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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/22/2008 9:00:01 AM EST
Say for example there's a huge power outage in a major city. Time and again though I've noticed that the more 'needed' services, such as pumping stations for water, or hospitals, or jails, are able to stay online and have power flowing normally. How do the utility companies handle power needs for these types of situations such that they are able to stay online during outages? Do the utilities create a sort of mini-grid for buildings like that that's separated from everything else?
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:01:17 AM EST
Usually they have their own generators or even power plants (hospitals, banks, etc)
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:01:33 AM EST
They have their own generators.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:01:49 AM EST
Critical services typically have generators. Besides, outages are generally transmission based. Most critical services are on much more reliable buried circuits than you in BFE.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:02:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By evo462:
Usually they have their own generators or even power plants (hospitals, banks, etc)

This or dedicated separate lines from the power company. Lines they pay extra for.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:02:24 AM EST
He must mean besides generators (I hope?).
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:04:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 9:05:33 AM EST by Thumper45]
My power is usually the first to be restored while the everyones is out. It seems that one of my neighbors is on some sort of list to have her power turned back on. So me and 5 neighbors get our power back. While right across the street and the house next to me has to wait another 5+ hours

ETA: The five houses have power and atleast 10 blocks in every direction is still powerless. I never understood it.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:04:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By evo462:
Usually they have their own generators or even power plants (hospitals, banks, etc)

And Television Stations.

We've got a big fucker right out back here, it's actually an extra building next to a massive diesel tank.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:05:33 AM EST
Stand by gennies, dedicated lines mean jack if damaged by a dig in or the main line/transmission line goes down.

While we can re route power some of the time by isolating the damage or popping a line fuse, it's not a 100% solution.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:09:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By THR-Thumper:
He must mean besides generators (I hope?).


I realize lots of buildings have generators. I'm talking about actual power delivery, and the situations I spoke of in the OP were in cases that the buildings weren't running on generators at the time.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:10:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 9:13:24 AM EST by Keith_J]
Redundant circuits. These are usually provided for medical centers, law enforcement and government. Buildings with special needs will still have generators because the redundant circuits are not assurances of uninterrupted power.

It is done by having a "wheel and spokes" type of distribution system and lots of interconnects which can be switched to form alternate paths around faults. Critical areas are noted on the map and switching is favored to keep critical areas online.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:15:18 AM EST
They don't . When the grid goes down the whole thing goes. It is just a matter of who they reconnect first. I have had power go out for 13,9,7 days during hurricanes in FL. It is up to you to have fuel and generators to help yourself.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:15:45 AM EST
If you look at the outlets at the hospital, you will notice that some are normal color and some are red/orange. The red/orange outlets are on the generator/redundant circuits so things considered essential get plugged into them.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:16:32 AM EST
We are on two overlapping power grids, so an outage on one grid would not be enough to shut us down. We have three Allison V16 generator's, two primary and a back-up (and a 60,000 gallon underground diesel tank). All utilities, fire systems, telephones, ect., have battery back-up default systems. Even the elevator systems have battery power to allow them to return to ground level.

And we are an earthquake evacuation center for the city of 'Frisco.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:19:17 AM EST
Mainly, they have their own generators on-site. The power company doesn't have anything to do with them.

A couple of the major power customers here have two separate lines from two different substations that feed them. The lines both feed into a transfer switch which feeds the business. If the primary line feeding them loses power, the transfer switch automatically fails over to the backup line. They pay extra for this redundant supply. If both lines are out, then they run on their diesel generators like other businesses.

We know which stations and circuits feed the hospitals, and they get top priority if a storm comes through and knocks a bunch of stuff out.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:27:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By evo462:
Usually they have their own generators or even power plants (hospitals, banks, etc)


My business is located right in the middle of a complex of city facilities, including SWAT, FD, etc. The infrastructure in the area is old and shaky, during heavy storms it is common to lose power. They all have generators [nat gas IIRC].

The upside os that it is a priority for the power co, so power usually gets restored pretty quick. Baylor hospital is also about 1/2 mile from me, on the same grid.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:44:54 AM EST
The AT&T Datacenter I work in has 8 huge generators and a 120000 gal Diesel tank to keep everything up and running, so you can enjoy your internets in case the power goes out in mesa.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 10:19:09 AM EST
You cannot even open the doors for business at a hospital in Texas without a failover fault test on red plugs (plugs tied in to the generator/batteries). The power must respond within 5 seconds of power cut.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 11:19:49 AM EST
We actually have a secondary feeder to our facility in addition to the primary feeder. We've never had an outage where both feeders were down and we were screwed.
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