By Peter Stoykov & Danny Kaddoch / Published June 2022
With hurricane season right around the corner, there are some things to consider that will give you peace of mind that your power system is ready for anything that may come up. Below are the main items to review with your maintenance staff or preferred electrical contractor.
You want to make sure all the emergency lights/exit signs are in good working order in case of a power outage. All these lights have test buttons on them, and you should ensure your maintenance staff has tested all of them in case you lose power and people have to exit the premises.
If you have a generator, then you should already be set. For maintenance reasons, please make sure that your generator runs weekly (this should already be on a weekly schedule). Reach out to your generator maintenance company to test the generator quarterly, and ensure that you have a load bank test completed once a year. This test is recommended to see whether the generator is performing under load. When not maintained properly, the generator may fail to power the emergency system.
If you do not have a generator but want to make sure one is available for hurricane season, you can reserve one at your local equipment rental location. You can even have it placed/parked at the building the entire season, immediately ready for hookup. You can also have your EC (electrical contractor) evaluate the building to see the size and best place to park the generator for quick terminations.
UPS Systems are also a great source of backup power, and these are typically installed for data centers and security systems (cameras, door access, and gate access). Although it is not a permanent way to get backup power, it can usually get you through the hardships of building evacuation and power-down of a building. You will want to make sure your security system has backup power in any event.
If you currently do not have surge protection on your house panels, this is something you would want to get in order rather quickly.
When utility power goes out/comes back/fluctuates, you may run the risk of potentially burning out key equipment.
Items like elevator and rooftop unit VFDs (variable frequency drives) are susceptible to failure when power fluctuates. This equipment will fail during a power surge. You will then have to place an emergency service call with lead times on replacement parts. Having surge protection is the best course of action to avoid running into these issues, as these are the most common failures that are very expensive but easily avoidable.
The age of equipment and its type will determine the best surge protection required for your property.
Senior Account Manager, Hypower Service Group
I have been in the electrical trade for 26 years. I specialize in design builds and service in the electrical industry.
I have been with Hypower since 2016 and have completed jobs in thousands of buildings across Florida and can attest that disaster preparedness is a very significant but often overlooked plan that becomes very, very expensive when ill prepared.
I often give monthly presentations on EV chargers, backup power, and site lighting for many property managers, condominum boards, and independent owners monthly.
Accreditations as follows:
- Licensed Master Electrician
- Electrical Engineering Technician
- Electrical Construction and Project Management
For more information on Hypower Electrical Services Group, call (888) 978-9300 or visit www.hypowerinc.com.