[Possible OT] California, and running off of generators for extended periods

I was waiting for Sean to respond to this first, but it often is unwise to use
a backup system as a main.

I remember a lower manhattan telco facility (can't remember the address) that
switched to backup, didn't handle the procedures correctly and ran the
batteries down to zero. Took all sorts of things off line, including all air
traffic control for JFK/LAG/EWR for 10+ hours. This for a facility that is in
general prepared to run on backup and does it on a regular basis.

Unless you have a group that is really really set up to run on local power as
your main source, it's best to use it as the backup it was designed to be.
Unless the facility is ready to make a major commitment to local power
generation, the risks outweigh the benefits, IMO.


The incident in question was a test of the backup systems under load.
I don't recall exactly what happened (its actually more common than
you might think) but either a) the test failed or b) (and more likely)
the test was a success but due to forgetfullness, they never swithced
back to the primaries or they attempted to do so but didn't notice
that it didn't work.

If your systems are designed to operate with main power being down for
6 hours (the minimum in my oppinion), you should have no trouble
running on this in the instances of stage 3 etc. Of course, as has
been pointed out earlier, environmental regs and general cost per kw
of backup vs primary can make this moot..