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Backup power

Basic Safety Tips For Used Industrial Generators

By | Backup power, Critical Power Products & Services, Generators

Used industrial generators often find new life as standby generators. This is no surprise since diesel generators are some of the longest-lasting engines on the market. But just because they’ve lasted this long doesn’t mean they are automatically safe. There are several safety precautions you’ll need to take to keep your generator operating properly for years to come.

5 Basic Safety Tips For Used Industrial Generators

Safety measures involve installation, operation, and maintenance. The 5 tips below hit on each of these three aspects of generator safety.

  1. Start with an electrician. Before you even buy a used industrial generator, you should have an electrician determine your power needs to make sure you’re getting the right-sized generator.

 

  1. Don’t forget the basics. Just because this is a big piece of machinery doesn’t mean it requires complex safety practices. Avoid loose clothing and jewelry. Make sure everything is turned off before you start working on it. No smoking around the generator. Tie long hair back or wear a cap. Wear gloves and safety goggles. Keep a first aid kit handy and always work with a partner.

 

  1. Make time for inspections. You inspected the generator before you bought it, now keep it up. Inspect it again before it is installed and then set a regular inspection schedule to check for loose and missing parts, dents, dings, and other damage and to check fluids and change filters.

 

  1. Site it properly. Used industrial generators should to be placed outdoors. Ideally, they will be set inside a protective enclosure and on a concrete pad. Outside placement eliminates the risk of dangerous fumes being inhaled while the enclosure and pads help reduce the effects generator noise can have on our hearing. 

 

  1. Follow the manual. Used industrial generators should come with a manufacturers manual. Use this manual to determine the recommended maintenance, repair, and installation requirements. Not only will this keep the generator in peak operating condition, it will help protect you with warranty (if applicable) and insurance protection if something goes wrong.

Shop Used Industrial Generators At Critical Power

Search for your next used industrial generator at Critical Power. We carry all brands, makes, and models to meet your power demands!

Visit www.criticalpower.com to see what’s in stock right now. Don’t see what you’re looking for?

As Renewables Flood the Grid, Opportunity Knocks For Building Management

By | Backup power, Critical Power Products & Services, Green

As Renewables Flood the Grid, Opportunity Knocks For Building Management

When we talk about adding renewable energy to the U.S. power supply, there is often a lot of talk about getting that power from the supply source (the solar farm or wind turbines, etc.) to the local power grid. There is less talk of what happens once that power hits the grid and how buildings may be able to adapt to the influx of power from renewable sources.

Can site managers capitalize on renewable energy inputs to optimize energy consumption?

Capitalizing On Peak and Off-Peak Demand and Availability

Building technologies are changing at a fast pace. The rise of smart systems has made it possible for site managers to control buildings from afar, but what if such systems could be taken further and tweaked to optimize a site’s energy resources?

It’s not a new concept, but what is new is how building managers are using those technologies in response to changes in the power grid, specifically, power that comes from renewable sources. The biggest change comes in the way we think about buildings. Instead of managing demand to fulfill the load requirements of buildings and still conserve energy, building managers are now starting to think about how they can adapt to grids with high amounts of renewable energy or even sites that have on-site renewable power sources.

Renewable energy often operates in spurts, with different days or times of day generating more power than others. As opposed to peak shaving, some sites are planning their peak operating times around these times of peak renewables generation. The idea is that by utilizing renewable power when it is at peak production, sites will realize cost savings.

It’s similar to the concept of running your most power-heavy equipment at off-peak times to benefit from off-peak rates. The trick is figuring out when renewable energy will peak and aligning your demand around those times.

Pricing Plans Are Key

Pinpointing when and how to run peak loads at times of high renewable inputs requires understanding a site’s energy data and consumption patterns as well as knowing when different energy sources are available and shifting site operations appropriately.

There are three pieces of information that can help you gauge when it’s a good time to capitalize on renewable inputs:

Forecast load for buildings.

Weather forecasts.

Time of day pricing estimates.

Time of day pricing is critical to this form of energy management to work. Without it, there are no peak and off-peak pricing differences; you’ll pay the same rate no matter what time of day it is and regardless of how strong the sun is shining down at the solar farm.

 

It’s possible that as the U.S. energy grid adapts to add more renewables, energy providers will adapt their pricing structures as well to include more time of day pricing options. When that happens, there will be incredible potential for site managers to benefit from systems that automatically adjust a building’s energy consumption, and boost overall efficiency.

3 Things You Don’t Know About The Uninterruptible Power Supply

By | Backup power

If your company rents, owns or has a collocated data center, you have probably heard the term “UPS” before. No, we’re not talking about the package delivery company. We’re talking about an uninterruptible power supply, one of the most essential elements of any data center. The name uninterruptible power supply is not deceiving, it allows you to supply uninterruptible power to your data center at all times. This is imperative in power outages or crises. But here are some things you may not know about the elusive UPS.

1. Your UPS Supports A Wider Variety Of Devices Than You Think

You may be wondering what devices a UPS supports. There are so many! Here are some of the most fundamental data center equipment and devices that your uninterruptible power supply supports:

  • PCs
  • Mainframes
  • Servers
  • Data Centers
  • VoIP
  • PBX
  • Phone System
  • ATM
  • ABM
  • A wide range of Telecom Equipment
  • Cash Registers
  • Debit Machines
  • Other Point Of Sale Equipment

Because many hospital devices are essentially computers, these devices are also supported by UPSs. Some of them literally save peoples’ lives.

  • Heart Lung Machines
  • Dialysis Machines
  • IV Pumps
  • Ventilators
  • A wide range of Lifesaving and life support machines

People who need constant life support and care rely on uninterruptible power supplies to keep their devices working, regardless of any infrastructure crises.

2. Your UPS Goes By Several Aliases

Your UPS can be referred to by many different names. Here are some of the most common names for a UPS.

  • Uninterruptible Power Source
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply
  • UPS Backup
  • Battery Backup
  • Power Backup

So, if you hear salespeople or tech employees use any of these terms, you know they’re referring to an uninterruptible power supply.

3. Its Inventor Is A Mystery And Its First Official Name Was A Failure

No one person can lay claim to inventing the first UPS, however a man names John Hanley was first to patent one. He called that device an “Apparatus for maintaining an unfailing and uninterrupted supply of electrical energy.” This proved to be too long and cumbersome to say. It was later shortened to “uninterruptible power supply,” then shortened even further to “UPS.” These are much easier to say (and much shorter)!

There Are Many More Things You Still Don’t Know About UPSs

But, rest assured, Critical Power Products and Services knows uninterruptible power supplies. Their team can offer useful information about this essential data center and business tool. Contact us to find out more about how an uninterruptible power supply can help your business.

Reduce Storm Stress! Rent A Standby Generator This Winter

By | Backup power, Emergency Preparedness, Generators

Winter is on its way! And we may all be looking forward to the New Year or the holidays, but businesses have an added stress during this time of year that’s enough to dampen any holiday spirit. Winter brings cheer, but it also brings stressful, damaging winter storm power outages. Storm stress is real and if your business is unprepared for the winter, it just compounds that stress. You can help to eliminate storm stress by preparing for winter storms in the fall, before a disaster happens. One of the best ways to prepare is to have a standby generator on hand. Depending on your need and the size of your business, a long-term rental agreement may be the best option.

Why Rent A Generator Long-Term?

A long-term standby generator rental can help your business reduce downtime. A generator that is in standby mode can deliver power to your business when power infrastructure is down due to winter storms. Depending on the severity of the storm, emergency crews might not even be able to reach your business, let alone help repair and restore power. A standby generator offers emergency power that will keep your business afloat and connected to your cloud or data center. This way, you lose little or no time while your community thaws out and repair crews are sent in.

Calculating Your Storm Window And Gaging Your Fuel Use

Determine your community’s “storm window” by averaging the number of winter storms in the last 3 years and averaging how spread out they are throughout the winter months. Ask your standby generator retailer how much fuel your generator will need for a day, week, or month. Depending on your storm window, keep a supply of fuel to last you through your estimated period, plus at least two extra weeks. This will help you to gage how much fuel you’ll need, and it will give you a buffer if repair crews take longer to repair power lines and other infrastructures.

Critical Power Offers Standby Diesel Generators And Something Even More Important

Critical Power Products and Services offers standby diesel generators and something even more important, peace of mind. Contact us to find out how we can help your business reduce stress and keep the power on this winter.

The Importance Of Generator Enclosures And Other Necessities This Winter

By | Backup power, Generators

Your generator is designed to take care of you during winter storm outages, but you need to do your part to take care of it, too. Generator enclosures literally provide shelter from the storm, and enclosures cut down on the overall wear and tear of your generator. Other necessities, like cooling towers and chillers, can help keep your generator working smoothly all winter long.

What Your Generator Needs To Run Smoothly This Winter:

Soundproofing

This isn’t a must-have, but with all of the ice and snow, your generator may seem noisier. A soundproof generator enclosure can help to eliminate some of the noise associated with generators.

Cooling Towers And Chillers

I know what you’re thinking, isn’t it cool and chilly enough in the winter? Actually, we want to keep a generator cool, but we don’t want it to freeze. Chillers and cooling towers are actually warmer than the temperature outside, so they keep generators cool, but not frozen.

Louvres

Your enclosure may include louvers, dampers or shutters. They offer ambient airflow through the generator engine’s radiator. This helps to naturally eliminate overheating or overcooling.

Louvers can be activated by the generator’s thermostat or coolant levels. Like the classic louver design, they are designed to let air in, but keep snow out.

Snow Hoods

Snow hoods are features on generator enclosures that help to prevent snow from accumulating near the generator itself. Some manufacturers offer snow hood kits, but some come as part of an enclosure package. If you purchase a kit, you may have to relocate the generator’s exhaust, so it’s better to purchase a generator enclosure that includes a snow hood.

Other Precautions To Take50 kW Blue Star Diesel Generator

You may want to consider other precautions when preparing your generator for winter weather. You may want to consider winter fuel additives, to keep your fuel flowing freely. You should also make sure your generator was serviced before the winter begins.

Generator Enclosures Don’t Just Shield Your Generators

Your generator is the one tool that can keep your business afloat this winter. So, by shielding your generator, you’re also shielding your business. Critical Power Products and Services can help find the right generator enclosure and accessories for your area and needs. Contact us for more information on how you can protect your generator and your assets this winter.

Emergency Generator Rentals Can Save The Life Of Your Business

By | Backup power, Generators

Emergency generator rentals can quite literally be lifesavers in case of a natural disaster or other emergency situations. Chances are, your company already has a generator, but they aren’t always enough to prevent or sustain your business during an emergency. Whether you’re preventing a catastrophe or you’re experiencing an actual disaster, an emergency generator rental can save your business. Here are some of the ways and situations where emergency generator rentals can save the life of your business.

Some Situations Are Unpreventable Emergencies

  • Blackouts Or Brown Outs

When regional power outages last more than a few days, you may need extra support. Again, even if you already have a backup generator, you may need more power to keep your business afloat while your community works hard to restore power to your area.

  • Natural Disasters:

It’s hard to predict a natural disaster, however with our advances in meteorology and understanding the nature and timing of hurricane and tornado season, you can certainly plan ahead. Emergency generator rentals can help, sometimes literally, keeping your company afloat until the storm passes.

Some Situations Require You To Prevent Internal Catastrophes

  • Building And Electrical Maintenance Projects

If your building is having their crucial electrical system elements replaced, like circuit breakers, switchgear or voltage regulators, you may need an emergency generator rental. If your building is up for routine servicing or light retrofitting, you may also need to rent a generator, because there is a chance you may need backup if the power has to be cut off. Even if you have a generator, you may need more power than your backup generator can supply.

  • Construction Work

When there is construction work being done to your facility or building, you may temporarily need to offer a higher load than your facility allows. So renting an emergency generator can temporarily raise that load, so that the necessary work can be done.

  • Special Events

If you’re hosting a special event, like a conference, a guest speaker or a trade show, you may need additional lighting, technology and other equipment that may strain your electrical load. The last thing you want to have happen is the power to fail during the event. An emergency generator rental can ensure that you always have power, so your event will run smoothly.

Critical Power Is There To Help In Case Of Emergency

Whether it’s hedging your bets by adding more power during construction or an event or keeping the power on while the storm is raging outside, Critical Power Products and Services is there to help your business through it all. We even offer emergency help for those in need of generator rentals after a natural disaster or event. Reach out to us to find out more information on how we can help you keep the lights on and so much more.

Data Centers 101: An Introduction To The Uninterruptible Power Supply

By | Backup power, Critical Power Products & Services, Uninterrupted Power supply

If your company has a computer system or a data center, meet your new best friend, the uninterruptible power supply. An uninterruptible power supply, what’s that? It is only one of the most essential components of your data center. Also called UPS, it provides essential power during blackouts, brownouts and any weather-related or accident related power outage. An uninterruptible power supply does exactly what the name suggests, offers uninterrupted power to the devices it’s attached to. So, no matter the circumstance, your essential devices will always be running.

What’s In A Name?

The uninterruptible power supply goes by a few different names, which mean essentially the same thing. Common terms that are interchangeable with the term uninterruptible power supply are:

  • Battery Backup
  • Power Backup
  • UPS Backup
  • Uninterruptible Power Source
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply

Most people in the data center and computer industries use the abbreviated version of Uninterruptible Power Supply and just say UPS. They don’t say it like the word “up”, they spell out each letter, like this: “you-pea-ess”.  So when you hear your computer tech or data center tech person say “U-P-S” you’ll know what they’re referring to.

What Do UPS’s Support?

UPS’s support much of the essential equipment that keeps your business alive. Here are some of the many devices your UPS can support:

  • Computers
  • ATM
  • ABM
  • Servers
  • Data Centers
  • VoIP
  • PBX
  • Phone System
  • Other Telecom Equipment
  • Heart Lung Machines
  • Dialysis Machines
  • Other Lifesaving Medical Equipment
  • Cash Registers
  • Debit Machines
  • Other Point Of Sale Equipment

A UPS Keeps The Heart Of Your Business Beating

These are just a few of the many examples of what a UPS can support. Essentially your UPS supports any equipment that cannot lose power, whether it’s sustaining a person’s life, sustaining the security of your computer, or keeping essential lines of communication open. And, UPS’s are everywhere, in hospitals, in supermarkets, in retail businesses, banks, data centers and so much more. If you haven’t noticed them before, you’re sure to notice them now. Imagine them as a pacemaker for essential electronics, when power fails, they kick in to keep the heart of health centers, businesses alive.

Learn More About How Critical A UPS Is Critical To Your Business

Critical Power Products and Services offers a wide variety of UPS’s and equipment to keep your business up and running in any situation. Contact us to find out more about how an uninterruptible power supply can be a literal lifesaver for your business.

Why Do Diesel Generators Need Batteries?

By | Backup power

Anyone who is new to diesel generators might scratch their head when they first see one and wonder, “Why does an electrical generator need a battery?” But the answer is very simple: to provide the generator with enough start-up power to turn on during a facility-wide power outage. Then, once it’s up and running, the generator will create its’ own electrical power to provide electricity to connected systems and components.

In addition to start-up power, generator systems may draw on battery power to provide:

  • Digital Control Panel operation.
  • DC current for small motors or devices that require DC current.
  • Redundant battery power for the primary battery or genset.

Battery Failures Are The Most Common Reason For Generator Failure

Generator batteries are the standard lead acid battery – either conventional or maintenance-free. The size of the battery depends on the size of the generator and what components the battery needs to power and sizing is important to proper operation.

Batteries are so important to generator operation that the battery is often the first thing a service technician will check when a generator fails. Because of this, maintaining your generator battery is an essential part of generator operation. Maintenance may vary depending on whether the battery is conventional or maintenance-free, but in general, maintenance consists of:

  • Ensuring a trickle charge is available to the battery at all times.
  • Testing of the generator battery at regular intervals.
  • Performing a load test as recommended by the manufacturer.

With proper maintenance, a good quality battery can last 3-5 years, depending on use.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Generator Battery

Generator batteries are arguably the most critical, but underrated, subsystem in a diesel genset. Without a battery, or a bank of batteries in the case of parallel gensets, your backup power source may not even turn on, much less provide the electricity you need at critical times. Choose the right battery by:

  • Ensuring the battery is suitable for the application. Consider ambient air temperatures, generator power demands, and manufacturer recommendations.
  • Comparing the currently installed battery against the manufacturer specs. Installed batteries that exceed manufacturer specifications are acceptable.
  • Considering the battery manufacturer’s stated lifespan of the battery, the cost vs. performance of the battery, and the warranty.
  • Availability of the battery in your area.

Need Advice On Generator Batteries? Contact Critical Power Products & Services

If you are not sure what type of size of generator battery you need, contact Critical Power Products & Services for advice. We carry all of the major diesel generator brands and can help you choose the best battery for your generator.

Contact us at 877-943-1017 or send us a question online.

5 Winter Prep Tips For Backup Generators

By | Backup power

Winter is on its’ way – if it hasn’t already made an appearance by you. Blizzards, ice storms, and high winds can all cause power lines to go down and backup generators to kick in. When that happens, you need to know that your generator is going to work as expected, which means putting in some prep work ahead of time.

5 Winter Prep Tips To Ensure Proper Backup Generator Operation

Cold weather can cause sluggish batteries, thicker oil, and slow-moving parts – all of which can cause engine strain. We hope you follow the manufacturers recommended cold weather procedures and perform basic maintenance year-round, but we especially recommend taking these precautions before the cold hits. Take some time in the late fall to change the oil and filter, check the spark plugs, fluid levels, and batteries.

That said, here are a few more things you can to do help ensure your backup generator works when you need it to.

  1. Schedule More Tests. Test your generator in winter conditions to see how it operates and if there are any start-up problems. You might want to run more tests in winter to keep the parts lubricated and identify any areas of concern. Be sure to test any digital controls once the temps hit single digits; subzero temperatures have been known to wreck havoc on digital control panels, preventing them from even turning on.
  2. Check the Block Heater. Once temperatures dip make sure your engine block heater is plugged in and functioning. Without this important piece of equipment keeping the engine and liquids even slightly warm, the machine may not start at all.
  3. Check the Battery Charger. Dead batteries are a leading cause of generator service calls. Make sure your battery charger is plugged in and connected to prevent batteries from losing too much power due to cold temperatures.
  4. Keep an Eye on the Fuel. It’s a good idea to treat the fuel in the tank with anti-gel and anti-microbial additives to help ensure it’s usable when the time comes. Check with your diesel fuel provider to see if they have already added this to the fuel you receive, they may have.
  5. Don’t Skip the Visual Inspections. A visual inspection should be part of general generator maintenance and you should keep that up in winter. Make sure the area around the generator is clear of debris. Look for leaks, staining, and puddles, which can indicate a broken component. Check the exhaust and ventilation for blockages.

Winter prep can help ensure that your generator starts without having to wait through a lengthy warm up period and can reduce the chances of the generator failing in cold weather conditions.

If your generator has seen better days and you aren’t sure any amount of winter prep work is going to ensure its operation this winter, contact Critical Power Products & Services. We have a constantly changing inventory of used and surplus generators available at deep discounts off MSRP.

Visit www.criticalpower.com to view our inventory or call 877-699-1296 to discuss your needs.

Common Reasons Why Generators Fail

By | Backup power, Generators

We buy backup generators to provide power when we need it most, i.e. when it’s not available through the power grid. The last thing you want to discover at a time like this is that your generator isn’t working properly. Regular maintenance can help prevent problems, but even when a generator is properly maintained problems can arise. Here are some of the most common reasons why generators fail.

4 Reasons Why Generators Fail

  1. Dead Battery. A generator is an engine and it does have a battery, just like your car. In fact, a dead battery is the #1 most common reason why generators fail. You can help avoid a dead battery situation by making sure you install the proper size battery, replacing the battery every 2-3 years, and testing it during every maintenance check.
  1. The Fuel Gauge is Incorrect. A fuel gauge that reads incorrectly can lead to problems if you don’t know when fuel levels are getting too low. Most gensets have built-in alarms that will warn you when fuel is running low, but if you don’t have such a system, make sure your gauge is working correctly to ensure an adequate fuel supply at all times.
  1. You Have a Leak. Oil, fuel, or coolant leaks prevent a generator from starting or can cause it to conk out mid-cycle. Again, regular inspections should uncover any issues, but sometimes, backup generators register leaks even when they don’t have a leak. This is because they aren’t run frequently enough leading to a build-up of carbon, unburned fuel, oil, condensed water, and acids that can choke the system.
  1. There’s Air in the Fuel System. Air in fuel injectors can cause start-up problems. Too much air can prevent combustion and the engine doesn’t start. Sometimes excess air is caused by leaks in the line or build-up in the system. You can clear the air from the system by starting up the generator every week and letting it run for a few minutes.

Critical Power Products & Services Can Help With Your Generator Problems

If your generator isn’t performing like it should, contact Critical Power Products & Services. We can help troubleshoot common problems, set you up with a replacement generator, and install fuel polishing systems to keep your fuel and lines clean. 

Call 1-877-832-7120 or visit www.criticalpower.com for more information.