Design Demands for Redundant Power

While a number of engineers say that the demand for redundant power systems is continuing to grow, the big question is: What's driving this trend?"Most of the increased desire for redundancy and reliability comes from facilities that have previously experienced problems when main power has been lost," says Mark Gelfo, P.E., a principal with Tilden Lobnitz Cooper in Orlando, Fla..

12/01/2000


While a number of engineers say that the demand for redundant power systems is continuing to grow, the big question is: What's driving this trend?

"Most of the increased desire for redundancy and reliability comes from facilities that have previously experienced problems when main power has been lost," says Mark Gelfo, P.E., a principal with Tilden Lobnitz Cooper in Orlando, Fla..

With his work, Gelfo says he's seeing many hospital owners express interest in integrating heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment with their generator systems, not because it's required by code, but rather to stabilize temperature and humidity in critical areas during extended power outages.

Of course, the increased presence of servers and network rooms in commercial facilities directly affects the need for reliable power, especially as the functions of this equipment become more important, notes Bob Bucci, P.E., a principal with Affiliated Engineers, Madison, Wis.

"We've seen more need to provide uninterruptible power to sensitive electronic equipment and computer systems where even a momentary loss of power can be extremely costly," Gelfo concurs.

With the rapid increase of telecommunications equipment has come a new breed of facility known as a telecommunications hotel or carrier hotel. According to Martin S. Konikoff, P.E., a partner with Robert Derector Associates, New York, this novel type of hotel is "a premises outfitted with high power densities, redundant power systems and gensets. Tenants taking space [in these facilities] typically install their own UPS systems or DC battery systems."

Consequently, telecommunication hotels are also driving the need for more redundant power systems.





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