Building Systems Installation & Modifications:
Emergency Backup Power System


The following is a list of useful terms to use when researching additional Emergency Backup Power System information on each of the topics discussed:

Automatic Transfer Device Room

Equipment located within the Automatic Transfer Device Room shall be limited to equipment associated with the Emergency or Standby Power Systems. Piping within the room shall be limited to sprinkler piping. Automatic transfer devices are located within a two hour fire resistance rated room

Capacity of Emergency Backup Power

Emergency Backup Power systems and legally required standby power systems shall have the capacity and ratings to supply all connected equipment simultaneously

Certificate of Approval for Oil Burning Installation

When the project uses manual transfer to fill the fuel storage tank associated with a code-compliant oil burning installation or modification, the DOB Boiler Division issues this certificate.

Egress Illumination Emergency Power

Provides backup power for a duration not less than 90 minutes per BC 1006.3.1 for egress illumination, which may also consist of storage batteries, unit equipment, or an on-site generator.

Emergency Backup Power System

An alternate power system that is connected to feed an existing electrical system when normal electrical supply is interrupted or an independent supply system fails.

FDNY Certificate of Fitness (COF)

A COF is required for an individual supervising or performing the transfer of fuel to fill the fuel storage tank.  See NYC Fire Code for additional information.

Fire Department Fuel Oil Permit

When storage of flammable and combustible liquid exceeds 10 gallons (38 liters), an FDNY permit shall be required.

Fuel Source

  • Diesel Fuel Oil – Fuel oil, which is required to fill emergency generator diesel fuel storage tanks, is supplied by a transfer pump, an automatic pump or other approved means
  • Gas – Gas is supplied to the system either as natural gas or other.
  • Battery – Stationary batteries used to provide facility emergency or standby power

Fuel Supply

Emergency and Standby Systems relying on fuel supplies shall have an on-premises fuel supply sufficient to operate the system not less than six-hours at full-demand.  Natural gas from the public utility, however, shall be permitted as the sole fuel supply for (i) emergency power systems serving R-2 occupancies and (ii) standby power systems provided that an outside gas cut-off valve separate from other gas services is installed per NYC Fuel Gas Code (FGC).

Generator Room

Equipment and fuel tanks located within the emergency generator room shall be limited to equipment and fuel tanks associated with the emergency and standby power systems.  Piping within the room shall be limited to sprinkler piping. Emergency generators are located within a two hour fire resistance rated room.
Exceptions:
  1. Uninterrupted conduits not associated with the emergency and standby power system may pass through the emergency generator room.
  2. Piping associated with generator cooling systems may be located within the emergency generator room.  (BC 2702.1.2.2)

Legally Required Standby Power Systems

Certain occupancies and buildings like high-rise buildings, covered malls, Places of Assembly, and others documented in BC Chapter 27 require standby power systems. In the event the normal source of electrical power is interrupted, Standby Power Systems automatically supply power to required life-safety system loads.


Multiple Generators

Multiple generators supplying Emergency Power System loads only, or supplying Emergency Power System equipment in combination with Optional Standby loads as a common system, may share common fuel supplies and other common equipment and systems.

Optional Standby Systems

These systems supply power to facilities or to property where life safety does not depend on the performance of the system – for example, redundant heating and refrigeration systems, data processing, and industrial processes. However, there are certain life-safety features required by Code.


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