At Quality Power Solutions, it’s important to us to build a knowledge base with our readers and customers, so we can create a meaningful shared dialogue on educational topics related to the critical power industry. We went through quite a few topics this year, so it’s always interesting to go back over what we shared. Here, then, is our QPS “blog year” in review summarizing our 2018 discussions. Continue reading “QPS Blog Year in Review: Lessons from Critical Power Discussions” »
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. Continue reading “Understanding Field Service Reports Part 3: Balancing UPS Loads” »
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.
Businesses use emergency back-up power systems to ensure availability of their most critical applications. What happens then, when the critical power system needs maintenance done, or if the UPS system has an issue itself? Like a vehicle, back-up power equipment needs regular maintenance or “tune-ups” to ensure it continues running correctly. However, there are times when back-up power equipment is so critical that it cannot be taken offline, even for maintenance. Having an External Maintenance Bypass is a way to allow critical power systems to have more flexibility while maintenance is done, keeping equipment online without interruption to loads. Continue reading “External Maintenance Bypass – What Is It and When Is It Necessary?” »
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 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.
Think your newly-installed equipment will last as long as the manufacturer says? Don’t always count on it. A variety of factors can significantly cut into your equipment’s lifespan. Based on our experience in the field, we’ve listed the top five ways UPS preventative maintenance can uncover weaknesses. Continue reading “5 Ways UPS Preventative Maintenance Extends Your Equipment’s Life” »