Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:04 EDT

As Midwest and Mid-Atlantic Recover From Storm Disasters And Crippling Heat Wave, Emergency Diesel Generators Keep Critical Services Up and Running

July 2, 2012

Importance of Reliable Emergency Power Is Especially Vital For Hospitals, Emergency Response Centers and Other Critical Facilities

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As communities throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States continue to recover from this weekend’s devastating storms and blistering heat wave, diesel-powered emergency backup generators are providing vital power to hospitals, water and sewage plants, and other critical facilities.

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“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local emergency personnel have been working around the clock since the devastating storms first hit last Friday,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “Every minute of their work has been vital in keeping the sweltering heat wave from becoming even more deadly to the millions of people who lost power during the storms.

“One vital asset for them has been the dependability of emergency diesel-powered generators. From the operating room to nursing homes, from water treatment facilities to airports, every second counts when the power fails. Fortunately, within 10 seconds of a power failure, diesel-powered backup generators go to work. That’s why diesel is a silent yet reliable partner in virtually every hospital across the country. No other energy source provides full-strength backup power within seconds of a failure by the primary electricity grid.

Diesel-powered generators can and do save lives during a power crisis,” Schaeffer said.

Hospitals and Emergency Responders Rely On Diesel Generators During Blackouts
“Hospitals need to have reliable and self-contained power systems in the event of loss of grid power from downed electrical wires,” Schaeffer said. “Emergency responders – fire and rescue units – rely primarily on diesel power for their response apparatus, ambulances and for powering their emergency communication systems.

“Because of its unique combination of power, performance, reliability and availability, no other technology or fuel can meet the full range of needs in responding to national weather emergencies.

Diesel Power Keeps Public Safety and Water Systems Functioning
“State and local governments bear the brunt of these kinds of major weather events, and are expected to assure the continuity of essential services in the most challenging of conditions,” Schaeffer said. “With a deluge of wind and water damage, local governments need to make sure that public safety systems are operational, from the 911 emergency call centers to drinking water treatment and sewer systems.

“Diesel powered pumping systems – both portable and fixed – are in place in thousands of cities throughout the country to prevent flooding, and to keep drinking water treatment systems providing safe drinking water when the electrical power goes out.

Airports and Telecommunications Centers Rely on Diesel Generators
“Back up emergency diesel generators are the technology of choice and are in place at America’s airports and critical telecommunication centers. With a self-contained fuel supply, these diesel-powered units aren’t vulnerable to utility service interruptions such as the emergency shut-off of natural gas pipelines that are common safety procedures in natural disasters.

“Radar and telecommunications systems have their own back-up power systems and the majority depends on diesel emergency generators to restore critical electrical power during storm-related power interruptions.”

Diesel Generators Are The Only Source of Power With 10-Second Start-Up Capacity
The diesel-powered generators range from about the size of automobile engines to trailer-mounted commercial central air-conditioning units. The generators can supply enough electricity to operate a municipal water plant, to provide refrigeration to a food processing facility, to power a 911 communications system, or operate all the life support systems at a major hospital. Generators are also vital to a variety of commercial customers – especially those in food storage and processing, manufacturing, aviation and aerospace.

Diesel-powered generators have proven to be the most reliable, durable, and economical source of emergency power. In almost all instances, diesel generators are the only source of power generation that meets federal and state requirements of 10-second start-up and electrical load-carrying capacity.

Tips and Advice for Diesel Generator Use
To help businesses and cities protect critical facilities during a power outage, the Diesel Technology Forum has outlined several ways to ensure backup power in a crisis:

Assess the risk: Identifying your facility’s critical loads is an important first step. Assign a cost to the risks associated with utility power interruptions, production losses and downtime.

Install a standby generator: Frequent outages of a few seconds, a few minutes or more can often disrupt production lines and have significant cost implications to businesses. While other generator drivers take up to two minutes to engage, diesel-powered generators are uniquely qualified to provide power quickly during a power outage and offers the most cost-effective source of reliable backup power available.

Have sufficient fuel storage: Diesel fuel’s energy density and the engine’s high efficiency allow for smaller fuel storage facilities compared to other fuels, which provides a cost savings to owners. Still, it is important to make sure that you have sufficient fuel storage capacity on-site for an extended outage of several days.

Maintain your equipment: As required by electrical and safety codes, standby generators should be “exercised” periodically to ensure they will operate as designed in the event of an emergency.

Contract rental power: If installing your own standby generator is not feasible for your business, you might consider contracting with a firm to reserve rental generator power for use in the event of an extended outage.

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.

(View this press release online here.)

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Allen Schaeffer

Steve Hansen
301-668-7230 (o)
202-355-3664 (c)

SOURCE Diesel Technology Forum

Source: PR Newswire