Monday, December 21, 2015

What’s managing your facility’s emergency/backup power system?

When power management is critical to business operations, the best practice may very well be to use a dedicated critical power management system (CPMS) to monitor, control and analyze their emergency power.

Operating at a very high bandwidth and speed, a CPMS monitors and analyzes the operation and status of the electrical components of the normal power and emergency power systems from multiple points of access. The very high rate of speed is necessary to generate power quality details such as transient harmonic displays or wave form capture. A CPMS can monitor current, normal and emergency voltages and frequency, power and power factor, and can indicate transfer switch position and source availability. Web-enabled communications can provide access to any/all of the information, including automatic alerts, from anywhere in the world.

A CPMS may also have the capability for testing to comply with regulatory reporting requirements. For example, specific reports can help meet various requirements such as the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 70, NFPA 99, and NFPA 110.

The systems often have some functions and alarms integrated into a building management system or data center infrastructure management system. High-end CPMSs feature integrated devices communicating on a dedicated network.

Functions commonly include power controls that ensure power reliability should something happen to the main utility feeds. The power controls may cover emergency generation sets, circuit breakers, transfer switches, bus bar, and paralleling control switchgear, as well as other equipment relating to emergency power.

Sophisticated CPMSs are used in high end data centers and co-location facilities, telecommunications sites, and hospitals and medical centers.

High-end power controls are proprietary or semi-proprietary solutions that run on their own dedicated independent backbone.


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