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Your Field Service Report Part 3: Balancing UPS Loads

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.

UPS units can be more susceptible to the issue of unbalanced loads than other equipment. Capacitors in UPS units are used 24 hours a day, so there is more demand on this equipment by its nature of use. Utility power also is not “steady state” power coming into most businesses.

“Steady state” power means an equilibrium condition of a circuit or network. Therefore, balancing UPS loads is necessary to avoid consistent power fluctuations.

If balancing UPS loads is ignored or not consistently done, there is plenty of risk to doing nothing. Some of these risks include:

Many examples of failure related to improperly balanced loads can show up in a client’s field service reports. Some of these examples are:

field service reporting
Field service crew engineers reading a field service report (FSR.)

Clients should always be aware of the condition of any new or additional critical power equipment they maintain, and how adding equipment, and the power factor of that equipment, affects the total load on the UPS. Just because your UPS can handle the load of your original equipment configuration, doesn’t mean it will continue to handle that load in the same way as new equipment is added. It is very important to know at all times which devices are being supported, along with their corresponding load, on the UPS distribution panels.

Not sure about how to properly balance UPS loads? Contact the experts at QPS to help you determine the best equipment and configuration to keep your operation running smoothly.