Since 2008, power equipment provider Eaton has collated and released an annual report called the Eaton Blackout Tracker. This report compiles annual power outage causes and associated impacts in the United States. The report’s purpose is to provide greater awareness of the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid, the types of losses outages can cause, and the importance of managing risks associated with outages. The most-recent 2017 Blackout Tracker Report compiles data from more than 3,500 outages across all 50 states. This report is based on reported power outages from various news services, newspaper reports, websites and personal accounts. The 2017 report marks the 10th and final year that Eaton will provide this report. Here are the 5 main takeaways to pay attention to when reviewing this year’s report. Continue reading “5 Takeaways from Eaton’s 2017 Blackout Tracker Report” »
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. Continue reading “Understanding Field Service Reports Part 2: Capacitors and Fans” »
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” »
For most of power infrastructure and transmission, the globe runs on alternating current (AC) power, but there are specific applications where Direct Current (DC) power is more efficient to use. We will explore DC power plants in more detail, why it is better for certain applications, and the industries where it is most commonly used. Continue reading “DC Power Plants: Efficient Power for Industry” »
For many of us, the arrival of spring means spring cleaning. When dealing with critical power equipment, spring maintenance is especially important to make sure your generator systems are in top working order, and is a great time to see how your unit fared over the winter. Any time of the year has potential for utility outages and the 2017 Eaton Blackout Tracker has shown that power outages in the US are on the rise. In fact, last year there were over 3,526 noted outages with an average outage duration of 81 minutes. To keep your facility online and running smoothly, here are a few tips to keep your emergency power in great shape.
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.
We previously discussed what you should look for when reviewing a proper service contract for emergency back-up power systems maintenance. When you hire a qualified firm to perform maintenance inspections on your equipment, you need to have total confidence in that firm’s level of knowledge and level of execution of inspection and testing. But how do you know what is most important to look for when that firm shows up at your office, ready to perform maintenance? We will briefly discuss what you should be looking for, and also what to watch out for with these inspections. Please be aware that this is an abbreviated list and should not be considered comprehensive.
In 5 years a lot can happen, but at QPS we’re celebrating nothing happening. We are proud to have gone 5 years without a single workplace accident; a huge milestone for any company. We take safety (both yours and ours) very seriously.