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3 Essential Facility Monitoring Systems for Uptime

You may not be aware of adverse conditions within your facility that threaten to take down your critical loads at any time. That’s why monitoring your data center’s equipment is vital. Here are three facility monitoring systems to improve your mission-critical system protection. (Note: This post was written by Gary Wells, a Senior Field Engineer for Quality Power Solutions.)

You’re likely already aware of the importance of scheduling regular UPS maintenance checks. But what happens if a problem arises in between appointments? These monitoring methods can help ensure your critical equipment remains online.

Battery monitoring tests your batteries 24/7 to immediately identify problems

1. Battery Monitoring:

This is an excellent way to keep track of all of your UPS batteries on a daily basis.

The problem that most companies encounter is that their typical maintenance contracts include two UPS battery tests per year. However, this leaves a large gap between checks, allowing for a multitude of issues to arise, which can lead to the failure of one or more batteries.

Furthermore, if your UPS system contains one string of batteries (as roughly 70 percent of all systems do), the loss of a single battery can leave your entire system vulnerable if your UPS is forced to rely on battery power.

A battery monitoring system monitors and tests each individual battery 24/7. This constant monitoring ensures you are able to identify any possible issues, as they occur, to ensure the maximum amount of uptime for your protected loads.

 An SNMP can remotely alert you of real time UPS issues

2. UPS/SNMP Monitoring:

The SNMP/Web interface is designed to present “real time” UPS information to your computer through a network connection.

The SNMP is installed into your UPS, where it compiles the system’s protocols and broadcasts them over the network to a program installed on your computer. Then, you can use this information to determine the state of your UPS, and guarantee safe and orderly shutdown when needed.

An SNMP is a great tool for any site where someone does not physically monitor the UPS on a regular basis. It also allows you to remotely view any current or previous UPS alarms that may be active.

For added protection, you can modify an SNMP to send you email notifications whenever there is an issue. These are only some of the many advantages of installing SNMP monitoring.

Environmental Conditions Monitoring identifies adverse conditions that could impair your system

3. Environmental Conditions Monitoring:

Adverse environmental factors can threaten the daily operations and overall condition of a company’s equipment, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars.

For this reason, many companies find it beneficial to invest in an inexpensive environmental condition monitoring solution for their equipment sites. These monitoring systems can identify harmful conditions, helping you avoid unexpected downtime. Some of the conditions these systems can monitor include, but are not limited to:

* Power
* Water
* Temperature
* Humidity
* Light
* Sound
* Airflow
* Smoke
* Room Security / Access

This type of monitoring system can also help a company save money by identifying environmental conditions that cause system inefficiencies. For example, consistent monitoring can help you avoid wasted energy by pinpointing improper cooling system settings, eliminating excessive temperatures that can dilute your power equipment’s functionality.

Unfavorable conditions within your facility can unexpectedly take down or impair your critical equipment. Consider adding these three monitoring systems to your facility’s infrastructure to keep everything running smoothly.

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IEEE smart grid October 2012
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