For many companies, we get caught up in the cost of a UPS system purchase and installation. However, the real cost for most UPS systems happens after the unit is installed. We’ve covered the lifecycle of a UPS before, but it is worth repeating. The main driving factors in the cost of a UPS system include the efficiency of the unit, battery replacements and the ongoing cost of maintenance agreements.
UPS maintenance category on the Quality Power Systems blog, information about how to take care of your UPS system.
Caution! Winter weather is fast approaching, which for many of us, means making sure our vehicles are prepared to drive in unfavorable weather conditions. Just like you have your vehicle set up for routine maintenance, it’s especially important for your Uninterruptible Power System (UPS) as well. When dealing with critical power equipment, winter maintenance is key for making sure your generator systems are in top working order, and prepared for power outages. To keep your facility online and running smoothly this winter, here is what to watch out for during your UPS’ routine maintenance inspection.
Quality, reliable power is crucial for running your business, and right now it’s even more important than ever. As COVID-19 surged, organizations shifted their workspaces from the office to employees’ homes, and other remote locations, increasing the demand for power reliability that is more dispersed than ever. During this time, we’ve received numerous questions from customers regarding the future of the workplace environment, and although things remain uncertain right now, we know that power reliability to support remote partners is critical to helping your business be successful. Here are some of the actions we are taking to provide the best support possible for you during the pandemic.
Many of us who deal with emergency back-up power are often asked to manage a number of complicated systems that require specific attention to parts, efficiency and power quality. It’s a lot to deal with, and it always helps to have some guidance the basics of these systems. Here is an overview for understanding UPS systems:
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. 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.
Our fourth and final entry in our series on understanding field service reports looks at deciphering the results of thermal image scanning. The thermal image scan is important enough that QPS believes that every preventative maintenance check should have one performed. Thermal image scanning is one of the most reliable ways to predict impending UPS component failure, and if components, or the entire UPS, needs to be replaced.
Our third entry in our series on field service reports concentrates on understanding balancing UPS loads. Before we dive in, let’s start by defining what it means to balance UPS loads. The definition of balancing UPS loads means to distribute loads evenly across the total output of the UPS.
Balancing UPS loads is normally recommended in order to avoid overuse on any one phase of the UPS equipment. In an example with a 3-phase UPS, the UPS puts out a certain amount of amperage, which can be separated into thirds of the total kVA rating across the three phases. When properly executed, balancing UPS loads avoids overuse and increases the useful life of the UPS by maximizing its output. Read more
In part 2 of our blog series on field service reports we will cover capacitors, what they do, and what to look for. The capacitor in a UPS is used to store an electric charge, as well as smoothing out and filtering voltage fluctuations. UPS systems vary significantly in design and technology, and as a result, the quantity and size of capacitors changes as well. In addition, because a capacitor replacement typically requires a shutdown of the UPS system for replacement, your UPS service provider likely will recommend and replace the cooling fans in the system at the same time. Both capacitors and fans are critical to keeping the UPS running, and both are just as susceptible to failure as the other components of a UPS. It is critical to understand how each component can be damaged, and what to look for in your field service report (FSR) regarding the health of your capacitors and fans. Read more
As much as 65% of all UPS back-up system power failures are battery related. That’s a staggering number, but is easier to understand when you consider all the potential issues that can affect UPS batteries. Power anomalies, overheating, improper charging or low electrolyte levels for certain types of batteries can all cause serious issues for the UPS.
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. Read more