ITN faced significant disruptions earlier this week (April 2022) after a “significant” power outage hit the production company’s HQ in central London.
Back up generator failure
Reports of the event suggest that the power failed and the back-up generator also failed to start. The outage affected programming on both Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Jeremy Vine, who was forced off air by the power outage, to be replaced by reruns, later wrote: “Sorry to say, we didn’t make it to air today. Questions will be asked of the emergency generator, and the emergency backup generator.”
The role of load bank testing
Paul Brickman, Commercial Director at Crestchic Loadbanks, commented: “While it is unclear at this stage what the cause of the outage was, it is clear that it caused significant disruption and inconvenience to ITN. While power outages are not uncommon, being able to mitigate their potential impact – not to mention the associated financial implications – is crucial.”
For this reason, it is vital that back-up generators are tested regularly to ensure that they will operate effectively when required. The best way to undertake a complete system test is to use a load bank. These little-known machines are used to apply a load to the generator which mimics the load it would receive under real operating conditions. In doing so, the entire system can be tested to ensure it is fit for purpose.
A stark reminder of the impact of power failure
Paul continues “The failure of the back-up generator at ITN is yet to be understood, but it serves as a reminder to all businesses of the importance of using a load bank to test generators. Testing your back-up power generator is the only way to be sure that it let you down when you need it most. Load banks are the unsung heroes of back-up power – you wouldn’t want to risk being without one.”
Find out more about the risks of not testing generators here.