Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) in Data Centers

The old saying “The perfect is the enemy of the good” may be acceptable in some circumstances, but in application to the maintenance of Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems (UPS), it can have extremely negative consequences. Because the company uses UPS to ensure uninterrupted operation of its equipment and systems. Appropriate maintenance is critical to ensure optimum performance of the UPS and simultaneously to minimize downtime.

Planned preventative maintenance of UPS – it is a necessity

Studies show that regular preventive care, which allows you to identify and resolve potential problems before they become serious and expensive, it is critical to ensure maximum efficiency of your hardware. Although by definition the UPS to provide uninterrupted operation of the enterprise, from the time and under the influence of environmental performance equipment detoriate and make the organization vulnerable to disruption of power in an emergency. This factor is not considered by many enterprises and even in the data center and it comes before the UPS fails in the absence of prevention.

Planned Preventive Maintenance UPS is very similar to regular inspection of cars. Performing routine maintenance is not only recommended by all vehicle manufacturers, but it also identifies a series of failures before they become serious problems.

Downtime is a costly affair!

Regardless of the evaluation methods, forced outages have been extremely costly. According to Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), power interruptions cost U.S. electricity consumers about $80 billion a year, with the share of short-term disruptions to two-thirds of this amount.

According to EPRI, as a result of outages the U.S. economy annually loses from 104 to 164 billion dollars, and another 15 or 24 billion dollars,it is losing because of the inconsistency of quality of electricity. In addition, the current simple average of the energy system in U.S. is 8 hours and 45 minutes. Use self-contained generators, UPS systems would decrease the value to 5 minutes 15 seconds.

According to the report of “Study of the main causes of load losses”, more than two thirds of all delays could be avoided. Approximately 4% of UPS failures are due to wear and tear, and 20% due to bad batteries. The Research on following causes of downtime gave the results metined below:

Preventable Simple (67%) May Be Caused By The Following Reasons:

* Human Error

* Low-Tech

* Misuse

* Bad Design Solution

* Inadequate Redundancy

* Poor Maintenance

* Inevitable Simple (33%) May Be Caused By The Following Reasons:

* Breakdown Of Equipment (despite appropriate maintenance and testing)

* Violation Of The Chain Of Supply

Cyber Terrorism

Regular preventive maintenance of UPS greatly reduces the likelihood of downtime. The study also found that customers who do not conduct routine inspections, nearly four times more often face with UPS downtime than those twice a year at the recommended preventive examinations.

How To Choose The Best Type Of Uninterruptible Power Supply Service

Over the past few years, administrators have increasingly turn to UPS service centers, after they had an opportunity to not only control but also to analyze the work of the equipment, and sometimes around the clock phone support, and by visiting technicians, which in case of unexpected failures could solve the problem on the spot. Select extended warranty or technical support from the UPS service provider to ensure uninterrupted service throughout its service life, can also be relatively simple process.

How to choose the best type of service for your UPS?

To do this, answer the following questions:

1. What type of UPS service I need?

A. Repair or Replacement

You contact the technical support of the UPS, and then send the UPS to service center. You return with the repaired or new module.

B. Visiting repair

You contact the UPS technical support and qualified staff comes to the site, to diagnose and fix the problems.

Typically, a small UPS (less than 1,000 VA) can be repaired in the workshop, and the UPS capacity from 1,000 VA to 15 kVA can either be sent in the studio, or repaired on the spot. Large UPS, which are either rigidly mounted (can not be disabled) or too heavy. So long the UPS can be operated only on the spot.

2. Should I buy a support agreement, extended warranty, or pay for completion of the work?

A. Agreement on the support or maintenance contracts typically include work and spare parts (electronic components and,or batteries), at least one preventive maintenance per year, as well as the repair time and time of arrival technique in place. Plans can be brought into line with the majority of needs. You can also include such special services as remote monitoring and replacement of batteries, as well as sets of spare parts.

B. Extension (or base) warranty can also buy the majority decisions of the UPS. Usually, the guarantee includes the provision of specialized parts, such as electronic components, within a specified period of time, but it does not include round the clock service and time of arrival technology in place. Also, the guarantee does not include preventive inspection, although the extended warranty may be included as additional services. The more additional services included in the guarantee, the more it looks like an agreement on (technical) support.

C. T & M (operation and materials) – this type of service, where repairs are carried out as problems. T & M can be performed either in the studio or on location, depending on the type of product or on the damage, T & Mcan be costly. Customers who have entered into an agreement (contracts) on the technical support is always served first, so when T & M vehicle departure time may be up to five days, depending on the product and client sites.

Remember that the warranty includes repair, but did not indicate the time and speed of its implementation. Agreement on technical support include the repair, as well as time and speed of its execution (or quick replacement as opposed to wait for the return of repaired product).

Pay special attention to (service) to be included in the guarantee or agreement on technical support. In an agreement on technical support or warranty (on) large UPS typically includes the maintenance of electronic components, batteries and maintenance is an additional (paid) service. Twenty percent of customers purchase maintenance services of large UPS batteries, but most pay for them only when its necessary.

3. What should be included in the list of services?

A. Electronic Components of UPS and work.

B. UPS battery and work.

Usually, batteries are often the main cause of failure needs to be changed at least once every five years. It may be necessary in more frequent battery replacement, particularly if they are often discharged or working in warm conditions.

C. Preventive maintenance.

Preventive maintenance allows outbound equipment annually inspect, test, calibrate and upgrade any of the UPS and / or storage system, thereby guaranteeing the factory specifications.

D. Remote monitoring.

Remote monitoring allows the manufacturer or service provider to monitor the UPS and / or battery systems to accelerate the repair and early detection of potential problems.

In the guarantee and maintenance agreement, you can include individual services. In the guarantee (at) UPS may include maintenance of electronic (systems) within 90 days and provision of spare parts for one year, while the service battery is included as a separate manufacturer’s warranty. However, some of the decisions and the guarantee provided by UPS and maintenance agreement providing for spare parts and maintenance of electronic systems and / or battery are within one or two years.

4. What should be the volume and speed of service?

A. Around the clock service (24×7). The technician should respond to calls and provide services at any time, including weekends and holidays.

B. Standard service during business hours (8 × 5, ie from Monday to Friday during office hours). In case of problems, they must be addressed during business hours.

With response times in hours (8 hours, 4 hours, 2 hours). This type of service determines the speed of travel technology in place. In some situations, response time can be very important because it determines the speed of solution.

Consider options around the clock (7 × 24) or standard (5 × 8) service, as well as the expected time of arrival of equipment at the place (8/4/2). You can buy plans with different combinations of services, but keep in mind that leaving in place for two or four hours, can often be performed only by large companies with a sufficient number of staff.

5. What is the lifetime of the UPS and how much should its services cost?

A. Lifetime big UPS typically ranges from 15 to 20 years.

B. Small UPS can last at least 10 years, but they often change much more

C. The service life of the UPS can be increased or extended by the standard preventive maintenance, replacement components and kits for upgrading and / or modification. You can also replace the batteries and capacitors to upgrade the UPS and provide years of reliable power protection.

D. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) largely dependent on the size of the UPS, the number and type of batteries, the number and type of desirable services. For example, if the UPS batteries are often low, the cost of very basic warranty service can be from 5 to 10% of the purchase price of the product and the cost of a comprehensive agreement on expanded support may not exceed more than 35% of the purchase price of goods per year.

Compliance with maintenance plan specific requirements

The answers to these five questions may not always be straightforward. A maintenance plan is essential to improve the working parameters and improve the reliability of UPS in any data center. Because regardless of the specific plan of care, effective maintenance saves time and money by minimizing the time and accordingly, the cost of downtime, as well as by increasing the return on investment by extending the service life of electrical equipment.

Therefore, in most cases it is better to communicate with the manufacturer, distributor or service technicians that can responded to your questions and recommend the type of service that matches your needs and opportunities.


1 Response

  1. vinod tomar

    I am an electrical in-charge and i to give preventive maintenance and proactive maintenance top priority in my maintenance program. Every data center operator must take proper care in operation and maintenance of the system. Monitoring plays a very very vital role in this. You plan the preventive measures only with the help of monitoring tools.

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