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Four Reasons to Specify Quick Connects for Backup Power

Application Note 5
Simple and fast. That’s what facilities need when connecting backup power equipment to power distribution systems. ASCO Power Technologies offers a range of quick connect options for backup power users. The following sections identify four reasons why ASCO Quick Connect Panels are useful.

Four Reasons for Specifying Quick Connect Panels

Connect a Temporary Generator

The most common reason to specify Quick Connect Panels for backup and emergency power systems is to provide a docking station for a temporary power source for facilities that do not have a permanent backup generator. For many facilities, the cost of a permanent backup generator can be prohibitive. For facilities that can tolerate short intervals without power, a portable or transportable generator can be brought to a site when backup power is needed.

Provide a “Backup-for-the-Backup”

Large facilities commonly install more than one generator to provide sufficient backup power capacity and/or redundancy. However, many small and mid-size facilities rely on a single permanent generator for backup power. This arrangement can meet facility needs until it's time to maintain or repair the gen-set. When this happens, the facility will be without backup power until the gen-set is returned to service. If an outage of the normal source occurs during the service event, facility operations will be impacted by the outage in ways the backup power system was initially installed to avoid.

Single-generator facilities can avoid this scenario by installing a Quick Connect Panel and a Manual Transfer Switch. When the permanent generator must be serviced, a temporary generator can be brought to the site and connected to the Quick Connect Panel to provide contingent power. If an outage of the normal source occurs, the temporary generator will supply emergency power. When the service is completed, the temporary generator is disconnected and removed while the facility reverts to its normal backup power capabilities.
Application Note 5
Comply with the National Electrical Code®

For facilities that provide critical services, the National Electrical Code® may require a backup-for-the-backup setup as described above. For Emergency Systems, Article 700.3(F) of the 2020 Edition states:

If the emergency system relies on a single alternate source of power, which will be
disabled for maintenance or repair, the emergency system shall include permanent switching means to connect a portable or temporary alternate source of power,
which shall be available for the duration of the maintenance or repair.

A similar requirement applies to Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) used in facilities needed to support national security, the economy, or public health and safety. Article 708.6(F)6 states: Where the COPS is supplied by a single generator, a means to connect a portable or vehicle-mounted generator shall be provided.

Installing a manual transfer switch and a quick connect panel can comply with these requirements.

Connect a Load Bank

Backup generators and power systems require regular testing. Load banks offer a means to test equipment and systems without transferring active facility operational loads to backup power. This can make testing programs easier to administer, which in turn supports greater compliance with codes, standards, and best practices.

ASCO Quick Connect Solutions

ASCO Power Technologies offers quick connect equipment for a range of applications. These include:

Quick Connect Panels – These offer a location-flexible solution for providing contingent backup power. These can be installed at indoor and outdoor locations, either close to or remote from a transfer switch. For example, an outdoor quick connect panel can be installed alongside a parking area where a rented generator will be staged. The connection can then be controlled from a separate transfer switch installed in an indoor electrical room, near the power system to which it connects.

Dual Purpose Quick Connect Panels – These offer all the advantages of ASCO Quick Connect Panels in units that connect both power sources and test loads.

Manual Transfer Switches with Integrated Quick Connects – These provide all the functionality of both a manual transfer switch and a quick connect panel with simpler installation in less total space.

Manual Transfer Switch with Dual Quick Connect Panels - This arrangement integrates separate quick connects for both a generator and a load bank together with a transfer switch into a single unit. It is a great solution for providing contingent power while streamlining load testing activities.


For related reading, see:

        National Fire Protection Agency
                National Electrical Code, 2020 Edition

        ASCO Power Technologies, Inc.

                Technical Brief - NEC Requirement for Permanent Manual Switching Means
                Technical Brief - Temporary Backup Power for Critical Operations
                Technical Brief - Is Your Backup Power System Ready? Prove It.

For additional information, contact ASCO Customer Care.

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