How Automatic Standby Generators can Benefit Your Business

Natural Gas Automatic Standby Generator Provides Power During Blackout

Business continuity planning is an increasingly important consideration for a wide range of enterprises, especially when it comes to ensuring that there will be adequate standby power in the event of an interruption. With the uncertainties of severe weather, power company troubles, or any other unforeseen event, forward-looking business owners are investing in their own backup power equipment to keep the electricity "“on” in the event of an outage.

With many models to choose from, automatic standby generators are a wise and cost effective solution to protect business operations and profits in the event of a power outage. These permanently installed units start up automatically whenever a blackout occurs, providing 24 / 7 power protection.


Quilogy’s Investment in Power Protection

In the world of business, the flow of data is crucial to every aspect of corporate activity. When your company is a premier provider of data services, clients are entrusting you with their business lifeline. Maintaining the highest level of service is always the foremost priority. Regardless of the circumstances, customers rely upon you to keep them operational, and having reliable backup power is essential.

Quilogy is a multi-service information technology (IT) provider located in the downtown area of historic St. Charles, Missouri, just 20 miles west of St. Louis. The company, founded in 1992, is a National Systems Integrator that helps clients enhance their business by delivering innovative technology solutions.

To protect its business operations in the event of a utility outage, Quilogy uses a battery system and a 130 kilowatt natural gas Generac QT series generator to provide seamless short and long-term backup power to keep the computers operating and the data center properly cooled. The battery system provides instantaneous power before the generator takes over in 10 or 15 seconds, allowing data flow to continue uninterrupted (businesses without the need for an uninterruptible power supply can rely upon a generator alone).

“Our data center is the nexus of all of our internal systems,” says Alan Groh, chief technology officer. “We also use it to host systems that have been developed for clients, as well as to provide server resources to our project teams working across the country.”

Natural Gas vs. Diesel

Quilogy moved its data center from a smaller room of the building to a new and significantly larger area. At the same time, the capacity of the data center was expanded to three times that of the previous one in terms of power capacity, redundant cooling capacity and floor space. Quilogy’s previous backup generator was a smaller 25 kilowatt natural gas model and although it was well suited for the prior task and had performed well during outages, a larger unit was required for the new data center.

Both the facility design firm and a general contractor recommended diesel generators from other manufacturers, but Alan Groh wanted to consider other options. After learning about the Generac QT Series, he was convinced that it was a superior solution, combining the numerous advantages of natural gas (no refueling, storage, spillage, spoilage or odor) with a lower capital cost.

“Our experience with the gaseous-fueled 25 kilowatt unit was favorable, so there was no reason to make a change,” Groh says. “By selecting the QT model, we easily saved more than $10,000 when compared to the diesel alternatives. It was an easy decision.”

Clean, Quiet and Reliable

The 130 kilowatt model was selected as the best choice because of its capacity to satisfy Quilogy’s evolving power requirements. The unit can handle the upgraded 400 amp, 208 volt three-phase electrical requirements.

With Quilogy located in an historical area with shops and offices nearby, sound was another important factor in the decision to purchase the new model. Because of its sound attenuated enclosure and advanced air flow design, the generator is among the quietest in its class when operating under load.

During weekly exercise, the Quiet-Test™ feature operates the genset at a slower speed, making it even quieter. “Our generator is so quiet during the self-test that a person can not tell that it’s running without standing directly next to the unit,” says Mike Howells, data center engineer.

The wisdom of Quilogy’s decision to purchase this system was soon proven as a series of severe weather events caused widespread outages throughout the greater St. Louis area soon afterward. According to Mike Howells, during each outage the QT generator supplied backup power within 15 seconds and operated perfectly without incident. The 25 kilowatt unit, still hooked up to the former data center room, provided auxiliary power to the outlets there, enabling the creation of a makeshift work center during the longest of the outages.

Quilogy’s experience shows the wisdom and value of having standby power. After enduring numerous power outages and coming through them so smoothly, Quilogy has enhanced its reputation as a reliable service supplier. “Operating a data center requires 24 / 7 availability,” Mike Howells says, “and our clients depend on us to provide uninterrupted service. Downtime, even for a short duration, can be very costly. Our investment in a backup generator allowed us to provide seamless operation through the worst outages in our city’s history.”

For small and mid-sized businesses, being without power for just a few hours can mean devastating losses of revenue, data and customer goodwill.

The Bottom Line

Smart business owners know the value of investing in automatic standby power. Protecting any kind of commercial business from the costly effects of a power outage is easier and more affordable than ever. Automatic standby gaseous-fueled generators are a proven solution that will keep the lights on, the computers humming and the cash registers ringing for the duration of a blackout.