Watch Now: What Consulting-Specifying Engineers need today

Wissam Balashe with the Editor in Chief, CSE Magazine - Amara Rozgus

Watch Cummins Business Director for Energy Management Solutions, Wissam Balashe's interview with the Editor in Chief, CSE Magazine - Amara Rozgus here. In this insightful conversation, Balashe discusses what Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s (CSE) are requesting OEM manufactures for while designing energy solutions. He spoke in depth about the work done by Cummins Power Generation to meet these needs. 

He further talks about the shift towards an integrated power solution approach and the considerations electrical engineers should take while designing or retrofitting existing controls systems. He used his industry knowledge to discuss the steps that CSE’s can take to keep up with the emerging technologies in the dynamic power generation industry.

WATCH NOW

Wissam Balshe

Wissam Balshe

Wissam Balshe has been in the power systems industry since 2002 and joined Cummins in 2007. He led the application engineering team for North America (2007-2010), then led the Strategic Business Development efforts for the Power Solutions Business (2011-2015), focusing on Distributed Generation and Micro-grid applications. He joined the North America Power Gen Sales team managing the Rocky Mountain Territory for a brief period in 2016 before joining the Marketing Segment team as the director of the Mission Critical Segment. Wissam currently leads the Global Systems & Controls Business for the Power Systems Business Unit.   

Wissam represented Cummins in multiple codes and standards committees (IEE1547, CSA282, NEMA MG1), and trade associations (Vice Chair of the US CHP Association in 2012-2013). He actively advocates distributed generation incentives at the Federal and State Levels and the board of multiple community organizations in Minnesota (outside of Cummins). 

Wissam has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an executive MBA from Indiana University.

What’s the true cost of a power outage without a Cummins home generator?

Home during power outage

Long-term power outages can be both inconvenient and expensive, disrupting your family’s comfort and safety. While every power outage is different for each homeowner, costs can add up to a surprisingly large amount. Plus, if you work from home or have a home business, in addition to any physical damages, you may have to endure the cost of lost work, productivity or wages.

Before you invest in a Cummins QuietConnect™ home standby generator, first consider the cost of going through a major power outage without one. Then, compare that cost against the price of a Cummins standby generator. You can get an estimate on a whole house generator by finding a dealer with our dealer locator tool, or by requesting an in-home assessment.

Whether your power outages are caused by severe weather, an aging power grid or rolling brownouts, here are some of the financial hits your family may have to absorb:

  • Flooded basement — If the electricity goes out and your sump pumps stop working, you may wind up with water damage in your basement. According to homeadvisor.com, the average cost to clean up a flooded basement could range between $500 and a whopping $85,000.
  • Mold remediation — Enduring some flooding means you will likely need to have portions of your home treated to prevent toxic mold. The experts at bobvila.com say the average cost of mold remediation is $2,214.
  • Food spoilage — If the power stays out for enough time, the food in your refrigerators and freezers will spoil. Forbes.com says that many insurance companies will pay up to $500 worth of food spoilage, but only if the cause of the power outage is covered under your policy. If you have a full deep freezer full of meat, the costs could be even more.
  • Burst or frozen pipes — Losing power during the winter months brings additional risks. According to Consumer Reports, the cost to repair burst or frozen pipes can easily exceed $5,000.
  • Hotel stays — If your home becomes uninhabitable during a power outage, your family may need to seek alternate shelter. Statista, which tracks hotel prices, says the average nightly stay costs $90.92. Add in the expenses of travel and meals out and the number begins to rapidly climb.

There are additional costs to consider as well — not all of them financial. For instance, there’s the impact to your health if you use home medical devices and the inconvenience of having your life turned upside down during the power outage.

With power outages becoming more and more common, it’s easy to see how the hidden financial and quality-of-life costs escalate, putting the cost of a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator in perspective.

To find a dealer to help you estimate the investment needed for your own home generator, please visit our home generators dealer locator map.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Top adventure trends and destinations

People sitting around a campfire

No matter what season it is, adventure is calling. 

Unsurprisingly, outdoor adventures and activities are trending due to the pandemic. What was once seen as a luxury is now seen as a necessity, and outdoor toys like ATV’s, side-by-sides, kayaks, and boats have all increased in demand. More traditional means of recreational transportation, like RVs and towable campers, have peaked in popularity, and people are flocking to the outdoors to parks and campgrounds. In fact, according to the KOA’s 2021 Annual North American Camping Report, “more than 70% of North American campers changed their camping habits in 2020 and RV ownership is up in both the U.S and Canada. In the U.S., the proportion of campers who camped for the first-time in 2020 was five times greater than what was observed in 2019.”

North America offers breathtakingly beautiful national and state parks, all with RV campgrounds in or nearby. Some of these campgrounds offer many modern and recreational amenities, some even boasting a “resort-like” experience, and some are more off-grid and remote. A quick Google search of top campgrounds for RV campers will yield several options, like Business Insider’s compiled list of best RV campsites in the US. 

An exceedingly popular new trend is the emergence of vehicle conversions. 

Donny Klotz, Indianapolis, Indiana resident and Indy 500 fanatic, has recently completed a conversion of a former Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) museum tour bus. 

Indy 500 Bus Conversion

“I take it to as many IMS events as possible, and especially look forward to my annual 4-day Indy 500 camping trip each year. I also enjoy regional RV camping at our state parks. It's also fun to take to concerts, cookouts and family gatherings. Some days, I'll just park it in the backyard, turn on some music and use it as my remote office.”

When asked if he is taking any big trips in the future, Klotz said, “There is no limit to where I will take the bus, as I have full faith in the Cummins engine. I'd like to get it to every IndyCar track in the U.S. by the time I retire. It has been well maintained by the Speedway, and I am counting on it to add some zest to my work travel, and road trips with family and friends.” For curious minds, Klotz’s bus can be found on Instagram by searching #Indy500Bus

A new vehicle conversion trend is converting school buses into permanent/ semi-permanent homes on wheels, dubbed “skoolies”. A retreat on wheels, skoolie tenants work remotely from wherever they get a notion to travel. In addition to buses, the back of vans are being converted in the same way, creating a trendy and picturesque mobile getaway. Skoolies are powered by generators, some even with solar power options.

With more people in exploration mode, especially those with a yearning for off-grid experiences, having a dependable and reliable source of power is necessary to remain connected to the modern world. To support a more mobile and adventurous lifestyle, portable generators can be a great choice for wanderlusters and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

When you are planning an outdoor adventure, figure out what your power needs are. If you are planning to go remote tent camping, or even camping at a campground and need some extra outlets, a small portable generator can easily power small appliances like your cellphone, tablet, laptop, television, blender, coffee maker, fan, etc.

If glamping is more your style, and you are planning on going on an RV or conversion vehicle outing and you need a little more power to bring you the comforts of home, plan for a larger portable unit to power an air conditioner, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, etc. 

Check out generators for sale at shop.cummins.com, or through a Cummins dealer.

Carol Ann Smith

Carol Ann Smith joined Cummins in 2019 to support marketing and communications for Home and Small Business standby generators and portable generators. Carol Ann is an Indiana native and enjoys a good home renovation project.

Cummins Power Generation awarded the highest recognition from the China data center industry


 

Cummins Power Generation (CPG) has been honored for its first PowerBlocTM project. The China Engineering Construction Standardization Association, China’s most prominent organization defining data center-related industrial standards, awarded CPG as part of the Data Center Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards. The winner’s list was officially announced during the 9th Data Center Standards Summit. 

Launched in May 2021, PowerBloc was designed by the CPG China team and is manufactured in the CPG China plant in Wuhan, a city in central China. PowerBloc integrates diesel units (power systems), water tanks (cooling systems), fuel tanks (fuel systems), silencers (noise reduction systems), electrical switch cabinets (control systems), and fire protection systems in a highly integrated 40-foot standard container. The first of three PowerBloc gensets was installed at customer sites in September. The standard Installation Quality Assurance (IQA) test, 12-hour continuous load and one-hour overload tests were completed with the customer. The results not only validated 10 square meters of space saving compared to the traditional containerized unit, but demonstrated extra stable operation, low noise, low emission, and excellent performance of this innovative solution.

The PowerBloc project and its remarkable technical innovation has set a new benchmark for standby power in the data center field, especially the containerized area. The award represents the highest of its kind in the China data center industry.

“The concept, design, development and application of PowerBloc is just another vivid example of how our people live Cummins’ vision of innovating for our customers to power their success,” said Wang Lei, General Manager of CPG China. “The driver for this solution was to erase the pain point for our customers in the data center industry. The applause from the customers and the recognition from the industry gives us more confidence to further innovate value-added solutions for this industry.”

During the Summit, the China Data Center Committee also released a Data Center Containerized Diesel Generator Set Technical White Paper, which was co-authored with CPG. Cummins interpreted in detail the design elements, the problems existing in the application and the future development direction for containerized gensets serving as standby power systems.

CPG also utilized this opportunity to showcase its unique capabilities in providing power systems for data centers. The CPG booth attracted many participants from the design institutions that provide power system planning and design. The event was webcast and drew great attention from the public.

CPG has kept the leading position as the diesel genset provider in the China data center industry and continued its reputation as a lifecycle solution provider. Key customers include China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Prepare now to avoid the rush before the storm

With hurricanes increasing in frequency, these easy pre-hurricane season tips will save you a lot of time before the storms arrive. 

There is no mistaking the reality that hurricane season is getting more active year over year. That also means the potential for you to find yourself in the path of any strength storm is increasing too. 

Earlier this year, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center announced that they were updating their 30-year historical hurricane activity reference period to 1991-2020 from 1981-2010. The significance of this change is that the last few years of consistently above-average hurricane activity has moved NOAA’s “average” standard higher than it previously was. 

In other words, there have been so many hurricanes lately that NOAA had to raise the bar. 

They aren’t the only organization observing this trend, either. 

The World Meteorological Organization (the UN Agency tasked with the collection and distribution of weather data amongst 193 nations) recently announced that the Greek Alphabet would no longer be used after a given hurricane season runs out of names on the assigned list like it did during the prolific 2020 season. Citing the likelihood that the list would run out again due to overactive storm seasons, the committee elected to create a permanent list of supplemental names.

It seems clear that the Atlantic seaboard is in for the sixth-straight “above average” hurricane season. 

The unfortunate reality is that it doesn’t take a major category 4 or 5 storm to damage your home and substantially impact your daily life. Even a weaker tropical storm can cause power outages and flooding. 

Instead of being caught in the mad rush to prepare for a storm that is heading your way, here are a series of useful tips you can take right now to get a leg up on storm-proofing your home.

Easy hurricane preparations for outside your home

When a storm shows up on your doorstep, there is unfortunately little you can do about the actual conditions; the rain is going to fall and the wind is going to blow.

What we can control are the things a storm can impact that will then damage our home or property. 

Trees and landscaping

Even a Tropical Storm can pack winds in excess of 70mph, with gusts that can top that in short bursts. While normally healthy trees should be able to withstand those gusts, a not-so-healthy tree or even a dying limb may reach the breaking point and fall. 

When these trees or limbs fall during an otherwise minor storm, and damage your roof or wipe out your power lines, that minor storm can quickly turn into a major problem. 

Without an intact roof to protect it, rain water can pour into your home causing untold amounts of damage to your home’s interior. And without power, stored food may spoil, sump pumps may stop running, and your home is suddenly unable to maintain a temperature you want it to without HVAC. 

Spotting dead trees and limbs

Before a storm arrives, take the time to quickly survey your property, and your adjacent neighbors property. Make sure to spend enough time looking at each tree from trunk to tip, and all the branches.

Healthy trees should have obvious signs of growth (leaf buds or leaves) on their branches, and the tree bark should appear uniform and unbroken. All the branches should look roughly the same in leaf growth and bark quality. The tree should actually look “healthy”.

  • Action Tip: Any tree on your property that “doesn’t look right” should be evaluated by a qualified arborist (a tree expert). If you spot these conditions on a neighbor’s tree that may be at risk of hitting your home or power lines, it is worth having a discussion with that neighbor about having the tree evaluated. 

Generally, arborists are easy to find, and can quickly evaluate all your trees with qualified expert recommendations, at minimal cost to you.

Landscaping

Bushes, planting areas, and nicely mulched beds tend to make a home look really nice from the street, but those planting areas can also cause heavy rainfall to stay against your house instead of draining away. This can cause water infiltration to an otherwise dry basement area.

  • Action Tip: Trim bushes and shrubbery near the home so the plants cannot swing in the wind and damage your home. 
  • Action Tip: Before mulching planting beds, make sure the soil underneath slopes away from your home and leave a 4-6” gap between the mulch and your foundation. This will prevent water from gathering against your foundation during heavy rainfall. 

Rainfall and water management

Water damage can often be among the costliest home damage to repair, and once water enters your home mold can also be a concern. Thankfully, a typical home is designed to resist water entry as long as we do our part to help it along. 

The best part: surveying your home for water concerns doesn’t require a severe storm to happen first. 

  • Action Tip: During the next downpour, take a few minutes to throw on a raincoat and walk around your property. Take pictures of where the water tends to pool, and where runoff tends to collect and form streams. Look for places where water gets caught by obstructions instead of smoothly exiting your property, or where the water wants to channel. Consider any changes you can make to allow the water a smoother path away from your home. 

After the storm, use the pictures to either correct some issues yourself, or consult with a landscape designer to mitigate the problems. 

Gutters and Downspouts

The gutters and downspouts on your home exist to capture and channel rainwater away from your foundation. Just like the previous tip, if water is allowed to pool around your foundation, it will eventually begin entering through the foundation walls. It’s only a matter of time. Especially when you consider the amount of water that could pool during a heavier downpour.

To put this in perspective, 2” of rain falling on 1,500 square feet of roof (roughly the roof size of an average 1200 square foot home) will produce almost 2,000 gallons of runoff. 

If a Tropical Storm or hurricane is in the forecast, you can likely expect many times that much rain to fall.

  • Action Tip: Clean your home’s gutters or outsource this task to a professional. Consider having a gutter cover/filter installed that allows only water to enter and not debris.
  • Action Tip: Check all your downspouts, and make sure the downspout ejects water at least 10 feet from the base of your foundation.

In many cases, these easy tips to “storm-harden” the outside of your house will go a long way towards preventing damage from severe storms. 

But what happens if the storm gets past your outer defenses and starts to affect the interior? 

Preparation tips for inside your home

Even if the storm overwhelms your exterior defenses, all is not completely lost. There are just as many simple steps we can take to prevent a damaged home from becoming a much larger catastrophe.

Water ingress and sump pumps

If you have a sump pump in your basement, then your home has experienced water before. Sump pumps sit in pits that are designed to collect the water below your foundation and pump it out to a place where it can safely exit your property without running back to the house. 

During any normal storm, you may see water slowly fill the pit until it reaches the level where the sump pump activates and pumps the water away. When the pump removes enough water that the pump activation float resets, the pump shuts off. 

During more severe weather, especially heavy downpours, that sump pump will work harder and for longer periods removing the water that is collecting there at a faster than normal rate. If the pump dies for any reason, the basement will begin to flood rapidly. 

  • Action Tip: Check the tag on your pump. Look for a manufacturer's date and if your pump is more than five years old, you should replace it regardless of condition. 
  • Action Tip: Check the outlet that your pump is plugged in to and determine if anything else is plugged into the same circuit (you can do this by turning off the breaker for that circuit and seeing if anything else turns off). Consider moving those other items to a different circuit.

During heavy storms and frequent work, the pump will have a higher average draw which may cause the circuit breaker to trip if there are too many loads on it. If this happens without you noticing, the basement will flood.

Protect your valuables

In this case, “valuables” means all the things you cannot replace no matter what you do. Pictures hanging on the wall, storage of digital pictures, important documents, and even important memories that are on paper. Many of these items are crucial to getting back to normal if damage does occur, and many also cannot be replaced.

  • Action Tip: Purchase an inexpensive digital document scanner from your local office supply store. Spend an easy afternoon collecting all the important documents you have in your home (passports, birth certificates, deeds, insurance papers, social security cards, bank statements, etc.) and scanning those all to a digital format. 

Do the same with any physical pictures you have hanging around your house, or use a digital camera to take a picture of the picture. Often, the memory is worth more than just the quality of the image.

Upload all of these digital files to a cloud storage service of your choice, or if security is a concern for you, save all the digital files on a few weatherproof USB drives. Place one drive in a secret location in your vehicle, and place another in a sheltered place in your home. 

  • Action Tip: To further protect all the important things you just collected and scanned, consider purchasing a fireproof/waterproof document safe. These inexpensive safes will give you a place to safely store your irreplaceable documents and protect them against floods or fires. 

Protect against power outages

During a storm, just about everything gets worse if the power goes out. Climate control shuts off, water pumps die out, and cold food storage becomes a race against time. 

Worse yet, if your home does not have a landline, then you are dependent on your cell phone for communication. In an emergency, battery power can be critical. 

  • Action Tip: Consider purchasing a few portable battery packs with shelf-life design. They are inexpensive and have USB ports, meaning a solid source of emergency phone power that is still portable.
  • Action Tip: Consult with your local Cummins Home Generator Dealer for a quick and painless estimate on a standby generator. These generators start automatically during an outage and keep HVAC systems, sump pumps, and cold storage operating as normal regardless of the weather. 

Prepare now to avoid the rush before the storm

You’ve seen this before: as soon as a named storm is given a landfall prediction, the panic buying and preparations will start. Finding supplies will be harder than ever and suddenly your list of things that needs to get done will grow faster than you can check items off.

Why not take a few things off that list now, and give yourself some peace of mind that you’ve already addressed a lot of the bigger questions for your home preparation?

The storms are coming and they’re predicted to be more frequent. The time to prepare is now.

And if you want the ultimate peace of mind that ensures your home will never be without reliable power, regardless of the conditions outside, reach out to your nearest friendly Cummins Home Generator Dealer. All it takes is a quick home survey and you’ll know exactly what you’ll need for the gold standard of storm preparation: a backup generator. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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