What is UPS Maintenance?
Generally UPS systems are purchased because there is a requirement to protect the client’s essential supplies in the event of a power failure or brownout.
Having bought the system however, little consideration is given as to how it will continue to operate over the years.
The idea of plug and play conceals the fact that uninterruptible power supplies are highly technical equipment consisting of thousands of sensitive components.
The new uninterruptible power supply system will always come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which would be perceived to offer protection in the event of a failure during the first year.
What is not considered is that although the manufacturer has agreed to guarantee his equipment against failure, it will be repaired during normal working hours and certainly no earlier than the next day, often several days later dependent of the availability of engineers and parts. During this time, of course, the essential load is unprotected.
No UPS = No Protection.
A UPS maintenance contract will offer peace of mind to the client, as not only will the contract offer an agreed response time for an engineer to attend site, it will also ensure that the UPS is inspected and the results recorded on a regular basis. This can be arranged during an agreed operating window of time, which can be tailored to suit the client’s operating requirements, together with emergency 24-7 call out.
The UPS system has a number of components which have a finite operating life. The ones that immediately spring to mind are: fans, batteries, DC and AC capacitors. A failure of any of these components severely limit (and generally eliminates) the Uninterruptible Power Supply’s capacity to protect the essential load.
Regular maintenance will monitor these components and highlight any potential failures, normally in time to take action to replace them and maintain the integrity of the system.
A typical instance on a non-maintained Power Protection system would be that during a utility mains failure the batteries failed to support the essential load for the expected time. The client would require immediate replacement of his batteries to regain his perceived autonomy; the unanswered question would be ‘why did the batteries fail so early in their operational life?’
Without regularly maintaining and thermal monitoring the UPS and its UPS Batteries, one or all the DC capacitors may have prematurely aged the batteries causing a severe reduction in their capacity to support load. Regular UPS maintenance visits would have identified this problem earlier, and by changing the offending components the expense of prematurely replacing the batteries would have been avoided.
Of course, if a UPS system is present, then the next step is to ask yourself:
- What if it fails?
- Do I have a generator standby power system?
- If there isn’t a standby diesel generator, is that due to lack of space?
- Or assumed cost?
Better to ask for a FREE site survey and establish what power protection you may require before your Critical Systems are tested by power failure.