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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  June 2006, Week 5

ARCHIVES June 2006, Week 5

Subject:

Gensets - some thoughts.

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richard L. Hess

Date:

Thu, 29 Jun 2006 16:26:48 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (77 lines)

At 04:05 PM 6/29/2006, Peter Kurilecz wrote:

>does anyone know if NARA Archives I has emergency power generators?
>and if not why not? wouldn't that be part of a business continuity
>program?

My understanding from news reports is that external generators, 
dehumidifiers, and pumps have been brought in.

For something like NARA, having contracts in place might be as 
good/better choice than maintaining generators. There would be a good 
chance that the generator would be in the basement like the one in 
the Cohen Building (HHS-North) for VOA. If the flood took out 
electrical switchgear and HVAC equipment in NARA I, there's a good 
chance that the genset would be flooded as well.

The complexity to maintain a genset is non-trivial, and on-site fuel 
storage for long periods of time is also problematic and costly, 
including "polishing" or cleaning the Diesel fuel on a regular basis.

Here at the Vignettes Media World Headquarters <smile>, we have a 
small genset (6 kW), that, oddly you should mention it, we tested 
this week. We need to update our fuel supply because our old fuel is 
currently being used up in our fleet (2) of Suburbans <smile>. Our 
systems are gasoline-, not Diesel-, based and storage for longer than 
six months is not recommended. We prefer one fuel as much as 
possible. Our genset can run refrigerator, furnace, dehumidifier, 
LAN, servers, workstations, lighting, but not the air conditioner nor 
the stove nor dryer (well it might squeak by ONE of those except the A/C).

Removing my tongue from my cheek, broadcasters need generators so 
they can stay on the air during a disaster and operate in the public 
interest, convenience, and necessity (to quote the 1934 
Communications Act before it was gutted). I was involved with one Los 
Angeles TV station that ended up with a 1,500 kW Diesel genset 
installed in its second basement and a week's supply of fuel in an 
underground tank. What a monster!

One major movie lot in LA had a feeder failure and brought in about a 
half-dozen trailer-mounted gensets to run the operation for a while. 
If you're serious about this, work with your local Caterpillar or 
Cummins dealer to provide a level of service guarantee on delivering 
a genset to you in time of need. Also line up your fuel supplies in 
advance. One ISP stayed "on the air" in NOLA during Katrina and was 
offering large sums of money for the delivery of Diesel. It was one 
of the better blogs at the time. Oh, they got their Diesel. Their 
servers never went down AFAIK, but they were down to one link to the 
outside world at one point!

I don't know what the timing issues are for damage to archives, but I 
would think letting someone else have the headache of maintaining the 
gear would be a better choice than taking it on yourselves. Throw GSA 
into the middle of things and it's even more complex (not worse, just 
more complex).

Cheers,

Richard


Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.  

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