The FIA has recently released information on developments to the standards for emergency lighting, BS 5266-1. As a result, companies are readdressing their emergency evacuation procedures and equipment. How can companies ensure they are compliant and where do Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) fit in?

Emergency escape lighting and exit signage are required by law in all commercial buildings to indicate and illuminate exit routes during a mains power failure or emergency situation. In some circumstances an emergency light operates as a normal light from a mains supply, continuing to operate at a lower light level from a central battery source during a mains failure. Otherwise, the emergency light only switches on during a mains failure using battery backup and lasts for a minimum of one to three hours depending on evacuation time and premises type.

In each circumstance, there is a choice of backup power supply. Self-contained (single point) or a central battery source such as a BS EN 50171 compliant UPS. A number of considerations such as; budget, facility type, project size, longevity and building age should be factored in when making the decision.

Typically installed into smaller projects, the self-contained power supplies for emergency lighting offer a fast and cheap option with a lower initial investment required. These systems can easily be extended with additional luminaires and do not require any special sub-circuit monitoring. However, the battery life is limited to between 2 and 4 years depending on the application and in order to test the batteries, the luminaires require isolation and observation on an individual basis. Furthermore, the batteries may be adversely affected by a relatively high or low ambient temperature which varies throughout the system.

On the other hand, a UPS is ideal for larger sites with longevity and low maintenance as priorities. A UPS allows for easier maintenance and routine testing with only one location to consider and the batteries have a lifespan of between 5 and 25 years. This method also benefits from larger batteries being cheaper per unit of power and so luminaires are usually less expensive. Additionally, the high capital equipment costs are offset with the Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Power Control is a well-known supplier, installer, commissioner and maintainer of Borri Spa and Legrand UPS systems. These manufacturers have designed high efficiency, small footprint central battery sources in compliance with EN 50171 and IEC/EN 62040.

The E8031 – E8033 ECS and Ingenio ECS from Borri Spa are available from 10 to 160kVA and supply uninterrupted quality power to emergency lighting systems with a 120% permanent power overload capacity and deep discharge protection. The ECS units also contain batteries with a 10-year life expectancy.

For a modular solution, the Legrand TRIMOD MCS central power supply is available from 3 to 80kW and also complies with EN 50171 standards with a 120% permanent power overload capacity. As a modular solution, the TRIMOD MCS is scalable from day one requirement with easy to install modules.

With over 25 years’ experience of delivering UPS solutions to all applications and industries, Power Control will establish the exact power protection needs of any premises.

For more information and to arrange a free site survey please visit our services page, email [email protected] or call the office on 01246 431431

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