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Critical Power Blog

Maintenance, UPS

5 Qualities To Seek In A Power Quality Service Provider

Obtaining regularly scheduled service is one of the most successful and cost-effective approaches to ensuring the ongoing optimal performance of your critical power quality equipment.

And for companies operating aging infrastructure, these routine checkups are even more vital.

Research indicates that regular preventive maintenance (PM) can also appreciably reduce the likelihood of downtime, as it affords the opportunity to detect and repair potential problems before they become significant and costly issues.

However, when it comes to deciding on who will perform maintenance and repairs, it’s important to understand that all service providers are not created equal.

Before you trust just anyone to look under the hood of your critical equipment, consider a provider who demonstrates the following five qualities:

Solid Reputation. Seek an experienced company that specializes in working on UPS’s and power- related equipment, and make sure the firm is proficient with your specific brand(s) of equipment.

Request references from existing customers and contact them to gauge their satisfaction.

The best service companies will not only strive to maximize equipment efficiency, but also to build long-term, trusting relationships with their customers.

Need help deciding on a UPS? Get a free site assessment!

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

Highly skilled technicians. Look for a company whose technicians are prepared to service any type of critical power equipment, no matter the age or product line.

Familiarity with various brands of UPS equipment — including manufacturers that are no longer active in the industry — ensures that technicians will be equipped to handle a wide range of service issues.

Ongoing Training. Displaying initial proficiency isn’t enough; the only way technicians remain that way is with regular, ongoing training.

As power quality products and technologies evolve and change, service companies must also keep pace.

Look for a provider who requires its technicians to attend manufacturers’ factory training sessions to ensure comprehensive knowledge on various UPS lines.

Annual internal training should focus on a broad spectrum of topics and be delivered through a combination of classroom, hands-on, and even online courses.

Dedicated Account Manager. Having a single point of contact with your service organization helps keep your site on track.

Your representative should coordinate all preventative maintenance and emergency service, track your equipment and replacement dates, and serve as the point person during any emergency incident.

An account manager should also work with you to develop a proactive service plan that will ultimately help you achieve long-term savings.

Emergency Response. There’s nothing that tests the reliability of a service provider like a frantic call during an unplanned downtime event.

Your service organization should not only answer that call regardless of the time of day (or night), but furnish representatives who are qualified to troubleshoot over the phone to try to resolve the issue.

If the emergency cannot be remedied, prompt on-site response time is essential.

Furthermore, easy and quick access to replacement parts is crucial for unplanned repairs, so make sure your service provider maintains a well-stocked warehouse (including discontinued and rare parts) and the ability to have components on the way to your facility in a matter of minutes when necessary.

Wondering just how vulnerable your power protection solution is? In the final installment of this series, Unified Power will break down the most common causes of UPS failures and what you can do to avoid them.

At Unified Power, we are committed to delivering exceptional, timely maintenance performed by highly trained industry professionals

Still have questions? Get a response immediately.

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

Education, UPS

5 Simple Strategies to Deal With Aging Infrastructure

With many of today’s data centers operating on decades-old technologies, downtime disasters such as the Delta Airlines fiasco have become increasingly common.

Companies are falling prey to these potentially fatal issues in large part because their existing infrastructures are unable to accommodate the rising demands of today’s enterprises.

In fact, one survey of 1,750 IT industry insiders found that 91 percent believed their data center facilities were not adequately equipped to meet the needs of current consumers and clients —even though 75 percent reported having upgraded their infrastructure within the past three years.

Yet even more disconcerting is that 41 percent revealed that data center-related issues had resulted in lost revenue.

Unfortunately, many firms do not have the budget allocated to upgrade their facilities. So what can be done to solve this dilemma?

Maintain. Studies have shown again and again that regular preventive maintenance is the single most cost-effective approach to optimize the lifespan and performance of your equipment.

Need help deciding on a UPS? Get a free site assessment!

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

Equally important is selecting the right maintenance organization to oversee the ongoing health of your critical infrastructure.

Opt for an experienced service company with a well-documented track record and reputation, and one that specializes in servicing critical infrastructure.

Also, any maintenance tasks that will be completed in-house should be clearly defined, with staff properly trained.

Document. Ensuring that all your records and documentation are up-to-date — including verification of all maintenance tasks performed — is vital for your operation, as well as to fulfill regulatory requirements.

Tie every procedure to an internal goal and objective.

Replace. While regularly scheduled preventive maintenance is paramount to the ongoing health of equipment, there are times when replacing a legacy system is ultimately the best (and cheapest) option.

Use each maintenance visit as an opportunity to gather and analyze trend data to help determine the best option for your specific devices.

Evaluate. To ensure effective decision-making, it is imperative to forecast the growth and requirements of your facility over the next 5 to 10 years.

You may want to consider hiring a data center design company to evaluate your site’s layout, especially if it is approaching capacity.

Often these firms can provide viable solutions at a fraction of what it would cost to construct a new data center.

5. Monitor. Environmental monitoring provides an accurate, real-time assessment of data center conditions at all times — an especially helpful gauge for older servers that are prone to overheating, a condition that can quickly spiral into unplanned downtime.

In addition, by implementing virtualization initiatives and software-defined networking workflows, companies can dramatically boost the effectiveness of their network infrastructure even if limited budgets prevent a complete overhaul.

Is your infrastructure in need of a checkup? Then stay tuned. In part 3 of this series, Unified Power will break down the qualities you should look for in a service provider for your critical power equipment.

At Unified Power, we are committed to delivering exceptional, timely maintenance performed by highly trained industry professionals

Still have questions? Get a response immediately.

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

Education, Maintenance, UPS

The Risks of Owning Aging Infrastructure

In the wake of the Delta Air Lines outage, IT professionals across the country breathed a collective sigh of relief that it wasn’t their network crashing and sparking a disaster of global proportions.

But in most instances, that sense of gratitude was immediately followed by a firing squad of critical reflection:  Exactly how old are our systems? When is the last time I tested our backup solution? Did I ever schedule that preventive maintenance visit? Could that same type of disaster strike MY organization?

The devastation that can result from aging infrastructure is one of the most significant lessons underscored by Delta’s downtime incident, in which a piece of failed switchgear was attributed to more than 2,100 flights being canceled over a multiple-day period.

The airline’s turbulence came on the heels of a similar outage just weeks earlier, when a faulty network router forced Southwest to cancel 2,000+ flights.

While neither the precise monetary losses nor the potential reputation damage have been assessed for either airline, both are likely to continue soaring in the skies.

But how well would your organization fare from a crisis that disrupted operations?

Need help deciding on a UPS? Get a free site assessment!

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

Consider the fact that more than 40 percent of all companies that experience such a disaster never again reopen their doors for business.

North American businesses lose $26.5 billion each year due to IT downtime and data recovery, according to data collected by Forsythe FOCUS magazine.

Aging infrastructure is a common source of these downtime events, as many legacy sites built during the boom of the late 90s and early 2000s are approaching — or have already passed — the 20-year mark.

As a result, they face issues such as insufficient capacity, wear and tear, end of life, and inadequate power and cooling.

Coupled with the continuous trends to increase power density while reducing energy costs, and the expense of constructing new facilities, a growing number of organizations are left trying to squeeze additional life out of their existing equipment.

In most cases, newer hardware has been added as technology has evolved, but the underlying infrastructure is still decades old, which tends to complicate overall management while impacting performance and security.

Yet the prospect of completely replacing aging infrastructure is expensive and time-consuming.

At Unified Power, we are committed to delivering exceptional, timely maintenance performed by highly trained industry professionals.

Still have questions? Get a response immediately.

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

Batteries, UPS

Enersys 16V Front Terminal UPS Battery in short supply

Enersys 16V Front Terminal UPS Battery in short supply – read more about what this means for users…

  • DataSafe 16HX550F-FR
  • DataSafe 16HX800F-FR
  • DataSafe 16HX925F-FR

Enersys introduced the world’s first 16 volt front terminal UPS battery several years ago.

This battery has many advantages over typical 12V batteries, chief of which is a high power density in a very small footprint.

Your typical UPS runs on a 540V DC Buss which consists of (40) 12V batteries connected in series. With the Enersys 16V battery, you only need (30) batteries to make up one string.

Also – the Enersys battery is narrow in the front, but deep, further reducing space.

In order to take advantage of the smaller footprint, special, smaller battery cabinets were designed specifically for the 16V Batteries.

While all of this is good news for greater power density, it is not without a downside that can be disastrous if you’re not aware.

None of the other major battery manufacturers have jumped on the 16V battery bandwagon, so currently Enersys is the only manufacturer offering this battery.

This means that you will pay a premium for replacement batteries every 4-5 years.

You are also at the mercy of factory lead times, so if the current lead time is 17 weeks (which it was in April 2016 for the 925’s) there is nothing you can do about it.

If you opt for a different battery, you will need to replace your UPS battery cabinets in order to switch over.

If you are in an emergency situation and need to replace your 16V batteries, 24/7 Technology can work with you to engineer an alternative solution to the Enersys 16V battery.

We also work with customers to pro actively replace their UPS battery systems with standard sizes and models that are readily available and cost effective.

The key is to be proactive and not get caught in a dangerous situation where your batteries are failing, and the lead time for new ones is 4 months.


TVSS – What is it? & Why do I need one?

What is a TVSS?

A TVSS or Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor protects sensitive electronics from short duration, extreme voltage spikes.

This protection is accomplished by clamping the voltage to a safe level before the equipment is destroyed. The excess current is then diverted to the ground.

The most common cause of extreme voltage surges are nearby lightning strikes or the switching of large loads. 

Don’t all UPS’s come with a TVSS?

One of the great myths or misunderstanding about UPS’s is they will protect your equipment from a lightning strike or high energy electrical spike.

While this may be true for some small single phase units such as APC or Tripp Lite, the vast majority of medium to large 3 phase UPS provide no internal lightning or TVSS protection.

So while you think your large, expensive 3 phase UPS will protect you from a lightning strike, the truth is it may not.

As a result, it is highly recommended that you research and confirm that your UPS is protected by a TVSS at the panel feeding the input power to your UPS.

You will need to protect both the rectifier and bypass inputs to the UPS.

Need help deciding on a UPS? Get a free site assessment!

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

TVSS Products

Several companies manufacture TVSS units.

  • PQ Protection
  • Schneider Electric
  • Raycap
  • MGC Surge Protection

One high quality company suitable for Data centers and three phase systems is PQ Protection. They have a wide range of sizes and features.

Their products include the PQC100, PQC200, PQM100, PQM200, PQS300, and PQS400. 

PQ Protection TVSS has proven to be highly reliable while cost effective.

Next Steps.

If you are not sure if you have a TVSS, or need further information please contact Unified Power to learn more about your options and how you can protect your equipment from lightning and power spikes.

At Unified Power, we have designed, specified and installed thousands of UPS systems with TVSS at the source.

More information about our UPS Contracts for UPS service & maintenance.

Still have questions? Get a response immediately.

Click above to get started or call 240.772.1710 for instant help.

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