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Emerson Network Power’s ASCO Transfer Switch passes severe seismic test, demonstrating reliability

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, reports the ASCO® Series 300 Power Transfer Switch with the new Group G Controller responded to a ‘transfer test’ command from a remote annunciator during a seismic certification test.

“Operating its transfer mechanism after receiving a remote signal through an Ethernet connectivity module during severe seismic shake table testing demonstrates the transfer switch’s reliability and robust design,” said Ron Schroeder, director of ASCO Power product management and applications engineering for Emerson Network Power.

Seismic qualification standards and testing requirements, such as ICC-ES1, AC1562, require that the product operate only after a seismic event, not during.

The product, a 600 ampere-rated ASCO Series 300 Power Transfer Switch with advanced Group G Controller and ASCO 5310 Remote Annunciator connected through an ASCO 5140 72EE Connectivity Module, meets the IBC3 2012, CBC4 2013 and NEC5 Article 708 Critical Operating Power Systems (COPS) standard ground acceleration requirement of 2.50. In general, mission-critical equipment, such as emergency power systems that power life safety and critical branches, needs to withstand these higher ground acceleration levels.

Since seismic events can last longer than the 10 seconds required for an emergency power system to start and generate power, not being able to transfer power during a seismic event could compromise mission-critical operations. For facilities designated COPS by NEC Article 708, such as hospitals, the ability of transfer mechanisms to function during a seismic event could be literally life saving.
Qualifying for seismic certification requires that transfer switches undergo shake table testing that simulates seismic shifts and higher ground acceleration levels. This is an important factor for facilities located in very active seismic areas, such as California.

The ASCO Series 300 Power Transfer Switch design was certified on a tri-axial seismic simulator that punished the product with thousands of pounds of force. These shake table tests exceed the 2.50 ground acceleration requirement.
Without proper seismic certification, buildings risk getting red tagged during an inspection, which may delay issuance of a building certificate of occupancy. An inspector has a legal right to withdraw the certificate of occupancy, even though the building may be occupied. The insurance company could declare the building uninsurable and if the equipment fails to operateafter a seismic event, insurance claims could be denied.

1. ICC Evaluation Service, LLC
2. Acceptance Criteria guidelines for demonstrating compliance
3. International Building Code
4. California Building Code
5. National Electrical Code