We are all familiar with going to the doctor to get a check up on our health. At the end of our visit, we typically receive a summary of what the doctor discussed with us, any tests they did, and recommendations they have for us related to those test results. A field service report (FSR) for your UPS system maintenance is similar to a health check for the unit, giving information on the condition and reliability of the UPS. Most UPS field service reports should include the unit information and location, a job description of what is being inspected, what actions were performed and their results, and the recommendations as the result of the job. In the coming weeks, we will break down a UPS service report and cover some of the main items that you should look for.
In our last article, we discussed DC power plants, what they are, and how they are often used. Just like any back-up power system, DC power plants need regular service checks and maintenance performed to work optimally. It is important to state that DC plants, although similar to the function of UPS systems, have many functional differences and require unique training when performing annual maintenance. During a preventative maintenance visit a technician will usually isolate individual rectifiers and charging components to evaluate function and longevity. This practice helps to reduce the risk of a potential failure before it happens. Continue reading “DC Power Plant Maintenance: Keeping Businesses Running” »
The second battery on our “get to know you” list is the Wet Cell, or Flooded Cell battery. UPS Systems are used in a variety of applications and, as a result, may require a wide variety of run time requirements or discharge characteristics. The battery cell is comprised of a hard plastic enclosure, typically Polycarbonate or Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) Plastic, lead plates and an electrolyte that allows the flow of current. Continue reading “Getting to Know Your UPS Batteries II- Wet Cell Batteries” »
Your UPS system is one of the most crucial components in your critical power infrastructure, and for your UPS, the batteries are really the “heart” of that system. Even though your UPS needs that heart, batteries are often neglected. In the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail about each type of battery that can be used in a UPS system and the advantages and disadvantages for each type. It should be noted though, that regardless of the batteries you choose, all batteries decrease in their ability to store and deliver power over time. However, if you follow all guidelines for storage, maintenance and usage, eventually you will still have to replace UPS batteries on a schedule to get the best usage out of your UPS.
You are feeling good about your negotiations with your new service provider. The discussions about your equipment have been excellent, and your rep really seems to understand your needs. You have a service contract in hand and are ready to sign.
Before you put pen to paper sealing the deal, it is very important to review your service contract carefully before moving ahead. While you think you know what your costs will be for services, you need to beware of potential “hidden costs” that can trip you up and cause headaches in the future. Here are some things to look out for when you are doing that review: Continue reading “The Hidden Costs of Your Service Provider” »
As a follow up to our Lighting inverter series, this article will focus on the components of a lighting inverter and how they may differ from a UPS. UPS systems are typically used for critical power applications where both power conditioning and uninterrupted power is required. They typically have shorter run time and rely on batteries to keep the system running in the event of an outage. While there are UPS systems that are UL924 approved, a UPS is typically used in non-lighting applications such as data centers, hospitals and other critical environments, keeping your servers, computers and other equipment operational in the event of a power outage. A lighting inverter is similar to a line-interactive UPS, where the unit passes utility power to support systems until there is an outage, then draws from batteries to provide power during the outage window.
UL924 Emergency Lighting Central Inverter/ UPS Systems are different than other mission critical power systems in that their application is designed for life safety in emergency situations. Emergency lighting inverters are regulated by various life safety codes that address what needs to happen regarding egress lighting in the event of a power failure. Some of these codes specifically include:
In the critical power equipment industry we get a lot of questions regarding emergency lighting. This article is the first in a three part series discussing what a lighting inverter is, how to maintain it, and what standards exist that facilities need to adhere to. Before we can discuss emergency lighting inverter maintenance and standards, it’s important to understand the different types of lighting inverters, what they do and why they are important. Continue reading “Emergency Lighting Inverters: The Basics” »
Prevention is key to keeping a catastrophic event from occurring in your equipment. Not only can failure cause your equipment to disrupt your workflow, and can cost your company time and money, but having your UPS catch on fire is far worse than a small amount of downtime. We’ll show you what can happen to a rogue UPS system.
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?