Considerations When Installing a Critical Power System
Critical power systems like UPS systems, generators and power conditioners are highly complex. Simple installation does not always ensure your critical loads are protected. There are at least 12 things to consider if you’re going to install your own critical system.
As you read through this list, ask yourself if you truly have the time and resources to take on this Herculean task on your own. More importantly, are you willing to cut your teeth on this formidable to-do list, when the stakes are so very high?
Our list is general in nature – the devil is in the details, naturally. Note that we include the type of professional required to handle these tasks for a quality installation.
12 Items You Must Consider During a Critical System’s Installation
1. Load Analysis – Your loads must be analyzed to ensure things like inrush current and harmonics are taken into consideration. The equipment needs to be sized, back up times determined, and output specifications must be set.
2. Structure and Infrastructure – The room must be examined to determine if it has the necessary structure and infrastructure to support your desired equipment.
3. Electrical Infrastructure – Your electrical panel, circuits and breakers all need to be sized properly and installed according to code. Future infrastructure and load growth should also be discussed and taken into consideration during this period.
4. Room Temperature and Humidity – Room temperature and humidity control must be designed and correctly installed.
5. Fire Suppression – Fire suppression must be designed and properly installed.
6. Drawings – Plans must be accurately drawn out, depicting where each piece of equipment will fit into the facility.
7. Permits – Local permits must be submitted and approved, often for multiple disciples and sometimes from multiple governing bodies.
8. Safety Requirements – Not only is compliance with local and national codes required, but safety is a top priority. Is your staff able to ensure that proper safety procedures are in place?
9. Scheduling / Project Management – How much time should be allocated for startup and commissioning? Will the electrical contractor need additional time to install a new panel or bypass? Making sure that all of the pieces are in place will ensure that a proper schedule is developed and the project stays on point.
10. Approvals – Both internal and external approvals can be difficult to manage. Staff of critical equipment needs to be aware of and approve outages for equipment installation if required.
11. Contractor Management – Unless you speak the same language as the specialty trades, it will be difficult to ensure the contractors are fulfilling the exact job you need done. An experienced company will make sure contractors fulfill their obligation of giving you the highest quality assessment and installation.
Additionally, you will have to act as mediator when the trades require the same room at the same time to work, or if they want the same wall space to mount gear, etc.
12. Punch-list and Payments – Keep track of every aspect of installation to ensure your money is giving you exactly what you paid for.
Sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be.
Another approach to consider is a turnkey installation, where you hire an experienced company to meet your critical power goals during installation.
The company may not complete every aspect of the install themselves, but they’ll handle all the various trades, approvals and scheduling in addition to contracting out other necessary work for you.
Installation quickly becomes more complex when it comes to mission critical equipment. Consider the impact taking the DIY route will have on your time, budget and sanity. Then take a long, hard look at a turnkey solution – you’ll be happy you did.
QPS turnkey project: Before and After