30 minutes ago, elmer wrote
Call it a real-world run-time test - now they know that the generator works and how long the battery will last.
Sadly it's the kind of test that doesn't get done nearly enough. Where I work they are pretty lax about a lot of maintenance stuff, but happily IT has harangued them to the point that they do a full generator test once a week. They fire up the primary and secondary generator and cut over the whole building for about 20 minutes and flip back and forth between the two generators just to make sure that everything is working.
We really saw the benefit of this in action one day during a power outage. The power went out, and it turns out that the battery backup on the fire alarm was bad and when the generator kicked in, it came back in an alarm state. So, we ended up evacuating. My department evacuates out an entrance that's 30 feet from the generator building. As we walked past you could barely hear the well maintained generators humming away. As we were in the parking lot we noticed that the building next door had clouds of smoke pouring out of the side of the building. We thought it might have been related to why we evacuated. After a bit we realized you could hear the tortured chugging of a diesel engine and we realized that somebody next door was probably going to answer for not properly testing their backup systems. Later on we found out that they ended up having to throw the breakers on a whole floor to take the load off of the generator.
I guess the moral of the story is if you haven't tested it, it doesn't work.