UPS Batteries: Building Confidence into Your Utility Redundancy Plan
How to Ensure That Your Business Stays Online, Even in a Catastrophe.
Extreme cold caused a cascading number of power outages across the state of Texas, leaving millions without power. While major power infrastructure failures are rare, this even has caused many of our clients to start asking hard questions about their own infrastructure resiliency. To help organizations think through their own critical power applications, here are a few things to help your facility prevent a disaster by ensuring that you have power resiliency with UPS Batteries.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance Inspections for UPS Batteries & Other Infrastructure Equipment
The first step to helping you prepare for adverse weather conditions is to find out the status of your existing critical gear, including your UPS, Generators, HVAC and other key infrastructure equipment. Scheduling regular inspections will help you identify any underlying problems that could potentially spell disaster.
Review Your Current Utility Redundancy Infrastructure
Often, we will help guide clients through various levels of redundancy. Utility redundancy is one that can be overlooked. For example, does your facility rely on a natural gas utility, and electric utility? In the Texas market, these two facilities were intrinsically linked, causing a cascading effect for many customers.
Redundancy can mean several things, including a review of your generator and backup systems. Does diesel or natural gas generators make more sense? Redundancy can also include redundant UPS systems or redundancy in UPS battery modules or strings. A power quality specialist can help navigate the cost-benefit of redundancy in your infrastructure.
Don’t Forget To Check Your UPS and Generator Batteries
When placing your Generator or UPS in severe power conditions, this may cause additional stress on batteries and other critical components. We often find batteries that have been neglected, causing vulnerability in your infrastructure. Since batteries are the lifeblood of your critical gear, making sure that your batteries are up for the task is important.
During your regularly scheduled inspections, technicians will be checking the ability of each UPS battery or generator starting battery to hold and pass a charge. If they determine that a battery deteriorates faster than others, it should be replaced. The failure of a single UPS battery or Generator starting battery has the ability to take down an entire facility if not caught in time.
While checking the individual batteries, the age of the batteries should be verified as well. As batteries age, the amount of energy that they can store (capacity) will be reduced. Once it reaches the ability to store just 80% of its once available charge, IEEE states that replacement should be considered. Typically, batteries will cross this threshold between 4-5 years. However, this could vary greatly depending on the many factors including temperature, stress, and other factors. A trained technician is going to be able to help determine when the best time is to replace your batteries.
Make Sure That You Have Expert Backup Power Help
Even with all the best practices in place, winter storms, or other disasters can still take even the best-designed and up-to-date systems down. Having a team on your side that can respond in an emergency is crucial. Emergency Response support is available in many forms, many organizations provide it as part of the warranty. It could also be part of the maintenance contract as well. However not all emergency response is considered equal and can range from the industry standard of four hours to the next business day. Know what your response time is will help you plan and makes sure that the correct expectations are held.
QPS Is Your UPS Partner
Whether you need to replace batteries, complete inspection, redundancies designed or need emergency support. Quality Power Solutions is here to help you prepare for winter storms. What can we do to assist you, today?