When the next power outage or blackout hits, would your commercial facility be equipped to handle it?

There’s a good chance that the answer is “no”.

Certain types of power failures like those that occur with national grids can and will occur every now and again, and there is no way to know when that will be. And while many commercial and industrial facilities have acquired emergency power systems capable of handling these shorter outages, these same systems may not quite be capable of supplying power during more long-term or extended outages or blackouts; leading to total shutdowns of establishments.

Storms Will Keep On Stormin’...

According to a research report by Climate Central, data shows that there has been a tenfold increase in major (affecting over 50,000 customer homes or businesses) power outages between the mid-1980s and the year 2012 - and since 2003, the average number of yearly weather-related outages doubled.

Outages not pertaining to weather also increased during that time period, however weather was responsible for 80 percent of all outages spanning 2003-2012.

City Power Outage

IT World Canada reports that in Ontario, the year 2017 saw virtually nine times as many power outages as Ottawa did. Most power failures are a result of unforeseen disturbances on power lines/wires due to severe weather conditions that even the most efficient power supply or load capacities can’t handle. There are technical difficulties and control errors, even fallen trees that can create more problems than ever anticipated.

That said, it’s more important now than ever before to ensure that your building or facility will be prepared for the next big blackout – that of which can’t be predicted.

In the case of a brief power outage, most facilities are equipped to deal with the problem and its mild consequences. However, in the case of a city or province-wide power outage lasting a week or more, diesel and natural gas generators are a very common and dependable solution for backup energy.

Diesel vs. Natural Gas Generators

Diesel units are typically the most effective method of backup power generation (not to mention, the quickest to start up as well as take load). However, it’s important to note that a diesel engine might be difficult and more costly to install in smaller commercial settings, as there may not be sufficient storage available to support the system (including a stock of backup fuel on-site). The generator needs to be located to a nearby tank. Diesel engines also do require more particular cleaning maintenance that will also bring up costs.

Natural gas generators, on the other hand, do not require tanks as they have a line directly connected to them.They are the less expensive fuel of the two, but cost of fuel may not be such a critical factor when you’re considering a system for backup power needs – compared to a primary, ongoing power source. There are certain industries that will benefit most from natural gas generators, which can provide around three full months at 8 hrs/day of constant power, or may even run for six full months at 8 hrs/day hours provided it features overhead valves and an oil filter. (ECmag.com).

There’s Power In Preparation

Because it’s impossible to predict when the next power failure will occur, preparation is more important than anything in order to keep your establishment safe and running.

Whether you’re operating a manufacturing plant, a processing facility, a government institution, a commercial building or you name it, you should be well-equipped to deal with a power failure of any kind BEFORE it happens. Because the fact of the matter remains: it can (and will) happen to anyone.