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WarrickF 07-29-2011 02:41 PM

Generator for office
 
Hi All,

We have a generator outside our office. It kicks in automatically when there's power loss and powers:

1. Our server room.
2. A few select wall sockets that people in the office can work from.

The servers are all connected to UPS's so that they don't loose power while they're waiting for the generator to kick on, but there's no UPS for the wall sockets.

Today we lost power - the generator kicked in and my [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]CEO[/color][/color] started working from one of the power sockets that's fed by the generator. About 3 hours later the power came back on and everything switched back to the main power feed (and the generator stopped of course).

We the switch to the regular power feed happened, my CEO's PC lost power and he lost all his work.

1. Should this happen?
2. If that's expected. Can someone suggest a cost effective way of resolving the problem.

Thanks
Warrick

Techy 07-29-2011 02:43 PM

1. Should this happen?
yes

2. If that's expected. Can someone suggest a cost effective way of resolving the problem.

Small UPS as in the server room

WarrickF 07-29-2011 02:49 PM

Thanks, but as I stated there's already a UPS on the server room. I'm looking for something for each of the outlets that are powered by the generator.

Obviously I know I could put a UPS at each outlet, but I'm looking for something I could put inline with the breaker that would do that same thing. A glorified capacitor would do as it only need to hold the charge for a second or two.

gregzoll 07-29-2011 03:37 PM

Since he is the CEO, why hasn't he thrown his power to make sure he either has a laptop, or UPS to allow him to get everything saved. My office does not have any type of back up power, with the exception of the servers having back up battery power, so if we are working on anything, we are screwed and have to do it all over again, once power is restored.

AandPDan 07-29-2011 03:43 PM

You can get a hard wired UPS that can support the few select wall ports. You'll need to decide how big it needs to be.

I know this guy may be your CEO, but some education will go a long way. He needs to learn how to back up his data. Or, someone should at least configure his computer so that whatever program he is using automatically saves on a regular basis.

He should also be made aware that at some point the power will shift back to line and he'll likely lose his data.

A capacitor is a good idea, but it won't work on ac.

mpoulton 07-29-2011 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WarrickF (Post 696308)
Thanks, but as I stated there's already a UPS on the server room. I'm looking for something for each of the outlets that are powered by the generator.

Obviously I know I could put a UPS at each outlet, but I'm looking for something I could put inline with the breaker that would do that same thing. A glorified capacitor would do as it only need to hold the charge for a second or two.

A laptop is the most obvious solution. It has a built-in battery backup, just like a UPS! If that's not suitable, then individual UPS's at each receptacle will probably be the most economical solution. Hard-wired UPS's, as in the server room, are expensive. If you insist, then you can have one installed for the circuit or circuits that feed those receptacles - but be prepared to pay for it.

Sounds like the CEO learned an important lesson in the obvious. Why doesn't he just plug in to a server rack next time, or use a laptop?

WarrickF 07-29-2011 04:30 PM

Thanks guys. I think we're missing the point here though. It's not just about the CEO, it's about everyone that is working on backup power at the time. This includes a bunch of people on desktops also.

So when the power comes back on, there IS power, all I want to do is have the generator turn off and switch back to this main power ... without the spike or dip.

A UPS is obviously designed to sustain a load for a longer period of time so that the generator can kick in. It just seem like there should be something out there that allows you to switch between power sources without causing an interuption.

Yes, we can all all argue about how people should save their data etc, but let's focus on a specific technical question .... is there a device that allows you to switch between power sources, without an interuption?

gregzoll 07-29-2011 04:33 PM

Happens all of the time in every office out there. The local call center for ATT at the most, supplies power to the Server room, and a few lights, and nothing else. It comes down to how much a company is willing to spend to make sure that the data being handled through their computer terminals remains safe. It is all about dollars.

Unless the CEO is going to go out and get UPS for each workstation, it will only take a couple of times of screwing a high dollar customer, before they learn a lesson.

mpoulton 07-29-2011 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WarrickF (Post 696376)
A UPS is obviously designed to sustain a load for a longer period of time so that the generator can kick in. It just seem like there should be something out there that allows you to switch between power sources without causing an interuption.

Yes, we can all all argue about how people should save their data etc, but let's focus on a specific technical question .... is there a device that allows you to switch between power sources, without an interuption?

A UPS is required to achieve your goal. That's why the servers have them. There is no other way to achieve this. Not all UPSs are intended to power the load for a substantial period of time. Larger ones, like the ones in your server room, usually have only enough battery capacity to handle a graceful shutdown of the equipment. They are designed to bridge the time gap between utility failure and generator startup, and if the generator fails to start, keep the servers up until they can shut down. A few minutes at most. The UPS also bridges the fractional-second gap when the transfer switch restores utility power, and that seems to be what you're complaining about.

If there were a cheaper and easier solution, everyone would be using it.

dmxtothemax 07-29-2011 06:17 PM

I dont think there is a simple and cheap way of doing this,

You either have to have a dedicated power circuit for all the computors,
With an associatted large ups.

Or everyone should use lap tops,
With laptops they would automatically switch over to
the internal battery should the external power supply drop out.

Anti-wingnut 07-29-2011 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WarrickF (Post 696376)
Thanks guys. I think we're missing the point here though.........
Yes, we can all all argue about how people should save their data etc, but let's focus on a specific technical question .... is there a device that allows you to switch between power sources, without an interuption?

Yes, it's called a UPS. This answer has been given several times in this thread, and you don't seem to get it. Each desk top needs a UPS, or the circuits that supply the desk tops need a large UPS

gregzoll 07-29-2011 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anti-wingnut (Post 696464)
Yes, it's called a UPS. This answer has been given several times in this thread, and you don't seem to get it. Each desk top needs a UPS, or the circuits that supply the desk tops need a large UPS

Or a genset that can power the whole building.

Anti-wingnut 07-29-2011 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 696468)
Or a genset that can power the whole building.

Absolutely not. The problem occured when city power resumed and the genset shut down. The computers lost power during this switch-over (which can be fleetingly fast), and went into shut down. The only way to prevent this is a UPS supplying every computer

Red Squirrel 07-29-2011 07:40 PM

So from what I understand, these outlets are directly attached to the generator and are only active when the generator is on, correct?

What I would do is rewire those to a small sub panel that plugs into a decent size UPS (say, a 3000VA), then plug the UPS into a transfer switch, either manual or auto. OR (easier) maybe just tie them into the existing generator panel and plug individual UPSes into the outlets themselves at least for the important people like the CEO, but desk UPSes are so cheap, I don't see how most people can't have one .

Anti-wingnut 07-29-2011 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Squirrel (Post 696471)
So from what I understand, these outlets are directly attached to the generator and are only active when the generator is on, correct?

They could very well be hooked up to a transfer switch, but the power interruption when switching from genny to city is long enough to kill the computers


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