We explain to Electrical Engineering magazine why when it comes to UPS maintenance, prevention is definitely better than cure.
For data centre managers and operators, downtime adds up to economic and reputational damage that’s difficult to overcome. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system is their first and foremost line of defence against power outages and disruption. But as any electrical engineer knows only too well, no safeguard is ever 100% infallible.
A robust maintenance regime can detect potential faults and failures with the UPS unit before they develop into more serious issues. It can also optimise performance and boost energy efficiency. A fully serviced and up-to-date power protection system will need less energy to run.
However, Leo explains there are a number of factors to bear in mind when it comes to preventive UPS maintenance. Human error can be the biggest cause of problems that occur during maintenance procedures. An engineer could quite easily throw an incorrect switch. Or they could simply carry out tasks in the wrong order.
What steps can be taken to mitigate such errors? As Leo advises, castell interlocks should be incorporated into the system design. This ensures switches are thrown in a controlled and safe fashion.
In addition, the article also recommends the use of thermal imaging technology. Preventive UPS maintenance is by nature an intrusive process. But thermal imaging is far more effective at detecting many of the heat-related faults with components and connections than the human eye will ever be.
Another key consideration is the emergency response times a UPS maintenance provider offers. A four-hour response is “guaranteed”, but what does that response even mean? An automated message or an engineer on-site fixing the issue. Avoiding such confusion is why Riello UPS has introduced our Diamond UPS maintenance package that commits to a four-hour response plus an actual fix inside a further eight hours.
Read the full opinion piece on page 30 of the April edition of Electrical Engineering magazine