Labs nationwide may consider protecting costly instrumentation and valuable data with certified power protection as part of their lab risk management programs, since regions nationwide could soon face weather-related risks such as record heat, wildfires, tornados, and hurricanes.

Franek Technologies Inc, Tustin, Calif, which specializes in Category III-3 laboratory protection systems (LPS/UPS), provides customized, power-protection solutions that shield investments in highly sensitive instrumentation to help ensure viable results and the ability to operate around the clock regardless of outside conditions.

“Every lab running sensitive instrumentation has its own set of weather-related operating risks that need to be considered when creating a laboratory risk management program,” said Raymond L. Hecker, the company’s VP and general manager. “We recommend completely isolating the instrumentation from the power receptacle to obtain the maximum protection from lightning-strike flashover and downed power lines, which cause neutral and ground reversal that overload power protection and safety devices.”

Should a major event occur, labs should plan an orderly shutdown if they are not protected with adequate emergency-power-system reserves, he says. Most instrumentation-system damage occurs when labs operate beyond the capacity of short-term backup systems or without engaging long-term emergency power systems (gen-set), when available.

For anticipated risks, such as hurricanes or wildfires, labs need to do more than shut down and evacuate. Facing long-term outages, personnel should shut down analyzers and lab power systems and unplug all equipment from the walls to reduce the risk of rebound power surges damaging equipment during start up.

Local electrical utilities and distribution lines often do not remain intact post-storm—especially when wind, flooding, and lightning are factors. Upon powering back up, an instrumentation-grade LPS power-protection system regenerates electrical power entering sensitive instrumentation into a perfect AC sine wave so a substandard power environment will not cause damage.

For unexpected power loss, such as brownouts or inevitable momentary glitches, labs are protected by installed LPS units with required battery backup systems to allow for test runs and for all instrumentation and peripheral equipment to power down safely.

The company furnishes LPS for analytical, diagnostics, forensic, life-science, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology instrumentation systems applications. Its certified uninterruptible battery backup power sources for lab and instrumentation applications protects more than $3 billion in lab assets worldwide.