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FM Electrical Team Powers Up CNSI


A malfunctioning microprocessor at UCLA’s CNSI (California NanoSystems Institute) triggered the immediate replacement of the building’s Generator Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). The purpose of an ATS is to ensure a reliable source of utility and emergency power. It is a critical component that powers essential buildings with mechanical systems, including Building Air Heating/Cooling, Chilled Water Pumps, Processed Chilled Water Pumps, Exhaust Fans (Fume Hoods), and Make Up Air units. Any ATS failures can literally leave a building in the dark.

The CNSI incident presented some challenges for Facilities Management’s Electrical Systems Team. One was replacement of the malfunctioning equipment while maintaining power to the building labs’ essential equipment. Another concern was the manufacturer’s discontinuation of support for the existing material. The ongoing supply chain disruptions resulted in a lengthy 6-month lead time of procuring the equipment.

Before procurement of the ATS, the Electrical Team planned a two-phased installation in meticulous detail. First was the fitting of a temporary ATS to maintain the building’s functions, followed by the seamless install of the permanent ATS, and finally, returning the building to normal operations. This accomplishment stands as a testament to the team's unwavering dedication and expertise that worked tirelessly to ensure an uninterrupted power source for the building's vital operations.


The following technicians were instrumental in the success of this project:

  • Andy Ray – Lead Electrician
  • Dave Nilsson – Electrician
  • Mike Peraza – Electrician
  • Ian Frost – Electrician
  • Juan Nava Santascoy – Electrician
  • Jason Mair – Apprentice Electrician
  • Hilda Torres-Regalado – Apprentice Electrician
  • Luis Arias – Facilities Mechanic