Reliability considerations in simple paralleling applications


Service and support

One of the first questions that should be considered when choosing a supplier of a paralleling system is how the system will be supported in the future. Properly supporting all the system’s equipment requires a diverse skill set. Working with a supplier that has a proven track record of designing, installing, and maintaining complete paralleling systems is the best way to ensure reliable operation over the life of the system. Questions to ask include: 

  • Have the service technicians been trained and certified by the manufacturer on all components of the paralleling system? Claims that an engine dealer technician can service a paralleling system should be viewed with skepticism.
  • Have the service technicians been certified with the make and model of engines being used in the application? Suppliers that use engines from different manufacturers may require different service organizations to support systems within the same geographical region.
  • Does the service organization offer comprehensive maintenance programs for the entire system?
  • Does the service organization have a demonstrated history of supporting paralleling systems in many different types of applications?
  • What is the availability of replacement parts? Power transfer devices will often need to be replaced after faults. Replacing a proprietary contactor rather than a paralleling circuit breaker can result in a system being down for a significant period of time. Replacing a proprietary component with a standard one may not be acceptable if the new device isn’t listed for use with the existing overcurrent protection.
  • If a control needs to be replaced, is custom programming required for the replacement control and who is authorized to do the programming? What is the time frame for replacing the control? 

Anonymous , 05/08/13 10:25 AM:

Excellent Article.
VISH , CA, United States, 05/08/13 12:53 PM:

Some of the increased cost of the parallel system can be off-set by Peak Load shaving technique. Illustration of Pros and cons of the system will greatly help the engineers to make the right decision.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
HVAC and building envelope: Efficient, effective systems; Designing fire sprinkler systems; Wireless controls in buildings; 2015 Product of the Year winners
2015 MEP Giants: MEP Giants annual report; Mergers and acquisitions; NFPA 2001; Fiber-optic cables; LED specifications
Hospital IAQ: Indoor air quality in health care facilities; NFPA 72; Water use and conservation; Net-zero buildings
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Implementing microgrids: Controlling campus power generation; Understanding cogeneration systems; Evaluating UPS system efficiency; Driving data center PUE, efficiency
Optimizing genset sizing; How the Internet of Things affects the data center; Increasing transformer efficiency; Standby vs. emergency power in mission critical facilities
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.