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Administration: Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Emergency Generators at Lehman College

Lehman College currently has four diesel –fueled emergency generators to serve the campus in the event of a power failure. Emergency generators will be activated automatically if electrical power to the campus is interrupted. The response time is <10 seconds.

It is important to understand the limitations of emergency generators! Emergency power is reserved for critical building- and life safety functions and mission-critical equipment only. Emergency generators are chosen, installed and connected to serve ONLY specific predetermined functions and pieces of equipment that require uninterrupted power. This approach to emergency power (i.e. supplying <100% full power) is standard in ALL settings – including hospitals.

Emergency generators are essentially very large diesel engines that generate electricity. At full power, emergency generators at Lehman College consume diesel fuel at rates between 18 – 69 gallons per hour, and have fuel reserves between 400 – 1700 gallons. Diesel fuel is quickly consumed in a power failure.

Sight lighting in hallways, elevators (in some campus buildings), sewage ejector pumps, fuel pumps, campus security systems (fire alarms, security cameras), Davis Animal Care Facility and Gate 5 will continue to operate at full power. Chemical fume hoods and other laboratory equipment (freezers, refrigerators, coldrooms, environmental chambers, analytical equipment, etc.) in Davis are NOT powered by the emergency generators. However, it is possible to manually connect standalone equipment to emergency power, but only after a power failure has occurred (and its extent is known).

Although Science Hall has its own emergency generator, the building will NOT operate at normal power levels during a power failure. Certain electrical outlets in labs in Science Hall are served by emergency power; these outlets are marked as such. These outlets should be used for mission-critical equipment only at all times. Placement of both lab equipment and emergency electrical outlets in laboratories is the result of careful analysis with input from faculty members that began in the design phase. Most of these outlets are located in the equipment “alcoves” in the labs. A few emergency outlets have been placed throughout the labs that can be accessed for power using extension cords. During normal operation, these outlets operate on normal (i.e. provided by Consolidated Edison) electrical service.

For more information on emergency generators, please contact the Office of Campus Planning & Facilities (x8226) or Environmental Health & Safety (x8988).