Commercial Building Generators

Commercial Building Generators

I found some great sources for those who are in the early process of purchasing a commercial building generator…

6 Steps to Finding the Right Generator

Whether the goal is meeting business needs or conforming to code requirements, most large organizations include generators in new facility designs. But planning for back-up power is no simple task, and the sizeable investment involved makes it essential that facility executives understand the pivotal decision-making points in a generator project.

The first step is identifying what the generator will power. Every building that has a generator will have two types of loads: those for which codes require emergency power and those for business-critical systems. Each load must be documented. It is wrong to assume that a generator will cover the entire electrical system and that it will be business as usual in the event of a utility outage. This level of backup requires a significant outlay of capital; whether that investment is called for can only be determined by analyzing a facility’s needs.

All related loads should also be considered in the documentation. For example, if computer systems are on the generator, it is necessary to put HVAC cooling for the computer room on the generator as well. To close the loop on items like these, all key decision makers should be involved in planning. In addition, outside consultants often are employed to determine how codes will affect a project.

When the documentation is complete, an engineer can size the generator and transfer switches. This sizing will indicate the electrical and physical requirements, which in turn affect the location of the generator.

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Sizing a generator for a commercial building

I understand that the Final Answer can only come from a trained professional, but I imagine that there have to be back-of-the-envelope calculations here.This is for an office in New England, and their last electric bill (which he said was on the high side), was 16240 kwh. They’ve had middle-of-the-day power outages that have been painful, and are looking to see what it takes to get whole-building generator power.I know one plans for max capacity, not average, so how does one take the above number and do something with it? My first guess would be to essentially assume the whole month was composed of nothing but business hours, so divide by 20 days and then 8 hours.16240 / (20 x 8) = 101kwWhat are the best back-of-the-envelope calculations for this kind of thing? Given the above, is 100kw obviously undersized, obviously oversized, or there’s no way to know?Note: I’m more interested in the algorithm in general than I am in the particular answer for this customer.Steve–Stephen J. Friedl | Unix Wizard | Microsoft Security MVP | Orange County, California USA | my web site

There’s no algorithm or magic involved. It’s simple math for the most part. You have to determine the total connected load. Many commercial buildings have load shedding or limited backup. For instance, every other row of lights may be kicked off, or only X number of A/C units may run at one time.Things like the elevator and fire pumps would continue to run.It’s generally not economically viable to try and pick up the entire load of a commercial building. Instead, using a smaller generator or generators, is a nice compromise.Normally in a commercial situation, the generator is integrated with the building control system. The BCS usually handles lighting, HVAC, fire alarms, premise alarms, entries, etc…–Looks like Reverend Wright got his wish – God Damn America.Nancy Pelosi – House Minority Leader 2010Harry Reid – Senate Minority Leader 2010

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How to Pick the Perfect Commercial Generator

Commercial-grade generators are custom built based on your needs, so it’s important to select the right voltage.

The utility power into your business is typically “three-phase,” which supports a larger electrical demand.

Your best bet is to purchase a generator that matches the incoming utility voltage. This way, you can restore power to both electrical panels.

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What’s a Commercial Generator?


 Commercial Building Generators

A standby commercial generator keeps your power on and your business open during an outage. It’s installed outside your business (like an AC unit) and comes on automatically — whether you’re open or closed. All within seconds of a power outage.
Plus commercial generators run on propane or natural gas, so there’s no refueling.

We’ll take you step-by-step through the generator sizing process. And when, you’re done, you’ll get a good estimate of the right generator for your business.

Manual power transfer once generator is on site (building requires pre-wired generator connection panel)