Outage Points to Need for Better Backup

February 23, 2017

By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

Poorly designed or implemented power protection and backup systems essentially yield the same results as not having a system at all. The experience at the Santander Arena in Pennsylvania is a case in point.

The dual-purpose sports venue, and hoards of fans there for a Berks Conference boys basketball championship, were plunged into darkness earlier this month due to an as-yet-uncovered cause. The same thing happened to the crowd of thousands that gathered at the same arena the following day for Reading Royals hockey.

A backup generator was at the ready in case of just this kind of event. But, for whatever reason, it did not power up as expected. So sports fans sat patiently until Met-Ed was able to restore power about an hour and a half later. The energy company reportedly did that by switching the arena to an alternative circuit.

The good news is that no one was hurt and fans remained calm. The bad news is that it was a real inconvenience, could have turned out much differently, and demonstrated that the arena’s investment in a backup generator did not pay off as planned.

Of course, that’s not always the case. In fact, investing in backup power solutions can help you keep your business or other organization up and running – that is if that backup power source is a reliable product that is correctly configured.

That’s important, because according to the Electric Power Research Institute, on average a one-second power outage costs a business $1,477. Meanwhile, a one-hour outage costs the business about $7,795. (And J.D. Power & Associates estimates that the average business experiences 5.7 outages a year.) In all, power outage costs in the U.S. total $104 billion to $164 billion in a single year.

Edited by Alicia Young

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