- Is there a Price Premium for PPT’s Emergency Response service?
- PPT advocates consolidating our generator service across the entire Southeast with them. Isn’t it risky and ill-advised to “put all of our eggs in one basket”?
- What is Load Banking, why is it necessary, and how frequently should it be performed?
- I understand that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued a requirement that all Cellular Carriers have a minimum of 8 Hours of Emergency Power at all cell sites. What can you tell me about this new requirement?
- I own Service Stations in Florida. What requirements for generators and transfer switches were established by the Florida State Legislature in 2006 and/or 2007?
- I own and manage Condos and Apartments in Florida. What requirements for generators and transfer switches were established by the Florida State Legislature in 2006 and/or 2007?
Not at all. Our experience and data show that, by selecting PPT as their service company across a broad geography, our customers experience significant cost savings – as much as 20% - 25%! PPT is the only generator service company that enables corporations to leverage their centralized buying power in negotiating unified rates based on volume and density of generators across the South and Southeast. As the density of assets increase, inefficient windshield time is significantly reduced, enabling lower pricing.
Additionally, “Best-Practice” management literature is rife with data documenting the internal cost savings achieved by companies through vendor consolidation.
What our Customers all have in common is that they have increased the reliability of their emergency generators while reducing their annual maintenance and repair costs by relying on the One Call - One Company solution offered by Power Pro-Tech Services.
PPT advocates that we consolidate our generator service across the entire Southeast with them. Isn’t it risky and ill-advised to “put all of our eggs in one basket”?
We certainly understand the wisdom of having back-up suppliers. Our own decision of whether we sole source a service or product depends on (i) the strength and proven capabilities of the potential sole source supplier, and (ii) the ease of switching to alternative suppliers. When we ship parts to our numerous warehouses, we typically use one very well-known carrier exclusively. They have been an excellent value – highly reliable and well-priced. However, our comfort in sole sourcing is aided by the fact that the market for shipping/transportation is highly competitive market. It is enough for us to know that there are other companies to which we could turn in the event that our sole source vendor should ever let us down. The same analogy applies to our selection of telecom, accounting, and legal services as well as computer hardware and vehicles.
Highly competitive markets with low switching costs, like that for generator services, are particularly well-suited for vendor consolidation and sole sourcing as a way to save time and money.
Load Banking refers to the process of running a generator under a full load for an extended period of time - typically, two to four hours. The purpose of this process is to raise the operating temperature of a generator so as to burn off carbon build-up that is known as Wet Stacking. Wet-Stacking is a common problem with diesel engines which are operated for extended periods with light or no loads applied. When a diesel engine operates without sufficient load it will not operate at its optimum temperature. This will allow unburned fuel to accumulate in the exhaust system, which can foul the fuel injectors, engine valves and exhaust system, including turbochargers, and reduce the operating performance. More importantly, wet stacking can create a significant fire hazard.
Providing additional load from the building load may not be practical with critical computer, life safety or communication equipment. Any interruption of power to these loads may cause a loss of data, operations or jeopardize personal safety. In order for a diesel engine to operate at peak efficiency it must be able to provide fuel and air in the proper ratio and at a high enough engine temperature for the engine to completely burn all of the fuel. The proper load can be achieved by adding additional building load or by providing supplemental load through the use of a resistive load bank. These can be small portable load banks designed to be rolled up to the generator under test or they may be larger trailer mounted load banks for generator sets in the 1-3 MW range.
A generator needs to run under full load for several hours to get the engine and exhaust system back in shape. When the exhaust stack smoke is nearly invisible, the system is cleaned of the excess oil, fuel, and hydro carbons build up.
Note how the smoke clears over time in the course of the below 3-hour Load Bank.
Because of the risk of fire, load banking should be performed whenever there is reasonable suspicion of wet stacking.
I understand that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) issued a requirement that all Cellular Carriers have a minimum of 8 Hours of Emergency Power at all cell sites.
In January 2006, The FCC established an independent panel pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, to review the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the telecommunications and media infrastructure.
On June 12, 2006, the Independent Panel submitted its Report to the Commission. On June 19, 2006, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address and implement the recommendations presented by the Independent Panel.
On May 31, 2007, the Federal Communications Commission created and adopted new Part 12 of Chapter I of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), which reads as follows:
§ 12.2 Backup Power. Local exchange carriers (LECs), including incumbent LECS (ILECs) and competitive LECs (CLECs), and commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers must have an emergency backup power source for all assets that are normally powered from local AC commercial power, including those inside central offices, cell sites, remote switches and digital loop carrier system remote terminals. LECs and CMRS providers should maintain emergency back-up power for a minimum of 24 hours for assets inside central offices and eight hours for cell sites, remote switches and digital loop carrier system remote terminals that are normally powered from local AC commercial power. LECs that meet the definition of a Class B company as set forth in Section 32.11(b)(2) of the Commission’s rules and non-nationwide CMRS providers with no more than 500,000 subscribers are exempt from this rule.
I own Service Stations in Florida. What requirements for generators and transfer switches were established by the Florida State Legislature in 2006 and/or 2007?
During the 2004 and 2005 Hurricane Seasons, retail motor fuel stations in Florida faced a challenge dispensing gasoline to customers due to the lack of electrical power. While there was an ample supply of fuel at most retail outlets, most facilities did not have emergency power generators. To ensure availability of fuel along evacuation routes, in 2006, the Florida Legislature enacted section 526.143, Florida Statutes, requiring that certain retail service stations be wired for a generator to allow for the continuity of operations despite an interruption in electrical service.
The implication for service stations was two-fold:
- • First, Transfer Switches would need to be installed at retail service stations meeting any one of the following criteria:
- Within ½ mile of an Interstate, Turnpike, or State or Federally designated Evacuation Route
- If located in a County with Population of X and facility has Y or more Fueling Positions, as follows:
- Newly constructed or “substantially renovated” since July 1, 2006
X = County Population
Y = # of Fueling Positions
X > 300,000
Y > or = 16
100,000 < X < 300,000
Y > or = 12
X < 100,000
Y > or = 8
- • Second, service stations owners would be required to own or lease Portable Generators according to the following County by County
Test - One Generator for each 10 facilities (plus 1 if the number of facilities exceeds 10, 20, 30, etc, by 6 or more). For example, a service station owner with 36 facilities in Orange County would be required to have 4 Portable Generators. The minimum size of the generators would be that which would be “capable of operating all fuel pumps, dispensing equipment, life safety systems, registers, and payment-acceptance equipment”.
I own and manage Condos and Apartments in Florida. What requirements for generators and transfer switches were established by the Florida State Legislature in 2006 and/or 2007?
The 2006 Florida Legislature passed House Bill 7121 relative to emergency management, which was subsequently signed into law by the Governor on June 6, 2006. The bill amended Florida Statute 553.509 Vertical Accessibility, and requires for specific multifamily dwellings, the following:
(2)(a) Any person, firm, or corporation that owns, manages, or operates a residential multifamily dwelling, including a condominium, that is at least 75 feet high and contains a public elevator, as described in s. 399.035(2) and (3) and rules adopted by the Florida Building Commission, shall have at least one public elevator that is capable of operating on an alternate power source for emergency purposes. Alternate power shall be available for the purpose of allowing all residents access for a specified number of hours each day over a 5-day period following a natural disaster, manmade disaster, emergency, or other civil disturbance that disrupts the normal supply of electricity. The alternate power source that controls elevator operations must also be capable of powering any connected fire alarm system in the building.
(b) At a minimum, the elevator must be appropriately prewired and prepared to accept an alternate power source and must have a connection on the line side of the main disconnect, pursuant to National Electric Code Handbook, Article 700. In addition to the required power source for the elevator and connected fire alarm system in the building, the alternate power supply must be sufficient to provide emergency lighting to the interior lobbies, hallways, and other portions of the building used by the public. Residential multifamily dwellings must have an available generator and fuel source on the property or have proof of a current contract posted in the elevator machine room or other place conspicuous to the elevator inspector affirming a current guaranteed service contract for such equipment and fuel source to operate the elevator on an on-call basis within 24 hours after a request. By December 31, 2006, any person, firm or corporation that owns, manages, or operates a residential multifamily dwelling as defined in paragraph (a) must provide to the local building inspection agency verification of engineering plans for residential multifamily dwellings that provide for the capability to generate power by alternate means. Compliance with installation requirements and operational capability requirements must be verified by local building inspectors and reported to the county emergency management agency by December 31, 2007.