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Emergency Standby Power for Water and Wastewater Facilities – Electrical Considerations

Electrical Control & Instrumentation Resources, Insights and Resources

by Syed Raza, P.Eng., Associate, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited


The Ontario Ministry of Environment has mandated the evaluation of emergency standby power requirements for all newly built water and wastewater treatment plants. Diesel generating sets are an obvious choice of standby power application due to their reliability and ease of availability. This article deals primarily with the main electrical considerations involved in sizing diesel generations for water and wastewater facilities, including identifying the critical loads to be power by the generator, the sequence of loading to the diesel generator, the requirement for parallel operations for larger or “mission-critical” facilities, the use of non-linear loads, and the consideration of future upgrading at the facility as power requirements often increase with time. With proper sizing and maintenance, diesel generators will provide reliable operation throughout its design life.

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