Managing the whole building shutdown test

This is an excellent article that delves into the myriad of details required to perform the shutdown of an entire building, defined as killing incoming utility power and then monitoring how the building - and all of its systems - restart. Is the restart correct and properly synchronized?  

  • How do you prepare properly for such a test? 
  • What are some things to look out for? 
  • How is the test coordinated? 
  • What kind of planning is needed? 
  • What's the best way to document? 

From the Introduction... 

What is a Whole Building Shutdown Test?
The whole building shutdown test does not test the generator functions. That test is completed
sometime prior to the shutdown test. The whole building shutdown refers to a test where, once
all equipment and systems powered by electricity are complete, the electrical power to the entire
building is shut off imitating a street power outage. The electrical generator is allowed to start
normally and then later normal “street” power is restored. This is much more than a test of the
generator. It is a test of the way that every piece of equipment reacts to such an event—does it
restart with the generator automatically? Is it on an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and ride
through the eight seconds it takes for the generator to start? Once street power is restored does
equipment not on emergency power require a manual reset to start, or does it automatically
restart? Are required time delays to restart accomplished? Do the position of dampers and
actuators remain or return to specified states during the loss of power? Are there any adverse
interactions with the building comfort and process systems during the event? These questions
and more need to be verified for each piece of equipment during the test.

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