February 8, 2013

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