Louis McGarry, Sales and Marketing Director, Centiel
There is nothing more terrifying than pressing a button on an item of seemingly complicated electronic equipment in the fear that the worst thing could happen – you might cause the system to switch off and the load is lost!
That’s how people generally view UPS systems: stay away and stay safe. Louis has recently conducted an onsite training session entitled ‘get to know your UPS’ with around 20 engineers and at the start there was an overwhelming sense of fear. This stemmed from lack of familiarity and understanding. However, the fact is that most modern UPS are actually very robust and user intuitive, making it almost impossible to drop the load, even accidentally. An easy to use and understand user interface, the intelligence built into the system and the electronic controls put in place all help to ensure that the load remains protected during any system interrogation or maintenance.
A few hours of training later and the same team of engineers realised that once you get to know them, UPS aren’t that frightening at all! And let’s face it, you’ve bought the UPS, it’s your kit, so perhaps it’s time to get to know it a little better. Or at least get onto good speaking terms?
What you need to know
Louis likes to think of a UPS like an aircraft. A critical bit of kit! The pilot doesn’t need to know how to build or maintain the plane but does need to know the basics, including how to make an assessment, how to interrogate systems, understand processes and calculate loadings to ensure it can perform when needed. It’s the same for a UPS.
On site engineers ideally need to know how to monitor load changes to have an intelligent discussion about potential options with the supplier or manufacturer to ensure the UPS is always working at the optimal point in its efficiency curve. Engineers need to understand what to do and who to call if the UPS’ alarm goes off.
Like any good pilot, engineers also need appreciate the need for regular professional maintenance checks to keep the UPS in tip top condition. Just like an aircraft, if servicing does not occur at the right time, the warranty could be invalidated, but more importantly any minor issues can be spotted before they become significant problems.
First level response
Uniquely, Centiel’s CumulusPower UPS modules can be ‘hot/safe swapped’ in a running load, so the training in UPS familiarity can be taken one step further. For example, on one remote site there are trained data centre engineers capable of their own in-house, first level UPS response.
The data centre’s team can now complete basic monitoring, diagnostics and maintenance of the UPS. On the rare occasion a fault does occur, UPS modules can be safely swapped in less than three minutes, and the faulty module shipped back to Centiel for testing and repair.
Further, the safe-hot-swap modular design plus training means modules can easily be replaced or moved to areas of high demand offering increased flexibility. This also means each area of the facility is constantly right sized in terms of UPS power back-up which can also save money and energy. The remote site avoids any downtime, ensuring maximum availability for its clients.
There are numerous advantages in getting to know your UPS. If you think it’s time to find out more, please see: www.centiel.co.uk