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The equipment supported in life safety systems is connected to very demanding motor applications. Generators will see a higher power requirement at initial start-up, that is 6-10 times greater than the power requirement when it is in its normal running state. When sizing a generator for motor starting, the type of motor start mechanism must be considered. Is it direct online or is it Delta Star? Does it have any soft start capabilities? These things dictate the correct size of generator required and need careful consideration. A common mistake is to just look at the starting curve on the alternator motor used. It may well demonstrate that the alternator can easily cope with the demand, however most people forget that the alternator is powered by a mechanical engine, which cannot produce infinite kilowatts.
The governing standard in Europe for generators is ISO8528 and there are a set of acceptable limits for voltage and frequency deviation for the start-up of generators. If you fall outside of these pre-set limits, there is a risk of damaging the equipment or circuits that the generator is designed to support. It is imperative that the generator is sized to accommodate its own load step characteristic, as well as the start-up characteristics of the connected loads.
BS EN 8519 provides guidance on the selection and installation of fire resistant power and control cable systems for ‘life safety’ applications. Further to this, BS7698-12/ISO8528-12 set out particular requirements of how a generator must perform and how quickly it must respond, when the system is deemed to be an "emergency power supply to safety services". There are also requirements with reference to the physical build.
For more information on life safety generators call 01942 386237 or contact us online