Baking & Snack - August 2018 - 109

OPERATIONS
Power Considerations

Power lost can equate to lost product. Keeping things running requires back-up power and a plan.
by Charlotte Atchley

A

A loss of power can happen to any bakery for any number of reasons. Sometimes it's a minor blip, a flicker of
lights that's an annoyance more than anything. And
sometimes there's a natural disaster that takes out electricity for an entire region. Between those two extremes
is the ever-common hour or two lost because of a bad
thunderstorm. Regardless of the reason or duration of
an outage, it's a good idea to have a contingency plan in
place to get the bakery back up and running as quickly
as possible.
"Typically, there are three main short-term concerns,"
said Greg Carr, senior director of project planning, The
Austin Co. "Bakers need to maintain their IT systems
and lighting and empty the ovens."
It's important that bakers know the points of highest risk for products and safety in their process. It's also
beneficial to understand the different types of back-up
power they have at their disposal and the strategies for
optimal performance.

Balance of powers
When the power goes out in a bakery, there are several
options to keep the facility operating in some capacity.

"The obvious choice to get a baking facility back up
and running as quickly as possible is to have it fully
backed by a generator system," said Tim Gause, electrical design engineer, AMK Design Group. "In such power distribution schemes, the generator control system
senses a loss of utility power and kicks in very quickly,
which essentially eliminates any loss of operation if the
system is automatic and not manual."
To remain fully operational during a power failure,
a properly sized generator and fuel supply will be the
best choice for a baker, whether that generator system
is permanent or a rental. A rental can be cost-friendly,
but it requires a connection point for the generator
on the outside of the building and a location to park
it, according to Barry Rogers, project executive, The
Austin Co.
"It's important to have a contract with a generator
supplier to ensure availability at short notice, typically
24 hours," he said. "Similar arrangements are necessary
for fuel supply to the generator."
However, with extended periods of downtime due to
natural disasters there's more to overcome than just keeping the bakery operating. "There are challenges in truck-

Solar or wind energy can
provide potential back-up
power while also saving on
utility costs.
┬ęSoonthorn - stock.adobe.com

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