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Backup power

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.

Industries Most Adversely Affected By Power Loss

By | Backup power

If you think some industries fare worse than others when the power’s out, you’re right. While any business can suffer during a power outage, some can weather the storm, so to speak, better than others. For some businesses a loss of power is annoying, but for others it can be incredibly damaging – for both the business and their customers.

Here are 5 industries that are most adversely affected by power outages.

5 Industries Where Power Loss Is Disastrous

  1. Financial. When you consider how many of our financial transactions occur online or electronically, it’s not hard to see just how damaging a loss of power can be to banks, financial institutions, and even our personal finances. For companies that handle stock market transactions, any loss of power that affects the ability to trade, even for a short period of time, can spell havoc.
  1. Data Centers. Data centers are the backbone of many industries. Power loss at these locations can cripple businesses even when the actual business is conducted hundreds of miles away. Not only can a loss of power prevent organizations from going about their normal operations, downtime can cause losses that are unrecoverable and may even lead to a loss of data and information that will require a heavy investment in recovery efforts, if recovery is possible at all.
  1. Perishables. Beyond grocery stores, warehouses, and food suppliers, perishables can include pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. These industries all rely on an uninterrupted supply of power to store and preserve their products, many of which are highly temperature-sensitive. Power losses can result in millions of dollars of loss if products must be thrown out due to damage, spoiling, or contamination.
  1. Healthcare and Medical. People’s lives are literally dependent on properly running electrical equipment in hospitals and nursing homes. Even short disruptions can cause loss of life or serious damage to patient health and welfare. Natural gas and diesel generators are common sights at hospitals and medical facilities, ready to power on in seconds to minimize disruption of power.
  1. Government and Military. It may be off the radar of the general public, but our government and military institutions need power to function effectively. Perhaps the times that they need power the most are when it’s out due to a natural disaster or manmade emergency. Equipment, communications, defense systems and weapons all depend on reliable power. Without it, civil society can quickly fall into unrest.

These are just 5 examples of industries that are most heavily affected by power outages. One thing they all have in common is that their business outputs have a strong impact on the average citizens’ lives. When any one of these industries suffers a power loss, people feel it.

What Impact Do Solar Eclipses Have On Solar Power?

By | Backup power, Green

On August 21, 2017, much of the U.S. will be able to see a total or near-total solar eclipse. While the phenomenon has been met with excitement by many, it also raises the question of how solar eclipses impact solar power generation. This is a situation we haven’t really faced before, since the widespread use of solar power and total eclipses have rarely overlapped.

Hitting right in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest and strongest point in the sky, covering much of the continental U.S., and expected to last over two hours in some locations, the eclipse will definitely have an impact on solar farms. Fortunately, we knew this day was coming and grid operators seem to be prepared.

Planning And Preparation Is Key To Dependable Solar Power

1,900 utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants are in the path of the eclipse. California alone is expecting a 6,000 megawatt power shortage due tothe eclipse – the equivalent to losing the power demand of Los Angeles from 9 a.m. until noon. North Carolina is also expected to see a big dip in power since the state will experience a near 90% sun obscurity.

U.S. power companies watched the 2015 European eclipse carefully to see what impact, if any, the eclipse had on the much-more heavily solar dependent countries like Germany. In that instance, Germany saw a dip from 21.7 GW to 6.2 GW during the duration of the eclipse but was still able to provide the power needed by the German people. A good reason for that came down to planning and preparation – and that same approach has been adopted in the U.S.

Part of the reason why the eclipse isn’t expected to affect the power grid is because the U.S. grid remains diverse. The solar power that we will miss out on due to the eclipse will be replaced with power from wind turbines, hydropower, and natural gas plants. It’s possible that consumers may still be asked to conserve electricityduring the eclipse, but the hope is that by ramping up power from other sources, the power availability won’t suffer and consumers won’t have to change their daily habits.

It will be interesting to see how the eclipse affect solar power generation across the country and how the power companies respond. If nothing else, it will be a good study on the impact solar power is having on our electrical supply and the backup plans that are in place to preserve continuity of power.

As for August 21, we don’t know about you, but we’ll be too busy watching the eclipse to be worried about power loss.