News

  • Lessons from the Super Power Outage Don’t Let Your Company Be Caught Off Guard


    LESSONS FROM THE SUPER POWER OUTAGE Super Bowl XLVII’s dramatic second half was made more so by a power blackout, which halted play and left millions of TV viewers in the dark. The biggest pro football game of the year was in limbo for more than half an hour on Sunday night because of the outage, which plunged parts of the Superdome into darkness, with no clear explanation as to why.

    The Baltimore Ravens were leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6 when most of the lights in the 73,000-seat building went out with 13:22 left in the third quarter Sunday night. Play did resume, but it took 34 minutes. When the power came back, so did the 49ers, surging from a 22-point deficit to a squeaker 34-31 loss to the Ravens.

    A joint statement from Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG shed some light on the chain of events, which apparently started at the spot where Entergy feeds power into the stadium’s lines. The problem occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.

    “A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system,” the statement said. “Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. … Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality.”

    Auxiliary power kept the playing field and concourses from going totally dark. The back-up generators kicked in exactly as designed.  Much like the Superdome in New Orleans your business cannot control when these things happen but you must be prepared for when they do.  You know how absolutely crucial it is to have a backup system in place.  Almost everything that we use today for business operates on electricity, from computers to life support systems, to production equipment and so much more. When we lose power, everything comes to a crawl or completely shuts down.  Then, like the CBS broadcast team of James Brown, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, you find yourself desperately trying to fill the dead air.

    You may find that you require a generator, on average, once a year. However, unlike the Superdome who lost power for 34 minutes, you may lose power for a few hours or even days. Perhaps your facility relies on the backup generator for vital components. Refrigeration, computer servers, medical care, and so many other factors make having power at all times more important than almost any other facet of your operation. Much like the Superdome, when the power goes off, the show stops. The problem is, when things go wrong it falls on your shoulders.

    That means you want to choose a generator and a service company that will be there for you when you need it most. If you have an existing backup generator, how often has it been serviced? Will it run properly when it needs to? Will it kick on automatically, without a problem, when the main power source fails? Are you willing to bet your career on that?

    Backup generators are designed to be effective during emergencies or whenever the main power grid experiences a failure.  Your facility needs to have a working backup generator.  Don’t cut corners by trying to save money on servicing your generators. Not all providers are equal and often you only get what you pay for.

    When your backup generator could be the lifeblood of your facility, you want a company in your corner that will maintain it and that has the experience to ensure that it will operate the way it should when you need it to. There are no second chances.  Make sure you won’t need one when it comes to backup power generation.  Unlike the Super Bowl, where the momentum switched and San Francisco almost made the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, you will find yourself having to make a big comeback, with your career.

    To learn more check out Total Power Powerguard Services

     

  • New Video

    • January 28, 2013
    • News

    Total Power has released another video on Generator Coolant. This video will demonstrate coolant testing to help everyone understand why it is so important.

    Check out the video available on our ressource page or view it on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5bwPluft3o

  • Life Safety Code CSA C282-09: What is it? Why you should care? & Are you compliant?


    As buildings change and with more uses that are nontraditional, innovative designs, new technologies, materials, and construction practices change so comes the need for greater life safety standards.  The Life Safety Code C282-09 is the most widely used source for strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection, and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and related hazards.

    Generators and back-up power systems that provide power to your lighting systems, elevators, stairway pressurization fans, fire pumps, and fire alarm systems, within your building structure are classified as life safety.  In Canada many regions have adopted the national CSA C282-09 standard for emergency power for buildings which covers:

    • Design
    • Installation
    • Operation
    • Maintenance

    Code compliant generator maintenance will reduce exposure to the owner, property manager or landlord from pending lawsuits or injury to their tenants during an emergency power failure.  Buildings and facilities that do not meet the new Fire Code standards are subject to one or more of the following:

    • Order to comply
    • Fines
    • Eviction

    In order to comply with the CSA’s Code C282 your generator needs to be inspected, tested and maintained on a weekly and monthly basis.

    The weekly tests include:

    • Confirming engine fluid levels
    • Confirming fuel level in the day tank (2 hours minimum), inspect condition of the tanks, and the proper operation of the fuel transfer pump
    • Inspecting engine, fuel tanks and cooling systems for evidence of leakage
    • Inspecting battery electrolyte level, specific gravity and electrical connections
    • Checking lubricant and/or coolant heater operation, inspecting governor linkage and fan belt
    • Inspecting control panel covers for security, test annunciator lamps, inspect control panel settings and test remote annunciation panels
    • Correcting all defects found
    • Entering all inspections, tests and corrective actions in the system logbook

    The Monthly tests include:

    • Performing weekly inspections
    • Performing a 60 minute building load test at least 30% of the rated load
    • Inspecting for proper operation of all auxiliary equipment (i.e. room ventilation)
    • Draining the exhaust system condensate trap
    • Correcting all defects found
    • Entering all inspections, tests, corrective actions and instrument readings in the system logbook

    The semi-annual, annual and 5 year inspections will need to be completed by a qualified contractor,

    If you have any questions regarding CSA compliant maintenance procedures, please contact your local Total Power service consultant.

  • Fuel Remedy

    • December 20, 2012
    • News

    The Total Power group of companies is pleased to announce the acquisition of Fuel Remedy Inc. Fuel Remedy is an end-to-end diesel fuel maintenance solutions company providing diesel fuel polishing, diesel fuel testing, diesel fuel storage tank removal and installation, and complete fuel system inspection by TSSA-certified technicians. To learn more check out www.fuelpolishing.com.

    Feel free to call Total Power with any questions regarding our products and services at 888-870-9152.

  • “The Backup Crew”

    • December 17, 2012
    • News

    Total Power Limited is featured in the December issue of Canadian Builder’s Quarterly. This article focuses on the importance of reliability and security with multiple generator units.

    If you have any questions about backup power and reliability please give us a call at 888-870-9152. Let Total Power met your critical power needs!

     

  • Stand by me: Why you’re backup generator needs great service


    No matter what type of company you work for or run, there’s one thing every company needs….POWER.  Losing power for even a few hours can mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue and product.  Security systems go down, refrigerated goods spoil, customers are turned away, computer systems go down and production lines stop.  If your company is like many others, you have a backup generator to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.  The real question is, “Can you trust that your generator will run when you need it to?”

    Backup generators exist anonymously.  They are metal boxes, squirreled away on a roof or near a loading dock.  They are meant to be neither seen nor heard.  They are there when you need them and, the rest of the time, they do their best to be unobtrusive.  The problem is that this very job description makes it more likely that your emergency generator won’t work in an emergency.

    Did you know that backup generators are not  100% reliable?  In fact, they don’t work as often as 20%-to-30% of the time, said Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President for Research & Development with the Electric Power Research Institute.  The bad news is that there’s only so much you can do to improve on that failure rate.  The good news: There are solutions that could help keep a whole facility up and running in an emergency, even if the emergency power system doesn’t work.

    So why do backup generators fail?

    The short answer is that we only use them, you know, for backup.  Most of the time, these generators just sit around, doing nothing.  It might seem like you’re keeping them safe, but it’s actually a pretty rough way to treat a mechanical system.

    The following are the top 10 reasons back-up generators fail when you need them most:

    1. Battery System Problems
    2. Control System Problems
    3. Cooling Systems Problems
    4. Fuel System Problems
    5. Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) or Switchgear Problems
    6. Circuit Breaker Problems
    7. Intake/Exhaust Valve Problems
    8. Generator Winding Problems
    9. Lubrication Problems
    10. Wet Stacking & Carbon Buildup Problems

    Every facility or property manager should understand these common reasons for emergency power system failure and should realize why proper maintenance will help prevent those failures.  While your personnel may be able to perform many weekly maintenance items, a qualified service provider can add great value by performing the higher-level maintenance that is required to address these 10 issues.

    Power interruptions and power quality problems are an everyday occurrence.  Having said that, our 21st century digital society is more dependent than ever on a reliable source of quality electric power.  Power interruptions cause loss of revenue, impair business operations, lose customers or worse, jeopardize human life and safety.  Don’t let your company be in the 70-80% of users who will find out the hard way what poor service of their stand by generator means.  Instead be in the 20-30% that has nothing to worry about.  Have a qualified service provider perform higher-level maintenance on regular intervals.

  • PM EXPO

    • November 20, 2012
    • News

    Total Power will be exhibiting at this year’s PM Expo in Toronto. The show takes place November 28-30 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as part of the Construct Canada  show. Come visit Total Power staff at booth 1906 and talk to us about our Products and Services.

  • Hurricane Sandy Fallout

    • November 6, 2012
    • News

    The major storm Sandy left Ontario waking up the morning of Tuesday, October 30th to downed trees, power outages, transit problems and one known death. Click here to learn more about the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.

    Total Power’s thoughts go out to all who were affected by the storm Sandy. If you wish to learn more about how Total Power can help you with all your emergency power needs please give us a call toll free at 888-870-9152.

    Don’t wait for electrical power to be restored, think ahead and contact Total Power for your solution!

     

  • Inventory Check


    Total Power will be offering monthly inventory checks to keep our customers aware of what products are immediately available for purchase! For more information on our current inventory please contact Lisa Gabrielson at 905-362-9451 or by email at lisa@totalpower.ca.


    *Please click image for zoom

  • There Are No Second Chances When It Comes to Backup Generators


    Most of the time, as a facilities manager, the decisions you make will be discussed, reasoned, and decided by those that have more authority, or who own the facilities. The problem is, when things go wrong it falls on your shoulders. Can you afford to risk your career on decisions made by others, who don’t know all the facts. One career killer is in case of an emergency the back up systems don’t work. Who’s neck is on the line?

    Therefore, when it comes to the decisions you have to make regarding the backup generator system, your word, and your recommendations need to carry a great deal more weight than ever. You know how important it is to have a backup system in place. Almost everything that we use today for business operates on electricity. From computers to life support systems, to production equipment and so much more, when we lose power, everything comes to a crawl or completely shuts down.

    You may find that the facility your manage requires a generator, on average, once a year. You may lose power for a few hours or even days. While most businesses can shrug these losses off and get back to earning revenue relatively quickly, when you sell those businesses, or your supervisors, on them, it’s absolutely essential that they work.

    Perhaps your facility relies on the backup generator for vital components. Refrigeration, computer servers, medical care, and so many other factors make having power at all times more important than almost any other facet of your operation.

    You already know this. You understand it. But it can be a challenge to get those who make the ultimate decisions to understand this. For them, it’s often about saving money. But again, it’s your reputation and even your career on the line when that backup generator needs to work. The last thing you want is to have a system in place, with so many moving parts, with so many interconnected aspects, that isn’t maintained properly or that might not work when you need it to.

    Think about a car that sits outside all year long, unused. Are you sure that it will turn over when you need it to just because you put a new battery in it? The natural elements, such as wind, rain, snow, ice, and everything else can impact these moving parts to the point of making them suspect for operation.

    When your backup generator could be the lifeblood of your facility, you want a company in your corner that will maintain it and that has the experience to ensure that it will operate the way it should when you need it to. There are no second chances as a facilities manager. Make sure you won’t need one when it comes to backup power generation.