Hipower Systems, a manufacturer of power-generation and power distribution equipment in the U.S. and Canada, today announced that the enclosures used in its prime power and standby generators have been certified by a classifying engineering firm to withstand winds of up to 180 miles per hour (MPH).
“With this certification, companies in areas where extreme winds occur can have even greater confidence in the strength and stability of our generator enclosures,” said Hipower Systems President Rafael Acosta. “Although high winds are normally associated with major storms, such as tornadoes or hurricanes, they can occur almost anywhere and at any time—from the windswept plains of North America to the top of a Manhattan skyscraper. Our enclosures are built to withstand all but the most extreme — and infrequent — winds.”
When evaluating the Hipower Systems enclosures, engineers considered a wide array of criteria, ranging from enclosure materials, roof live-load limitations and maximum wind pressure on walls to such minutiae as mounting hardware tensile strength and stress resistance. Resistance to overturn forces, with wind coming from various directions, was also an important part of the calculation.
For the evaluations, the engineering firm used three key building specifications:
- • 2014 Florida Building Code (FBC) 5th Edition with 2016 Supplements
- • ASCE 7 — Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures
- • 2010 AISC — Specification for Structural Steel Buildings
Of particular interest for wind-prone communities is adherence to the FBC, a set of building standards, designed by the state of Florida, that are considered important benchmarks for wind protection. The 180 MPH rating also meets the extremely stringent standards for Florida’s Broward County Risk Category IV for buildings and structures. This category, which is composed of buildings and structures housing “essential facilities”—emergency preparedness facilities, national defense stations, emergency backup stations and other crisis-response locations —must adhere to the highest feasible level of wind resistance.
“This certification confirms that Hipower Systems enclosures would have withstood the sustained wind speeds of even the strongest hurricane on record — Hurricane Wilma, which attained speeds of 175 MPH,” said Acosta. “It well exceeds the highest non-tornadic wind gust ever recorded in famously ‘windy’ North Dakota, which was 143 MPH.”