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June 16, 2014 -
Ongoing staff training and a comprehensive maintenance schedule are both critical elements of ensuring your data center UPS can handle the load.
Data center facility staff wear multiple hats, and day-to-day operations could go on for many months or even years without UPS interaction. Therefore, facility staff must be properly trained on the use of the UPS system on an ongoing basis, preferably annually, as the personnel who were present during the initial UPS training may not be there 10 years later. But, even when facility personnel remain the same for a decade, annual training provides a much-needed refresher in recognizing what the UPS system dependencies are and what should happen when something goes wrong. The operators responsible for maintaining the UPS should understand how the system's redundancy is intended to operate.
Also, be proactive in implementing a routine maintenance schedule. Here are some guidelines broken down by UPS component:
Batteries: Replace every 5 years and do yearly testing each year in between.
Air conditioning: Service it properly, including replacement of filters, etc.
Control boards: Once the UPS starts aging, batteries aside, the next thing to fail are the control boards. Inspect them every year at a minimum. Replace every 10 years or less. Look at consulting with the UPS manufacturer for their suggested replacement schedule.
Cooling Fans: While most manufacturers build redundancy into their UPS cooling fans, fans are a moving mechanical component and will wear out. Replace on an as-needed basis, but be proactive, as multiple fan replacement is recommended also in the 5 to 10 year range.
Power filtering capacitors: Also recommended to be replaced in the 5 to 10 year range, but varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
The initial UPS design should both provide the data center owner with peace of mind that the mission critical environment has been executed as designed and put the facility personnel in the best possible position to easily maintain the building, through installation and daily operations.