With the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) National Hurricane Center warning of a very active hurricane season, laboratories nationwide are including instrumentation-grade power protection as part of their disaster preparedness plans to protect samples, instrumentation, and data.
After last year's record-shattering hurricane season, in agreement with the NOAA National Hurricane Center, Franek Technologies, Inc., the leader in certified Category III-3 Laboratory Battery Backup Power Protection Systems (LPS/UPS), recommends that all laboratories nationwide running sensitive instrumentation be proactive in disaster preparedness planning. It has been predicted that the United States will be at an increased risk for hurricanes and related hazards, such as storm surges, high winds, tornadoes, and thunderstorms, for at least the next 10 years so the threat to our nations laboratories is real.
Supporting over 1,200 universities, institutions, and laboratories in North America, from local law enforcement to national government laboratories, Franek Technologies customized power protection solutions are protecting the integrity of critical DNA, environmental health, and disease control analytical results, as well as over $3 billion in assets worldwide. The systems in hurricane- and thunderstorm-prone areas continue to help researchers maximize laboratory performance by allowing researchers to get reliable results around the clock, while minimizing economic hardship in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
There are two levels of risk associated with hurricanes and thunderstorms those directly in the storms path and those in outlying (outflow) areas. For those laboratories in the immediate pathway, labs need to do more than simply shut down and evacuate. Facing long-term outages, laboratory personnel should shut down analyzers, shut down laboratory power systems, and literally unplug all equipment from the walls so that upon start-up, there is no possibility of rebound power surges damaging equipment. Many laboratories assume that post-storm, their local electrical utility and distribution lines will remain intact, which is often not the case, especially when wind, flooding, and lightning are factors. Upon powering back up, an instrumentation-grade LPS power protection system re-generates the electrical power entering sensitive instrumentation into a perfect AC sine wave so that a sub-standard power environment will not cause damage.
Laboratories in outlying areas also face potential, and significant, damage from thunderstorms, high winds, downed power lines and/or flooding. These labs should implement supplemental power protection and back-up to protect sensitive instrumentation from power sags, surges, and outages. Even switching transient glitches as short as 30-miliseconds can result in costly damage to instrumentation, loss of irreplaceable samples and data, as well as significant lost productive time.