Uninterruptible Power Supplies: Implementing a Protection Plan
When it comes to emergency-power systems, a technician's worst nightmare is silence. Imagine facing a sudden loss of utility power with no back-up generator. To ensure this nightmare does not come true, maintenance and engineering managers can specify uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), which are essential components of institutional and commercial facilities' strategies for protecting building operations and critical activities from power problems.
For a UPS to work properly and offer protection for a facility's critical equipment from power outages and related problems, managers need to implement a two-pronged protection plan: proper UPS selection and electrical-system design, combined with a comprehensive maintenance program.
Testing and Maintenance
Frequent testing of UPS equipment helps identify problems and minimize potentially devastating power interruptions. In the past, a UPS was more difficult to test. For example, the system often would not provide notice of compromised battery capacity. As a result, technicians could not identify many potential equipment failures until the loss of utility power.
Today, many UPS are modular, which allows technicians to test or replace certain components of the unit while the UPS still provides full back-up for the designed duration to loads served. In other words, technicians now have no excuse for not testing and maintaining the UPS regularly.