Power systems

When time is up for a UPS, how do you go about repairing or replacing it?

Literally 1000’s of UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) have been installed across the UK over the last 15 years. While many systems are designed with an element of future-proofing in terms of capacity, the actuality is that with a standard design life of 10 years, many functioning UPS installations are long overdue being replaced. However, management of these systems and budgets can mean this is not always an immediate option. This is where alternative options need to be considered, as no matter what; your UPS must be ready to perform at all times.

A programme of regular maintenance visits, inspections and monitoring, both on-site and remotely will ensure a business is permanently shielded from the effects of a power failure. This also allows for on-going infrastructure management, enabling parts that need to be either repaired or replaced to be identified before they fail. In fact, battery replacement should really form a planned part of any ongoing maintenance programme. The reality is every power solution should be backed-up by a comprehensive warranty with the manufacturer, however on-going maintenance plans to ensure business continuity, are highly recommended, particularly for UPS systems from 1kVA. The nature of maintenance and monitoring plans can vary right the way up to the full 24/7, 365 days a year technical support.

Whether you have a maintenance plan or not, it is not always a case of having to replace the entire system, as a detailed inspection can determine potential repair or replacement consumables, such as fans, DC capacitors or batteries. Alternatively, it could require replacement of an individual UPS within a chain, which in the case of older systems can often be oversized, take up valuable space and capacity, resulting in poor operating efficiencies and potentially higher electricity bills.

In a recent project for E.ON, Critical Power were required to replace two UPS systems within their HQ, which were business critical and needed 24/7 protection. Obviously, the installation needed to minimise interruption to the running of the business and operate within very tight health and safety framework. The solution was replacement of 2x 160KVA systems, with the addition of an interlocked bypass systems and management communication software with an EPO safety system.

As Martin Pearce, Sales Director at Critical Power says, “The E.ON installation has resulted in an increase in actual power, efficiency and run-time within the Data Centre, while also taking up significantly less space. The new bypass system has also increased the Data Centre’s productivity and removed the need for down-time during maintenance.”

When repair is not an option and it comes down to replacement, as in this case, it is also imperative to ensure that whoever is used is familiar with working within business continuity and disaster recovery ISO standards and fully certified for environmental disposal using approved Waste Carriers and WEEE Recycling Centres. So, the headache of what do with outdated or inefficient elements of your UPS installation is completely removed.

www.criticalpowersupplies.co.uk

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