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Emergency Standby Power: Protecting the Nation's Power Grid with Diesel Generators

Prime Power Generation

High Voltage Lines Supply Power to SubstationsEverything that runs power to all of our buildings is based on prime power generation.  This source comes from our local power grids (stemming from a main power station), and is fed to each building via power lines that run throughout our neighborhoods.

This all branches out from power stations, although each power station may get its power in different ways.  For example, some power stations use dams to generate hydroelectric power generation that comes from water.  In other instances, wind may be used to create the main source of power.

Steam in fossil fuel power plants and nuclear power plants are the most common ways that power is generated.  This method is what keeps everything running, and the lights on. 

However, in cases of emergency, a standby source of power will need to be used.  The emergency standby power source is usually provided by a generator of some kind.  Generators can be powered by everything from gas to diesel fuel.

Emergency Standby, Back-up Power Supplies

While prime power generation is ideal, the forces of nature sometimes overpower the power grid, and emergency standby is absolutely essential to maintain the use of electricity in our homes and businesses.  The downfall of standby is that the time limit for most cases is anywhere from 8 hours to 24 hours at a time. 

Anything longer than this requires a large amount of resources to ensure the power continuously stays on.  That’s why constant care and maintenance of the prime power generation source is so important.  The more we look into alternative methods to gain power, the better off our communities will be in the event of a large-scale power loss.  With prime power, the key is to be able to get it back up and running as quickly as possible, so that the use of emergency standby is limited.  Thankfully, however, emergency standby power is available through the use of generators in times of dire need.

Causes of Power Failure

Emergency Generators Supply Power During Outages

In today’s modern world, power is needed for just about everything to function.  It runs our transportation systems, computer databases, lighting, all the way down to our hair dryers and toaster ovens.  When the power goes out, it can be catastrophic. 

There are several reasons for power failure, and perhaps the most common are storms.  A rough storm can take down power lines and cut off electricity for square miles at a time.  But there are other causes of power failure that many people may not be aware of. 

For example, if there is a short circuit or any kind of overloading in a power station, electricity mains sustain damage that can cut off power for many city blocks.  A blackout occurs when all power is lost for a certain area; a “brownout” happens when there is still some partial power.  If a power grid experiences any kind of damage, it can cause blackouts for a very large area.
In addition to major power grid problems, accidents on a smaller scale can also cause the power to go out.  Even if someone happens to hit a power pole in a car accident, it can cause a large amount of area to go without power. 

Another common cause is excavation digging.  If a company or even an individual needs to dig underground, they could accidentally cut a very important power line.  That’s why it is extremely important that all lines are properly marked before anyone completes any kind of underground digging.  Another common cause of power failure is also blamed on the weather. 

Heat can often cause power outages, since there is a larger than normal strain due to the use of air conditioners.  When too much power is being used at once, it can overburden electrical cables and transformers, causing a power failure.  As one can see, storms are not the only culprit when it comes to power failure.  That’s why it’s important to have reliable backup for emergency situations and times of need.

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