Perform Your Own Power Grid Blackout Scenario

Transmission tower supporting high-voltage electrical transmission cables.

High-Voltage Transmission Towers Support Cables that Carry Electricity Across the Continent’s Electrical Grid.

Federal authorities and electric utility companies are working together this week to simulate a national electric grid blackout. The purpose is to educate the Federal Government on what will happen if a terrorist attack or other event caused a widespread blackout of the nations power grid. “This exercise is designed to test how well participating agencies respond to a widespread power loss and challenges stemming from that event…”

No loss of power to utility customers is planned, but it does raise a question. What would you do if the power went out and stayed out? What if your local utility couldn’t provide you with electric power?

In a recent article, the New York Times called the nation’s power grid “The glass jaw of American industry.”

Would you be prepared if the nation’s power went out for an extended period of time?

It Could Happen

The nation’s power supply is distributed by transmission networks that span the entire continent and include Mexico, The United States, and Canada. They include 5800 major power plants, a mix of smaller generating facilities, and nearly half a million miles of high voltage transmission lines.

The entire grid is controlled by a widely variable mix of devices and computers, some of which are veritable antiques. And opposite of what you would think, it is the oldest of those devices that are least vulnerable. Newer equipment relies heavily on Windows-based software and controls; the same operating system and software that is so vulnerable to attack by a virus or malicious software.

One possible scenario that this weeks test is incorporating is a substation break in and subsequent infection of the equipment spreads to other computers that control the grid, and shuts off the power.

Conduct Your Own Scenario

Planning a Manual Transfer Switch Installation

Read Next |> Planning a Manual Transfer Switch Installation (1/4)

It’s always best to be prepared for the worst. You never know when a earthquake will strike, or when a tornado outbreak will devastate a region, or something else causes the power will go out. The first thought that goes through anyone’s mind is to wonder when the power will come back on.

What if it doesn’t?

There are plenty of online resources that offer lists and other advice. You need a supply of food and water and a way to keep your family warm. Most homes today rely on electricity for their heating systems, and to keep other essential systems operating. If the power grid is out, your only option is to make your own electric power.

Your own power grid failure scenario should include storing food and water and planning your emergency power use and how to conserve fuel.

Home Generators for Emergency Use

Briggs & Stratton Elite 7000 Watt Electric Start Portable Generator

Portable Generators can supply emergency power during a power blackout or interruption.

Portable generators can provide power in an emergency, but they work best when connected to the building through a transfer switch―a device that isolates the building from the electric utility. That requires planning, even if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person that can handle the job. Portables need a continuous supply of liquid fuel and chances are good you won’t have the ability store more than a few days worth. In a scenario like this, a mid-sized unit will use less fuel and you’ll have to conserve electricity.

Remember that fuel use is directly related to electricity use. The more electricity you use, the more fuel you will use.

 

A Generac Standby Generator installed next to a house.

Standby Generators provide automatic power during an outage or blackout

Standby Generators connect to a building through an automatic transfer switch. Most small to mid-sized commercial and residential units operate on natural or LP gas and can run for days without refueling. Air-cooled models are economical to purchase and operate, while liquid-cooled units provide exceptional reliability

To keep your generator running for long periods of time, maintain it during use with new spark plugs, fresh oil, and clean filters. Keep in mind that during a long-term power outage, gas companies may not be able to provide a continuous supply. The ability to change from natural gas to LP gas might be a benefit.

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Be Prepared for Winter Storms

Two vehicles, barely visible and buried in snow after winter storm Nemo.

The Aftermath of Winter Storm Nemo in Massachusetts, 2013.

Winter has arrived in some places or is on the way in others. Winter storms bring a variety of conditions including cold temperatures, high winds, ice, rain, and snow―sometimes in paralyzing accumulations. When multiple factors add up, the results can be devastating.

Early this fall, South Dakota experienced a major blizzard that dropped up to three and a half feet of wet, heavy snow in some areas, leaving 25,000 utility customers without power and people stranded in cars or unable to leave their homes. Snowmobiles were used to rescue people trapped in their cars.

Winter Storms

All across the country, you’ll find differing opinions of what constitutes a major winter storm. A half-inch of snow in southern regions can bring school closures and hazardous travel, while in the far north, snowfalls of six to twelve inches are not only common, but welcomed as they attract tourists for skiing and snowmobiling.

Ice however, can paralyze any area and when it comes to electric power, ice storms can cause extensive damage to local electrical grids. When the temperature hovers near 32 degrees, falling rain can freeze on utility lines and accumulate until the sheer weight of the ice snaps the lines. Ice also gathers on trees, causing limbs to break and fall onto power lines.

When utility lines go down, it can hours or even days for crews to restore service. Meanwhile, homes and businesses without electricity are cold and dark.

Preparation

Prepare in advance for winter storms. The worst time to head for the grocery store is right after a storm is predicted. Instead, keep a supply of canned foods and bottled water on hand. An emergency supply that will last three to five days is a good idea, longer for coastal regions that experience hurricanes and tropical storms.

Emergency generators can supply power that keeps your furnace running, the basement dry, and refrigerated food supplies from spoiling. In rural areas, they keep well pumps working. Any home with a basement and sump pump will need electrical power to prevent flooding. Standby generators work automatically, are permanently installed, and many run on your home’s existing natural or LP gas supply.

Portable generators can also supply emergency power, but don’t run automatically and require a continuous supply of fresh fuel―sometimes difficult to find during a power outage or when the region is buried in snow.

Make a Plan

Decide in advance how you will weather a winter storm. Buy non-perishable food items to keep for emergencies, and then rotate the supply by replacing and then using it on a regular basic.

Generators require advance preparation. Standby generators have been called the next must-have appliance, but you won’t buy one in the morning and have it working by lunchtime. It takes an electrician, plumber, and building permits to install the generator and automatic transfer switch, and those are things that take time. There are also decisions to make before you purchase regarding size, placement, and what you will power during an emergency.

Portables generators also require advance preparation: a place to store enough fuel to last a few days, installation of a manual transfer switch, and where you will position it during use. You should also understand how to operate it safely, and never backfeed your home by plugging it into an existing appliance outlet―a dangerous practice that could kill a utility worker.

Vehicle Preparedness

Don’t forget your vehicle when preparing for winter storms. Keep some warm blankets in the car and emergency food items like energy bars, chocolate, and unsalted nuts. While traveling, bring water along for use during an emergency. If you are stranded, that 500ml bottle of water you drank earlier won’t help you much. Instead, bring a 1 liter bottle of water for each person in the car for use in an emergency. A multi-wick candle kept in a coffee can will supply a surprising amount of heat.

Alway take your winter coat, hat, and mittens or gloves with you when traveling, whether around the block or across the state.

Winter brings its own set of difficulties, but the right preparation will keep you warm and safe at home or on the road. The National Weather Service Winter Preparedness Guide.

Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons 

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The Generac Promise

The Generac Promise

The #1 selling brand of home standby generators. A Home Standby generator provides the automatic backup power you need to protect your home and family during a power outage.

USA Engineered and Built
Generac invented the home standby generator category in 1977, and we still engineer and build them right here in Wisconsin.  With over a million square feet of vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution space we are able to meet the needs of our customers.

 

Customer Care
Power outages do not always occur during normal working hours – that is why we have implemented a 24/7-365 customer care call center right here in Wisconsin.  That means we are standing by 24/7, every minute of every day to answer your calls. 1-888-GENERAC (1-888-436-3722)

 

Five Year Limited Warranty
We are proud of our innovative product design, high quality and first-class reliability so that is why we stand behind them with a strong 5-year limited warranty.

 

 

Mobile Link

We promise to listen to our customer’s needs and continue to innovate with new solutions, like our new Mobile Link™ cellular monitoring system ,so you’ll always know the status of your generator, no matter where you are.

 

The # 1 Home Standby Generator Just Got Better

The # 1 Home Standby Generator Just Got Better

Reliable. Dependable. We promise.  USA Engineered and Built

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Tropical Storm Karen Takes Aim on Gulf Coast – Florida Panhandle

The storm track and cone with coastline watches of TS Karen

Tropical Storm Karen Heads for the Florida Panhandle

Tropical storm Karen formed out of an area of showers and thunderstorms in the southern Gulf of Mexico today. The system was already producing gale force winds and bringing rain to Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula. A hurricane hunter aircraft extensively explored the area yesterday and found the system more organized than expected, but it was not yet a tropical cyclone.

Update: Friday, 10:00 am CDT. Karen has weakened slightly, but will likely regain some strength as it brushes by Louisiana and then makes landfall on Sunday morning near Pensacola, Florida. Expect strong tropical force winds from 60 to 70 MPH and rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches. Be aware of flash flooding, especially in low lying areas.

Karen has a northern track and will probably make landfall on the Florida Panhandle near Pensacola sometime on Saturday. There remains some probability for further strengthening and with sustained winds already exceeding 65 MPH, it is possible the storm could become a category one hurricane before it makes landfall.

After landfall, the current track of the storm takes it on northeasterly direction up through Alabama, Georgia and into South Carolina, but may affect Tennessee and Kentucky as well. It will lose strength overland, but is expected to retain tropical storm force winds and heavy rain as far north as Virginia.

Warnings and Watches

The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for the Gulf Coast from Indian Pass, Florida, to Grand Isle, Louisiana. A tropical storm watch is in effect for New Orleans and the coastline to Morgan City, Louisiana.

A watch means that conditions are likely for a storm to occur in a given area and are given as a storm approaches. Warnings are issued approximately 36 hours in advance of landfall and indicate that a storm will arrive within that timeframe.

In addition to high winds, watch-area residents should prepare for power outages, inland flooding, storm surge and pay attention to local news for information about evacuations. Tornadoes are also possible just before, during, and after a tropical storm or hurricane makes landfall. Expect heavy rain and flash flooding.

Power Outages

Hurricanes can cause extensive damage to the power grid and residents may find themselves without power for extended periods of time. The best defense against a power outage is a standby generator that operates on natural gas or propane. They are permanently installed systems that work with an automatic transfer switch to supply power automatically in the event of an outage and can operate for extended periods. Since they rely on natural gas or LP supplies, they don’t need continuous refueling.

Portable generators are another option, but require a steady supply of fuel―usually gasoline or diesel, but some models use propane or natural gas. Most can connect to a home through a manual transfer switch, or supply appliances directly using extension cords. Stock supplies of fuel well in advance of the storm. You may not be able to buy fuel once the storm makes landfall.

Safety

Pay attention to local news and if your area is evacuated, do not wait. Leave as soon as possible and follow the evacuation routes. The sooner you leave, the less trouble you will have and the less traffic you will encounter.

Follow local guidelines for preparing your home against high winds and flooding. If you are staying put to ride out the storm, make sure that your portable generator placement won’t endanger your life, or the lives of your neighbors.

Remember that your property is not worth risking your life for. Hurricanes are dangerous storms and flooding and storm surge are more dangerous than high winds.

Map by Google Maps.

Storm Track by the National Hurricane Center

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Five Reasons to Own a Standby Generator for Home Use

As our reliance on electrical power grows, our lives are increasingly impacted by a loss of power, whatever the reason. Interruptions range from events that affect only a few homes, to entire regions, and causes include violent weather events, automobile accidents, and human error.

Standby generators provide electrical power when the supply from the electric utility is interrupted. Unlike portable units, a standby generator starts and runs without operator intervention in the event of a power emergency. They work with an automatic transfer switch which selects between utility power and generator power.

Refrigeration

Refrigerator

A power outage without a backup generator can mean countless dollars in groceries going to waste.

It only takes a few hours for the temperature inside a refrigerator or freezer to begin rising, even if the door is kept closed. Once the temperature of a refrigerator reaches 40 degrees, the rate at which food becomes unsafe to eat increases dramatically. And each time the door is opened, the temperature rises again.

Food begins to thaw at 32 degrees and it may take as little as 12 hours for some freezers to reach the thaw point. A standby generator can keep food from thawing and spoiling even during extended outages that last days or even weeks.

Heating and Cooling

funraceThe systems that cool and heat homes do more than provide comfort and safety for people. Heat prevents pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes often burst, and when they do the resulting flood is devastating. The pipe that leads into a home can supply hundreds of gallons of water per hour. If you’re not home to shut it off, or to call a plumber to shut it off at the street, the ensuing flood can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Summer heat and humidity can take its toll quickly on people, and keeping the air conditioner operational during a power outage may mean the difference between camping out in a hotel or staying home and sleeping in comfort.

Medical Equipment

Emergency room

Modern hospital simply couldn’t save lives and function the way that they do without the support of electrical backup systems.

The use of home medical equipment has increased dramatically in the past two decades. Oxygen concentrators, wheelchair lifts, equipment for paraplegics and quadriplegics, ventilators and CPAP machines, and even home dialysis equipment all rely on electrical power. Many of these devices run off an uninterruptible power supply, but those require batteries that only last a short time.

Standby generators that supply utility-grade power can keep home medical equipment operating. Those using the equipment are able to stay home instead of packing up their equipment and seeking shelter elsewhere.

Safety Systems

MAGNUSON_01

Lisa Dunn works to salvage what she can from her newly-remodeled, now flooded, basement of her Greenwood home in Seattle on Monday, December 3, 2007. (Staff Photo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Mike Kane)

Home alarm systems provide security and safety that many homeowners rely on to protect their families and property. When the power goes out, the battery that powers a security system may last less than a day, leaving the home vulnerable. This is especially true after a widespread disaster such as a hurricane or other weather event when the power may be out for days or even weeks.

Sump pumps keep basements dry by removing water. Power outages frequently occurs during storms when the pump is needed the most. In some areas, flooding can begin just minutes after the power goes out. Even a battery-backup pump will only last a few hours during a heavy storm. With a standby generator operating automatically, even when you are not home, the pump keeps running and the basement stays dry.

Comfort

TVThe last thing anyone needs is a power outage. Without electricity, none of the day-to-day conveniences of everyday life are available. Cooking becomes more difficult, the computer and TV don’t work, kids can’t play their games. When night arrives the candles come out.

A generator can keep the power on while utility crews work on restoring the flow of electricity to neighborhoods, towns, and cities. When utility power is restored, the transfer switch automatically reconnects the home to the utility supply and the generator shuts down, whether you’re home, at work, or on vacation. There are models to meet every need, from units for small homes and cottages to models for large luxury homes.

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Briggs & Stratton Providing Reliable Power for over 100 years

Briggs & Stratton has been providing reliable engine power for over 100 years. So, it’s no wonder why professionals and homeowners worldwide, put their faith in Briggs & Stratton to provide power when it’s needed most.

A leading designer and manufacturer of automatic standby generators, Briggs & Stratton’s full product line of generators provides homeowners with flexible placement, options and world class support from over +2600 authorized standby generator dealers.

Briggs and Stratton home standby generators have the best value warranty in the industry, offering a 4-year limited warranty2 including both parts AND labor on 15kW1,16kW1 and 20kW1 models, making it easy to trust the proven power experts at Briggs & Stratton.

Backed by 3,000 hardworking Americans and headquartered in Wisconsin, Briggs & Stratton values community investment, environmental stewardship and business excellence.

Protect your home and family from power outages with a Briggs & Stratton Standby generator.

 

1This generator is rated in accordance with UL 2200 and CSA 22.2 No. 100-04.

1Warranty details at Briggs&Stratton.com

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Humberto: First Hurricane of the 2013 Season

Clouds and storm track of Hurricane Humberto

Hurricane Humberto Near the Cape Verde Islands

Hurricane Humberto is the first hurricane of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. It nearly broke a record for being the latest “first-hurricane-of-the-season” to form in the Atlantic Basin, missing the mark by just three hours.

Higher than usual water temperatures prompted an usually active hurricane season forecast for 2013. Although prior to Humberto there were seven named storms, Humberto is the first that intensified into a hurricane with sustained winds greater than 74 MPH. On average, three tropical cyclones of hurricane strength have formed by the end of August.

Tropical Depressions have sustained winds of less than 39 MPH and are poorly organized. Tropical Storms have winds of 39 to 74 MPH with organized rotation around a central location. Hurricanes are very organized with a defined eye and organized rotation around it.

About 5:00am on September 11, 2013, The National Hurricane Center declared that Humberto had intensified from a tropical storm into a hurricane with sustained winds of 75 MPH. Humberto continues to intensify with sustained winds now reaching 80 MPH.

Threats

Storm Systems Including Hurricane Humberto and TS Gabrielle

Storm Systems Including Hurricane Humberto and TS Gabrielle
Image via The National Hurricane Center

Currently, Humberto poses little threat to land beyond some heavy rain in the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. The storm will track mainly north for the next 48 hours, then veer to the west. As it meets dryer air and cooler ocean temperatures, Humberto will subside back to tropical storm status and gain speed. Forecasters at the NHC predict winds will have subsided to just 40 MPH by Monday, September 16.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gabrielle has reformed as it approached Bermuda with winds of 45 MPH. It will continue to track north without gaining significant strength until it declines into a post-tropical cyclone and brings heavy rain and 45 MPH winds to the Canadian Maritimes.

Another system to watch is currently over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and headed for the Southern Gulf of Mexico and Bay of Campeche. Forecasters give this system a 70 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next five days.

Storm Preparedness

Any storm can leave residents in large areas without power, and the outages can last days or even weeks while crews struggle to repair the local electrical distribution system. Power outages leave homes without heating or cooling, sump pumps stop working, and food spoils in refrigerators and freezers, not to mention the lack of conveniences.

Store at least seven gallons of water per person for a weeks supply of drinking. Additional stores are needed for washing and cooking. Keep enough nonperishable food for at least week for everyone in the home. Other supplies include batteries for flashlights, fully fueled vehicles, and enough fuel for portable generators to last a week.

A home standby generator for backup electrical power can eliminate worries about flooded basements, spoiled food, or frozen pipes or unbearable heat. The generators operate with an automatic transfer switch and many models connect directly to the home’s natural or propane gas supply for an uninterrupted supply of fuel.

Portable generators are less convenient and require frequent refueling, but they can keep the lights on and the food cold if properly connected through a manual transfer switch.

Be Ready

Although most tropical cyclones allow forecasters to give some warning before they strike land, storm forecasting is an inexact science. Good storm forecasts are possible 36 to 48 hours before landfall, but beyond that, forecasts are still experimental.

Advance preparation is important. Learn evacuation routes before a storm threatens. If you live on the coast in the path of a hurricane, be prepared to evacuate. Remember that high winds are only part of the danger. Storm surge and inland flooding account for more damage and deaths than hurricane force winds. Monitor local news and forecasts, and be ready to evacuate if the word is given.

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Kubota Diesel for Standby and Prime Power

Kubota GL Lowboy II Series

The Kubota GL Lowboy II Series of Diesel Standby Generators

The new diesel Kubota GL Series generators comes to Norwall Power Systems. Generators are available for shipment direct from the factory in one to two days. The GL11000 and GL7000 are 120/240-volt single-phase generators capable of supplying either standby or prime power. They ship with a two-year, 2000-hour limited consumer warranty. The Lowboy II design saves space, and the efficient, vertical diesel engine saves the environment by passing the US EPA Tier 4 emission standards.

Diesel Power

The Kubota GL generators are powered by four-cycle, liquid-cooled, vertical diesel engines. The GL11000 uses a three cylinder, 16 horsepower diesel, while the GL 7000 incorporates a two-cylinder, 8 horsepower diesel. Both models have a 7.4 gallon fuel tank for 10 hours (GL11000) and 16 hours (GL11000) of half-load operation. The engines operate at a steady 3600 RPM to keep the AC frequency at 60 hertz.

Fuel consumption is directly dependent on the constantly changing electrical load. As the load changes, so does the fuel consumption.

The vertical engine design reduces engine wear and oil consumption. Low oil pressure and high coolant temperature shutdown are incorporated into the engine design.

Recommended fuel is standard no. 2 diesel.

Compact Lowboy Design

Kubota GL with Panels Removed

Compact Lowboy Design Compares to air-cooled generators

Kubota designed the GL series for efficient use of space and power. Both the cooling fan and the power generating unit (alternator) are direct driven, reducing losses through coupling mechanisms and drive belts, and eliminating the cost of drive belt maintenance. The GL1100 is comparable in size to air-cooled generators at 50 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 28 inches high. The GL7000 takes up even less space at just 42 inches wide, with the same depth and height as its big brother.

The compact design allows for a wide variety of uses and increases installation placement options.

Noise is slightly lower than most central air conditioners at 66dB to 68dB and was reduced through the use of a large capacity muffler, lowering the fan speed fan, using a longer air intake hose, and placement of the air intake port.

Electrical Output

The GL11000 is rated at 11 kilowatts of power as a standby unit, and 10 kilowatts when used for prime power. The GL7000 puts out 7000 watts of standby power, or 6000 watts of prime power.

Prime power is defined as the main supply of electrical supplyusually provided by an electric utility. Standby power is emergency backup power provided by a generator. In prime power applications, the Kubota GL11000 and GL7000 act as the main source of electric power.

The power generating unit, or alternator, incorporates a skewed stator and dampening coil. The skewed design reduces distortion while the dampening coil helps keep the output constant as current draw increases, even under short circuit conditions.

Electrical connections are made using the easy-to-access terminals or through the circuit breaker protected receptacles.

The GL11000 includes four receptacles: one standard 20-amp 120-volt GFCI and three locking receptaclesone 30-amp 120 volt; one 30-amp 240-volt; and one 50-amp 120/240 volt.

The GL7000 also has three locking receptaclesa 30-amp 120-volt, a 30-amp 240-volt, and a 30-amp 120/240-voltin addition to the 20-amp GFCI.

With different power connection options, an efficient and environmentally friendly diesel, and compact design, the Kubota GL series of generators has a wide variety of applications and is easily incorporated into any number of prime and standby power generation systems.

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2013 Mid-Atlantic Hurricane Season Update

August 31st-September 1 marks the middle of the hurricane season. So far in 2013, there have been six named storms in the Atlantic Basin and Caribbean Sea, but none have attained hurricane strength. Predictions for this year’s season were for an above average to hyperactive season with approximately 15 named storms, of which 8 would be hurricanes and three of those major hurricanes.

Tropical Cyclones are potentially devastating storms that impact lives and property wherever they make landfall. Tropical storms and hurricanes are tropical cyclones with circular rotation around a central eye. Tropical storm winds range from 39 to 74 miles per hour, and hurricanes from 75 to 150 miles per hour, but the most dangerous threat is inland flooding.

Tropical storms are often ignored as potentially dangerous and don’t receive the wide media attention given to hurricanes, but with the potential for tornadoes, power outages, extreme rain, and flooding, a tropical storm can cause serious damage and pose life-threatening risks. This year’s hurricane season has been blamed for at least 18 deaths, left tens of thousands without electrical power, and caused serious property damage.

Preparation for a storm of any kind should include food and water supplies, learning evacuation routes, and performing maintenance on standby and portable generators, along with maintaining stores of fuel supplies.

June

Andrea formed quickly in early June in the Caribbean Sea and peaked with winds that reached 65 miles per hour. It dropped 12 inches of rain on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and killed three people. Later it crossed into Florida, causing scattered power outages and flooding. Andrea spawned five tornadoes which caused at least one serious injury.

A well-defined tropical wave in the Southeastern Caribbean Sea was noted on June 15, just one week after Andrea formed. It moved across the Central-America Isthmus and emerged over the southern Gulf of Mexico where it intensified into Tropical Storm Barry. Barry moved inland again on June 20 near Veracruz, Mexico with winds up to 45 MPH. The storm left 27,000 people without power, caused fires with lightning, and injured at least two people.

July

Two storms formed off the Cape Verde Islands west of Africa and were carried by the equatorial stream of air across the Atlantic. Chantal formed on July 5 as a tropical wave with little chance of forming a cyclone, but on July 8 had a well defined center of circulation and was upgraded to a tropical storm. By July 10, wind shear was destroying the storms center. Downgraded again to a topical wave, it caused the evacuation of thousands in Hispaniola and was blamed for the death of at least one person in the Dominican Republic.

Dorian formed as a depression on July 24, managed to gain enough energy to organize and then spluttered it’s way across the Atlantic as a depression until it reformed into a tropical storm off the coast of Florida. It lasted only 12 hours and degenerated into an area of low pressure.

August

The record books will show August 2013 as the first August since 2002 without hurricane development. There were two tropical storms this month, Erin and Fernand. Erin formed off the Cape Verde Islands on the 13th as a depression and became a tropical storm on the 15th. It lost strength for a time, then regenerated into a tropical storm on the 17th, only to degrade into a tropical depression on the 18th.

Graphic showing three potential storms in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea

Three Potential Tropical Cyclone Systems in the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea

Fernand formed over the Yucatan Peninsula as a Tropical Wave on the 23rd and moved into the Bay of Campeche where an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft determined it was a tropical storm. Fernand was short-lived and made landfall again just north of Veracruz where it degraded into a low pressure area with heavy thunderstorms. Fernand caused 14 deaths over its relatively short life span.

As of this writing, there are three storm systems with the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone over the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. With three months left in this hurricane season, have you prepared for the next storm?

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Generac Protector Series: Diesel Powered Standby Generators

New at Norwall Power Systems are Generac’s Protector Series Standby Generators with capacities from 15 to 50 kilowatts. These liquid-cooled generators feature the reliability of a liquid-cooled generator along with the power and efficiency provided by a diesel engine. With standard and optional ‘Code Ready’ features and accessories, the Protector Series is easily fitted to comply with local codes and ordinances and are designed for use in residential and light-commercial applications, and is a UL/CUL 2200-listed generator.

Five Standby Choices

Norwall now includes five Protector Series Standby Generators in its lineup, all powered by four-cylinder diesel engines. Minimum half-load run time on a single tank of fuel ranges from 24 to 38 hours, depending on the actual load and output capacity of the generator.

The Generac Protector with integrated base tank.

Liquid Cooled Diesel Powered for Reliability and Efficiency

  • RD01523 – 15 kilowatts
  • RD02023 – 20 kilowatts
  • RD03024 – 30 kilowatts
  • RD04834 – 48 kilowatts
  • RD05034 – 50 kilowatts.

All models except the RD04834 are available as both single-phase and three-phase generators. Single-phase generators operate at 120/240 volts. Three-phase voltage options include 120/208 volts and 120/240 volts for the 15 and 20 kilowatt models. The 30 and 50 kilowatt models also have a 277/480-volt three-phase option. Most residential customers will require single-phase current while some commercial operations need a three-phase option.

Note: The 48 kilowatt RD04834 is only available as a single-phase generator.

All the models in The Protector Series work with Generac’s automatic transfer switches (purchase separately) and are permanently installed and connected systems that operate automatically in the event of a power outage.

Diesel Power

The diesel engines that power Protector Generators are four-stroke, four-cylinder engines with OHV design, cast-iron cylinder heads, and aluminum pistons. They are liquid cooled with a coolant pump, radiator, and fan, similar to the cooling system in automobiles and trucks.

Great for Homes and businesses located in areas without access to liquid propane or natural gas

Great for Homes and businesses located in areas without access to liquid propane or natural gas

The 2.28 liter engines on the 15 and 20 kilowatt models have naturally aspirated air and fuel intakes. A turbocharger is added to the 2.4 liter engine used on the 30 kilowatt model, while the 3.4 liter engine on 48 and 50 kilowatt models include an after cooler in addition to the turbocharger.

Turbochargers and after coolers add power and efficiency by increasing the density of the fuel-air mixture delivered to the engine.

Engine design also includes automatic shutdown from low oil pressure, high engine or high oil temperature, and over-crank / over-speed conditions.

Evolution Controller

At the heart of the standby generator is the Evolution Controller, a microprocessor based control system that governs virtually all aspects of the standby generator system and allows it to function independently and without human intervention. It monitors the incoming utility line, starts and runs the generator during an outage and shuts it down when power is restored. It is also responsible for a weekly exercise period, monitoring the generator system for faults, and reminding the owner when maintenance is required.

A two-line multilingual display allows navigation through a menu system using a membrane keypad and offers status alerts, exercise programming, extensive fault reporting, and maintenance scheduling. The keypad is back-lit by colored LEDs which provide generator status at a glance. They keypad, display, and main circuit breaker are visible through a window in the generator enclosure.

Mobile Link is an optional, text-message based system that uses the existing cellular system to communicate with a web-based controller dashboard. The dashboard is accessible with smart phones, tablets, and computers from inside the house or anywhere you find an Internet connection. Status alerts are also sent as text messages to your cell phone―You’ll know immediately if there is a power outage and that your generator is functioning properly.

Code Ready

Concerns about meeting special requirements in local building codes and ordinances are no longer an issue.

The double-walled, externally-vented and filled fuel tank meets UL/CUL-142 regulations. Leaks are contained within the outer tank, preventing environmental contamination. Leak detection shuts down the generator and issues an alarm.

Optional code-ready accessories allow quick and easy customization of the generator with off-the-shelf accessories designed to make code compliance a snap. Accessories for code compliance include low fuel alarms, locking tank caps, fuel spill and recovery systems, tank risers and fill tubes, and more.

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