TLC For Your UPS – The Benefits Of Preventive Maintenance Visits
Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are the often unsung hero of the data centre, working quietly in the background to ensure a constant flow of high quality electricity.
But UPS systems are complex machines in their own right. Wear and tear is inevitable. With the busy summer maintenance season in full swing, many data centre operators will be arranging an annual service for their standby power systems.
Most data centre operators will have the safeguard of an ongoing UPS maintenance contract, with guaranteed emergency response times in case there’s an issue with their unit. These agreements will typically also include at least one planned preventive maintenance visit (PMV) a year.
But what should a PMV cover?
A PMV offers a platform to identify any potential issues and fix them before they have chance to develop into a more serious fault. They also allow service engineers to perform little tweaks to enhance UPS efficiency and performance, and highlight any key consumables that might need replacing.
- Visual inspection and physical tests – this takes place at the outset of all PMVs. The engineer will clean any dust or debris, then look at all key components, as well as the batteries, for any signs of deterioration. They’ll also check – and tighten, if necessary – all the electrical connections. Many UPS maintenance providers utilise thermal imaging cameras at this stage, with the advanced equipment much better at detecting potential hotspots then even the most experienced field engineer.
- Mechanical and functional tests – the engineer will proceed to download the UPS’s historical alarm and performance logs, then undertake a series of functional tests to see how the UPS runs across various operating modes, recording all the measurements along the way.
- Firmware updates – a PMV provides the perfect opportunity to ensure the UPS has the latest software installed. This can make a big difference to your unit’s overall performance and operating efficiency.
- Service report – finally, the engineer will complete the maintenance register and provide a full report of any faults found during the visit, along with a list of recommended remedial actions i.e. any components or consumables that are approaching their end of service life and due for replacement.
Guest blog by Chris Cutler, Business Development Manager for Riello UPS
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