Is your organisation relying on you to ensure their power protection equipment operates as required during the next power event...?

Preventive Maintenance, when correctly implemented, costs an organisation significantly less over time compared to reactively dealing with faults and their negative impact on the operation of the organisation. Systematic inspections, early detection and correction of potential failures, either before they occur or before they develop into major defects avoids costly downtime and costly repair bills.

Such maintenance typically includes inspections, performance tests, key indicator measurements, adjustments, parts replacement, software updates, known fault correction and general housekeeping practices. By the same token the cost of such maintenance needs to be correctly matched to the value this provides to the organisation, as either over-spending, or under-spending costs the organisation money in the long run.

The following areas are of importance to the Power and Cooling Continuity for ICT environments:

 

UPS

Battery Servicing
By far the majority of all UPS failures are the result of battery failures and in more than half the time this takes down the very systems a UPS is intended to protect! The sad thing is that this situation could easily have been avoided. Good batteries typically last three years, after that their failure rates increase exponentially. Regular battery maintenance is therefore critical to the correct operation of a UPS.

Surge and Spike Protection Test
A UPS solution typically also protects systems from physical damage caused by spikes, surges and other harmful power events.  It is therefore important to test that this functionality is operating correctly.

General Maintenance
While the quality UPS systems that IT Power typically support are designed to offer high levels of reliability and performance at an sensible cost, they are not failure-proof. Factors such as incorrect application or installation, poor design, real world operating conditions outside of their design parameters, age and negligent maintenance practices significantly impact the reliability and performance of a UPS and the systems it supports. Site visits by a competent engineer identifies and correct or escalate these simple maintenance issues. Other general maintenance issues include dirty, aging or faulty cooling fans, improper housing that cause overheating, overloading, electrical design risks such as output power distribution limitations, and of course extreme age or poor quality devices.

 

STANDBY GENERATORS

The Control System
The standby generator control system is critical to the correct operation of the standby generator and its associated equipment. Diesel engine management, mains failure detection and auto-transfer switch operation are all managed by the control system, and regular testing is essential to ensure the system operates correctly when required.

Diesel Engine Maintenance
Regular site visits to check all aspects of the diesel engine, fuel quality, starting system and control system are essential for reliable operation. Regular servicing is also needed to replace oil, filters, etc. as required.

Electrical System
The correct transfer of the critical load to generator power in the event of a mains failure must be regularly tested and verified. Also important is the quality of the power provided from the generator when operating.

General Maintenance
Other factors such as site operating procedures, re-fueling procedures, security, etc. need to be regularly reviewed to ensure reliable operation and reduce failure probability.

 

COOLING

Air Movement
Good system cooling performance requires unrestricted airflows through both the cooling air-handlers and the ICT equipment. Filters, blower drive systems, etc. therefore need to be regularly maintained to ensure this, resulting in lower operating costs, reduced component life and higher reliability. Possible condensation on air-handlers components needs to be avoided with the correct system design and maintenance.

Chilled water / condenser water systems
Cooling solutions incorporating piped water systems need specific care and maintenance due to their potential to discharge water into the ICT environment in the event of a system leak or discharge. Condensate drains, level sensors, pumps etc. need to be maintained to prevent pan overflows.

Humidifiers
Humidifiers may include valves, hoses, drains, pans, etc. that may leak and may become clogged over time. These components should be inspected regularly to avoid failure.

Outdoor condenser units
These units are often out of site and are also exposed to harsh external environmental conditions. Regular inspection insures that they are working correctly and any potential causes of failure can then be addressed. Cooling efficiency is diminished if condenser coils are not kept clean.

 

IN CONCLUSION

Preventive Maintenance is essential to achieving the required level of reliability from the Power and Cooling infrastructure supporting your ICT equipment. The preventive maintenance package must be matched both technically and commercially to the requirements of the site.

Please feel free to contact IT Power to discuss how we can assist with preventive maintenance options for your site.

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