As with almost all backup generators, uninterruptible power supplies, data centre cooling systems and the vast majority of electrical equipment will need regular preventative maintenance to ensure the optimal level of availability and reliability.
Data centre infrastructure manufacturer, Vertiv, advises that it is important to understand that your UPS system, as well as the backup generator, is designed to protect critical IT equipment as well as ensure the fullest availability of all critical systems. Therefore, the amount of downtime due to failure should be minimal at all accounts.
Remember that the standby power system will be only as strong as the weakest link. Regardless of how well designed and built your specific equipment may be, the various components and internal parts will begin to show signs of wear and tear and need to be replaced.
Backup generators can fail due to degraded starter batteries, lack of fuel, or even a loose wire connection. Businesses that own and uninterruptible power supply are generally aware that the battery will need to be replaced; however, they overlook aspects such as fans, filters and capacitors.
Through an effort of preventative maintenance visits, it is possible to spot signs of degradation to central components and ensure they are replaced before they begin to fail and cause serious downtime issues.
How to Decide the Level of Coverage You Need
Plan Preventative Maintenance Visits
Every maintenance and service plan should include a number of scheduled or planned preventative maintenance visit. These plant visits are typically scheduled throughout normal working hours; however, there are also various upgrades available as options.
As a general rule of thumb, the minimum number of PPMV’s per year is:
- Backup Generator – One Minor and One Major Visit;
- Uninterruptible Power Supply – One Visit;
- Cooling Systems – One Minor and One Major Visit.
Keep in mind this is just a general guideline and multiple visits can be added to your contract if you prefer monthly or quarterly PPMVs.
Telephone Technical Support
Many maintenance and service contracts offer some type of telephone technical support. This is typically the first call of action if a problem should arise. Many minor problems can be rectified with over-the-phone advice; however, anything major should be fixed with a site visit.
On-Site Emergency Response
If there is a major situation and an engineer needs to be on-site to investigate the problem, there are several options to choose from. Keep in mind that the speed of the response time to the site is going to impact the overall cost of the contract, simply meaning and the faster the response time the higher the cost will be. It is important to understand what acceptable response time for your business will be. Most standard contracts include next-day on-site response time, however, some regions offer four-hour, eight-hour and same-day response times.
Dependent on your specific contract type, parts and labour may not be included for an emergency call.
With so many advances throughout communications, particularly in equipment and UPS systems, your maintenance provider can provide remote monitoring services for your specific equipment. Remote monitoring is typically achieved through a form of web-based networking management interface card or a GSM modem.
Once the system has been configured for remote monitoring, the system will be able to send alarms and alerts to the specific maintenance provider so they are made aware of any specific problems before they become a serious problem. Remote monitoring allows for faster response times as well as shorter repair times. Remote monitoring will typically require an additional device, which is a one-time cost as well as an annually renewable subscription for the remote monitoring service.