6. System Level Testing

6.1. Purpose

Verification of the response of individual systems to a loss of power is the next step in a rigorous process.  Component level testing paves the way for success at this level.  Testing at this level ensures that the integrated response of the components as a system will be satisfactory.

6.2. Special Instructions

Requirements are similar to those sited previously for component level testing.

6.3. Special Equipment Required

Requirements are similar to those sited previously for component level testing.

6.4. Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria at this level generally involve a stable, predictable, and safe response of the system to the loss and reapplication of power, including transfers to and from alternative power sources.

6.5. Precautions

Because testing at this level begins to focus on integration issues, the problems that can occur may be less obvious that those associated with component level testing.  Generally, they are related to the interaction of individual components rather than the action of a specific component.  In other words, testing at this level will generally involve dynamic responses rather than static verifications.  Moving machinery and fluid streams represent mass in motion and thus energy and the potential for damage if things go wrong.  Because of these factors, the test team should proceed with caution, appreciate and anticipate problems related to system dynamics and be prepared to respond in a proactive, positive manner if there are indicators of a problem.

6.6. Prerequisites

In general terms, the prerequisites for testing at this level are substantial completion of the system and acceptable results from component level testing.

6.7. Preparation

Because the system is involved rather than a component, testing at this level will require a higher level of readiness and awareness among all members of the construction and operating team.  While the testing is not focused at targets outside of the system, the fact is that the system will interact with other systems in the building and the utility systems serving it.  As a result, problems with the system can be propagated beyond the system, triggering problems elsewhere.

6.8. Items to Test and Method of Test

For most buildings, testing at this level will focus on:

n    Air handling systems

n    Pumping systems

n    Cooling plants

n    Heating plants

n    Compressed air systems

Buildings served by multiple generators will require testing to ensure that the generators can operate concurrently without a problem.  Where the distribution systems served by the generators are isolated from each other, the issues are generally less complex than in situations where the generators must parallel and serve a common distribution system.

Generally, the method of test is to simulate simultaneous a loss of power to all components in the system and observe the response.

6.9. Return to Normal

Requirements are similar to those sited previously for component level testing.