From time to time, we’ll have a client with a UPS unit that has been discontinued or is no longer supported by the manufacturer. Even if those systems appear to be running fine, waiting for components such as batteries, capacitors and fans to reach end of life means you are gambling with your critical power source.
A UPS service provider should be a solid partner to help you track your service requirements on your UPS system. Battery replacements, capacitors, fans and eventually UPS replacement are all part of a UPS system lifecycle. So, if you’ve received a notice from your UPS service team that your unit is reaching end-of-life soon, what should you do?
Review the purpose of your UPS system
If you are like most facilities, your infrastructure may change frequently. The critical equipment that is supported by your UPS system has probably experienced significant change since the electrical infrastructure was first built. If your UPS system has reached end of life, this is a great time to review your power requirements, equipment and your organizational growth plans to ensure that the replacement UPS will be appropriately sized for your mission-critical loads.
Understand your current infrastructure
Replacement of your UPS system is an excellent time to review your existing electrical infrastructure and to ensure that you are making the best replacement choice. Our ebook, “12 Things Facility Managers Need to Know about Critical Power System Installation,” lists the top 12 considerations to review. Here are some of the action items to consider:
- Determine how your equipment load has changed
- Discuss your organizational growth goals: Will this change your power capacity requirements?
- Verify your runtime requirements: Do you need more or less runtime than you did originally?
- Monitor your environment: Heat and humidity are a UPS system’s enemy.
There are other factors that may be advantageous to consider during replacement, including installation of monitoring devices and connectivity options for your UPS system.
Budget for Replacement
Once you’ve worked with your UPS service provider to determine your current and future UPS system requirements, it is important to properly budget for the replacement project. Be sure to include the cost of the UPS equipment and batteries as well as the cost to install, remove and dispose of the old system and batteries.
During replacement of your UPS system, look for other area’s that may need attention. Your generator, power distribution and surge suppression devices should be inspected and fully operational. This is also a good time to determine if your facility is fully compliant with any Arc Flash requirements.
Plan for Ongoing Maintenance
One of the undervalued services of a qualified maintenance provider is the advice and care that they offer. A good contractor should have a “customer for life” attitude. Ensuring that they keep you up to date on maintenance items, repairs and manufacturer changes is important and should be routine. As systems reach end-of-life, they should assist your team in analyzing replacement options that make sense for your company. Making sure that your service organization is not tied to a specific UPS manufacturer can also help keep your best interest first. They can help match you with the proper equipment, not just whatever the manufacturer is hoping to move out of stock.
While there are many areas to review when selecting a UPS service partner, the most important component is the organization’s integrity and commitment to doing the right thing, the first time.
For more information about replacement of your aging UPS system, contact a QPS representative today.