UPS Risk Mitigation

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How do you manage your UPS?

Do you have a backup plan against UPS downfall?

Ensure you have evaluated all the risks to avoid UPS downtime…

Data Centers are at the heart of the most crucial and critical part of any companies. More and more Data Center Management Organizations have learned a very important fact the hard way: Systems can crash. And the costs….well let’s not get there with this article…they are astronomical!

Downtime can be the result of many inconvenient UPS system faults and failures. What measures should you be taking to prevent such a scenario?

Let’s get to the base: Proceed with a UPS systems proactive maintenance and 365 strategic planning. Your essential UPS systems critical path must be secured 7 X 24 with proper design, maintenance program, follow-up and regular testing. Comprehensive testing must be part of your program if you want to be proactive.

Here are some of the recommendations I suggest:

Single-line Diagram (SLD)

A Single Line Diagram with operating procedures is not an option. It is required by the CSA Z462 and CSA Z463 established by the Canadian Standard Association on every electrical equipment in the Data Center Facility.

This diagram should be affixed on your UPS system and signed by an electrical engineer. More importantly, it is THE MOST VITAL information required to develop a critical response strategy.

What is a single-line diagram? A single-line diagram is an electrical layout which is a crucial guideline for all upcoming maintenance work. It enables you to get fully acquainted with the electric layout of your system and understanding of your facility installation.

The biggest advantage of having an S.L.D. on your UPS system, is making the whole installation quickly comprehensible to each member of the facility tech personnel including the party that will be doing your preventive maintenance.

Here are some of the critical components that should appear on your single-line diagram:

  • Input and Output breakers feeding your UPS and feeding your critical distribution path
  • External maintenance bypass isolation breakers and sequence of operation
  • Dimensions and power of main installation components
  • Complete wiring diagram including voltage transformers
  • Battery layout and capacit
  • All inbound and outbound wiring
  • Identification of all grounding wiring
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    Importance of proper personnel training

    One of the most common causes of power downtime is human error. Untrained personnel represents a hazard to your UPS system. Entrust your system to people who are qualified and trained according to the latest standards. Otherwise, you bear the risk of power downtime sooner or later.

    In particular, your personnel should be trained according to CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety Standard. This standard includes electrical safety requirements for employees. It provides guidance on the assessment of electrical hazards and design of the workplace associated with electrical power systems. It emphasizes the development of safe work procedures.

    Another important standard which can be incorporated in the personnel training along or instead of CSA Z462 is NFPA 70E – Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, which aims to qualify workers for safe working standards in relation to dangers coming from the electrical installations, such as arc flash.

    Personnel training should also include WHMIS – Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.

    The key elements of the system are hazard classification, cautionary labeling of containers, the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker education and training programs.

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    Corrective VS preventive/proactive maintenance

    Preventive and Proactive Maintenance should always have the utmost priority. Such an approach means constantly surveilling the system, actively trying to diagnose, improve the issue or state of the UPS system equipment that would potentially lead to a problem.

    The main goal is to act preventively and to avoid stops and downtime because of fails or faults.

    As the customer:  you do not want to have an emergency call for a fan that needs replacement or a battery that has failed.

    Preventive/Proactive maintenance includes conducting a whole range of tests and checks by competent professionals in order to keep the UPS system in top-notch working condition.

    This includes planned methodical checkups, tests, analysis, assessment, regulation and supervision of all the critical UPS elements and parts, all done to foresee with the intention of avoiding errors and system downtime.

    Battery redundancy

    In the context of avoiding downtime, battery redundancy is stating the obvious.

    The main concept of uninterruptible power supply lies in the redundancy of components:  Batteries fall into this category.

    Data centers are often referred to as the “heart & soul” of any Company. Assuring that those centers have unquestionable back-up power sources is worth additional attention.

    Please consider using at least two (2) simultaneous battery bank strings. In case one (1) battery fails in a string, the other battery bank string will continue to run without affecting your critical load.

    Dataglobe cares for the maintenance of numerous UPS and battery systems and has extensive experience in such work.

    Choose DATAGARD Maintenance Program and never worry about downtime again!

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