designed, engineered, and factory validated to work together. Generac Bi-Fuel generators have the added benefit of being EPA compliant from the factory—the only bi-fuel systems on the market that can make such a claim.

For detailed product specifications, key performance characteristics and installation drawings, please contact your central and northern Florida Generac Industrial Distributor, ACF Standby Systems.  ACF Standby Systems supplies reliable standby and trailer mounted generator systems to maximize our customer’s up-time and profitability through a total solutions approach and solid customer relationships.

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Melbourne. Parts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of generator systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today!  866-308-7133.

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology, is with ACF Standby Systems with offices throughout Florida. For more information visit www.acfstandbysystems.com