Backup Power Generation
Types of Backup Generation and
the National Electrical Code
In the National Electrical Code, backup generation falls under three important categories based on a continuum of most critical to least critical for how important it is that an electrical source continue to provide power to a circuit during planned and unplanned utility outages. Those three categories are emergency, legally required, and standby generating systems; NEC Articles 700, 701, and 702, respectively. Those articles mandate specific wiring methods and design considerations depending on the system or combination of systems being installed. Some distinctions are major, and others are more nuanced. But all are important to the proper operation of the critical loads defining a facility’s function.
Understanding the Distinctions
The team at E-Squared Electric understands the distinctions of each type of system and will work closely with a project’s design professionals and building code officials. That kind of coordination between various stake holders ensures that electrical circuits served by the backup generator are powered in a fashion consistent with the operation of the devices they serve and how critical it is that they continue to operate in the absence of the utility. We are familiar with both open transition and closed transition automatic transfer switches. For a less, costly installation where the backed-up circuits are considered optional by the NEC (Article 702), manual transfer switches are sometimes suitable depending on owner preference. Backup sources of power can include generation that’s powered by an IC engine (natural gas, gasoline, diesel, etc.), stored energy cells (batteries), and uninterruptible power sources (UPS’s).
How We Can Help
We are available to discuss the cost of installation, potential pitfalls, and other concerns with installing a backup generating system. You might already have a design for your facility or need help in developing one. Regardless of the complexity of your facility or the degree of involvement you require, E-Squared Electric can help make integrating a reliable backup power plan a reality.