In a span of less than 24 hours last October, residents of metro New York City were rudely reminded of how very close they live to the water — maybe, it now seems, a little too close for comfort. Among the many victims in the water’s path were emergency back-up power systems in a range of environments — from health-care facilities and data centers to office buildings and residential structures. In the worst cases, some systems were swamped, rendering gen-sets useless or too unpredictable to rely on in a critical hour of need. In others, they were temporarily disabled, leading to mere inconvenience.
According to EC&M's February issue, regardless of the venue, the inability of some systems to answer the call — and the problems that followed — has sounded some alarm bells in the industry. New concerns are sprouting that perhaps fundamental assumptions used to design and install back-up power in some applications and locations may be fundamentally flawed.
The EC&M article looks at the venues that were affected, the questions raised after the event, and future designs...