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QPS Blog Year in Review: Critical Power Lessons

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.

2018 was quite a year for QPS, and we book-ended each part of it talking about newsworthy power outages. We started off discussing the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) power outage and framed that in terms of costs and damages to US businesses resulting from power outages. We talked about how to perform critical calculations regarding downtime and what equipment maintenance is critical to avoid becoming another statistic.

Since UPS equipment and maintenance is our bread and butter, we spent much of the beginning of the year discussing in-depth topics related to the UPS. In February, we discussed UPS battery monitoring, and the various types of data monitoring programs can proactively test. Power anomalies, voltage changes, and float voltage are just a few of these options, and we compared and contrasted on-site battery visits with remote battery monitoring. In March, we talked about planning for UPS scalability, as well as the benefits of a modular UPS. UPS scaling can be done at a software level, through internal modular efficiencies, and through hardware scaling. In the modular UPS article, we discussed the best environments to use modular UPS systems, and how they can improve redundancy management. Finally, in April, we talked about the three-must do steps to install a UPS properly, and walked you through the process.

We got into spring cleaning mode at the end of April and discussed helpful tips to spruce up your generator. These tips covered preventative maintenance, as well as load bank testing, sampling oil and coolant, and corrosion checks. We even explored our furry and feathered friends making animal nests in generators, and how to deal with them.

DC power plant, technician, meter
Our blog series on DC power plants discussed what they are, how they are used, their main components, and aspects of their maintenance.

In May and June, we did a series of articles focused on DC power plants. Our first article talked about how DC power plants operate and what industries and applications they are best used for. The short answer: industries or applications that require a long duration discharge and operate on Direct Current. The second DC power article focused on the important checks to be made during DC power plant maintenance, and how they differ from UPS checks. The third and final article in this series went through the main components of a DC power system and what to look for to choose the components that best match your environment.

SCiB, Toshiba, lithium ion battery
Toshiba lithium ion batteries have 7 main advantages we discussed. Do you remember them?

In the summer, we got excited about lithium ion UPS systems, and our new partnership with N1 Critical Technologies! We are excited to offer these systems, which have great versatility in temperature and environmental capacity.  We also delved into Toshiba SCiB lithium ion batteries and their 7 major advantages. More to come on lithium ion technology this year with educational opportunities in Lithium-Ion.

At the end of the summer, we tried to demystify the external maintenance bypass, how it works, and when it is most commonly used. We also highlighted the importance of pre-owned UPS equipment for some businesses, and how a unit comes to be labelled as “pre-owned.”

In the fall, we published our 4-part series of articles on understanding field service reports (or FSRs.) We started with UPS battery FSRs, the three key areas to cover in maintenance testing, and what to look for on your report. We moved on to FSRs for capacitors and fans, why these components can potentially fail, and what will be recorded on your report if they are needing replacement. Our third installment in the FSR series focused on understanding balancing UPS loads, the dangers of not consistently balancing them, and how examples of failure related to improperly balanced loads show up on field service reports. Our fourth and final entry in this series focused on thermal image scanning FSRs, components in a scan that may indicate impending failure, and recommended next steps once these issues show up.

field service reports, engineeers, computer
In the fall of 2018, QPS published a series of articles about understanding UPS field service reports (FSRs.)

We closed the year as we began it, discussing the Eaton Blackout Tracker report for 2017 (the most recent year), and how more severe and frequent outages are affecting us as a country. We also discussed new innovations in technology, such as drones and hydrogen fuel cell generators, as ways to locate and prevent future disasters from occurring.

Thank you for your interest and business over the years, we genuinely appreciate it! For more information on any of these topics, or to get help on an upcoming mission critical power project, give us a call!