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CSA C282 is a standard that describes how to design, install, operate and maintain power generation equipment that provides emergency power. This typically covers any power-generation systems used in buildings to provide an emergency power supply in case of power failure.

When a facility's power supply fails, an emergency generator can make all the difference between a safe or unsafe environment. A failure in a facility's primary source can create dangerous conditions if they cannot sufficiently meet these demands with their backup generator system. Thankfully, this standard has been explicitly designed per regulations set out by Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

CSA C282 Preventative Maintenance

This standard, along with other codes, is a preventative action plan to assist us in keeping our facilities and buildings safe for all those who enter the doors.

Power generation equipment can be costly; therefore, it is crucial to have your generators and transfer equipment checked and maintained regularly. By closely monitoring your equipment and acting before minor problems progress to major issues, you can avoid major expenses. 

Regular maintenance helps to minimize downtime by preventing breakdowns and prolonging the life of your machinery. The keyword in this definition is maintenance. Preventative maintenance is all about staying proactive with maintaining your power generators or emergency power supply to ensure they are always in good working order.

Proper Functionality of your Generator

During maintenance, our technicians will check issues such as but not limited to:

  • Oil and fluid levels.

  • Oil filters.

  • Control panel and engine.

  • Belts, hoses, connectors, and other accessories.

  • Exhaust systems.

  • Conduct a thorough inspection as described in the tables of the CSA282 guidelines.

Proper Functionality of your Transfer Equipment 

Proper maintenance of your generator is only ½ of the equation. If the transfer equipment is malfunctioning or lacking in maintenance, there's a good chance your loads will not transfer to the generator. Our technicians also verify the following parameters:

  • Visual checks; carriage, contacts & harnesses.

  • Dirt or debris ingress.

  • Timers and contact verification.

  • Function testing.

To ensure your emergency power system is running at peak performance, thorough and rigorous inspections are vital for longevity.

Emergency Power Systems Maintenance - CSA282

CSA C282 is a framework for providing maintenance schedules. The CSA282 code is in-line with most manufacturers' warranty and general performance requirements, as well. A robust maintenance program typically involves regular inspections, testing and replacement of parts, but the standard stops short of providing detailed guidance on these topics. 

Emergency Power System service providers pick up where the code leaves off. A service provider such as CPG can help to assist a customer with their individual needs. The requirements for healthy performance and CSA282 compliance for a 30kW machine are not the same as that of a 3MW plant at a hospital. While both pieces of equipment provide the same basic functionality, their applications will dictate the levels of service and intervals for these services. The services of an industry professional to help tailor a program will not only save you money but limit liability and risk for your whole system's performance. 

Generators and transfer equipment are typically found in buildings possessing critical loads; this means they can keep vital equipment working during a blackout. However, suppose one of these machines were to fail due to being improperly maintained or installed by an unqualified professional who doesn't fully understand how it functions. In that case, your staff and residents could be at risk!

An emergency power supply ensures that essential power for services such as elevators, life safety and building security is continued during power outages or disruptions. Emergency Power Systems also provide power to fire fighting equipment, sensitive or vital computer systems as well as other equipment vital to the continued health and safety of the occupants of a building/facility. 

When Should You Service Your Generators?

Typically, a service structure will depend on your facility. Leaving out healthcare facilities that have a subsection of code they adhere to (CSA282 – Z32), a normal maintenance routine revolves around monthly, semi-annual, and annual inspections complete with mechanical service & load testing. 

  • Monthly Testing – Typically, a general inspection of each component of your EPS, including the generator, fuel systems, transfer equipment and building annunciation. This includes running the generator and transferring the building needs to the generator for at minimum 1 hour.

  • Semi-Annual Inspection – This is a much more rigorous inspection and test normally carried out with significant preplanning as the system has several parameters (about 250 points) checked over and recorded. There is additionally, more stringent testing of the control systems.

  • Annual Inspection, Service & Load test – Similar to a yearly health checkup, this service is extremely detailed and includes mechanical service. At this time, all the filters are changed, the oil is serviced, typically, the fuel is serviced (polishing, if diesel). Once the mechanical parameters are checked and changed, the generator is run at its full rated capacity for a minimum of 2 hours. A subsequent building load test of 1 hour is performed depending on the performance testing required for the site. Additional items are normally attended to, such as battery load testing, coolant/fuel sampling, among other service items.

If you are unsure of the type of generator your facility has or how often it should be serviced, contact Custom Power Generation. We'd love to chat about a customizable preventative maintenance contract to ensure you are equipped for success.

Maintenance Records

Keeping detailed records of your emergency power equipment is not only a matter of code requirement; it is also good practice. By keeping up-to-date records on-site and digitally, you can assess the health and performance of your machine over time with an industry professional. Keeping these logs is also important to maintain compliance with the AHJ. 

We'll always record and keep a permanent log of your equipment's inspection, testing, and maintenance. Our team of experts will ensure that your equipment is maintained in accordance with CSA C282 and the manufacturer's instructions.

Custom Power Generation has experience and vast knowledge in generators and preventative maintenance. In addition, we offer comprehensive contingency plans, operator training, start-up assistance, extended warranty options and more.

We ensure that your emergency power system is ready when you need it. We're capable of working on all types of generators. If you have one, we know how to maintain it! We have offices located in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto and provide repairs, maintenance contracts all over Canada.

If you would like to learn more about power generation, power supply and the benefits of preventative maintenance, call us today!

Sources:

https://www.csagroup.org/store/product/C282-15/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/understanding-csa-282-emergency-electrical-power-supply-henderson/

https://www.mawdsleysber.co.uk/complete-diesel-generator-maintenance-guide/

https://www.gentechusa.com/what-causes-generators-to-falter-and-fail/