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Bright Spark – What you need in place… if it all goes wrong

with Carl Johnson - Electrical Technician

Let’s face it, we live in a country that has an enviably reliable power supply – certainly by comparison with many developing countries. However, that doesn’t mean that from time to time an office, factory or other organisation won’t find itself unexpectedly without power.

This might be down to to an act of nature, as we witnessed over the winter with widespread flooding, or due to a break down in the system or disruption from an external source – such as accidental damage being caused by external work carried out in the area.

Whatever the case, it’s vital that companies have a back-up system – and you’ll be pleased to hear that we can help.

Why do you need a back-up system?

Imagine the power goes down unexpectedly in your building. Can you guarantee the safety of your staff? Can you afford any break in production if you are a manufacturer or in services if you run an office?

Regular planned maintenance can reduce the likelihood of power outages but they can never be completely stamped out. While our rapid response team are on hand to handle emergency call outs, it’s a good idea to have a plan that comes into play the moment you find yourself without power.

What sort of back-up systems are recommended?

Standby generators

These can be set to offer immediate emergency back up for electrical systems and are usually fuelled by diesel. Because they are kept in permanent standby mode, they will operate automatically as soon as there is an outage. They are particularly critical in hospitals and for operating elevators, and useful to prevent downtime in manufacturing.

However, installing a standby generator will not provide complete protection from an outage. This is because the diesel engine needs to reach full speed when called into action, which can sometime take 10 to 15 seconds

Uninterruptable power supplies

Unlike a generator a UPS will provide almost instant protection from a power outage. The on-battery runtime of most uninterruptible power sources is relatively short (only a few minutes) but sufficient to start a generator or properly shut down the protected equipment.

Emergency lighting

This will allow your staff to exit a building in case of emergency – a top priority for any organisation. AES installs emergency lighting systems with a battery back-up device, which will automatically come on if your premises experience a power cut.

Among the products we offer are:

  • Illuminated fire exit signs
  • Emergency bulkheads
  • Recessed luminaires
  • Integral emergency lighting within the main, functional lighting

Once your back-up system is in place

Remember, there’s no point in putting a back-up system in place and then forgetting about it. It’s important to make sure that staff members are familiar with procedures in the case of a power outage. And back-up generators will also need regular maintenance to check they will work when needed by providing the required electricity generation until your main system is up and running again.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like further advice on planned maintenance, emergency generators or other back-up systems.

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