An uninterruptible power supply is essential part of the critical power path supplying your IT equipment. As with other support devices within your comms room and datacentre it will require regular maintenance to ensure its optimum performance and reliability.
UPS manufacturers have developed their uninterruptible power supplies to incorporate ever more advanced self-diagnostics and test routines. Using on-board algorithms most UPS systems will self-test every 24 hours and more advanced systems may incorporate adaptive learning that compares historical results.
Most UPS manufacturers are fairly tight-lipped about the tests they perform but they will cover at least two significant areas: UPS capability and battery integrity. Whilst these internal tests will help to identify problem areas, they are not as extensive as can be achieved using on-site load bank testing to simulate a real-world load or the individual battery block testing using a hand-held battery tester. What the internal, automated tests do achieve however is the ability to extend service intervals.
Traditionally a typical UPS service contract had one preventative maintenance visit per annum. This visit by a UPS maintenance engineer would include a variety of tasks including: visual inspection, log interrogation, electrical measurements and potentially load bank testing as well as a general tidy-up.
As UPS systems have become more advanced, some manufacturers including Eaton UPS have increased taken the lead and introduced longer-term UPS service contracts with a greater period between preventative maintenance visits. The latest service contracts from Eaton UPS include Green Care, Essential Care and Power Contracts.
The Green Care UPS Service Contract is perhaps the most extensive long-term maintenance plan in the power protection industry. It is an all-inclusive 5 year service contract including UPS system commissioning, two preventative maintenance visits, remote monitoring and a discount for future battery replacement. This service contract covers:
- Commissioning of UPS and maintenance training of staff
- 12 Remote readings/maintenance per year for 5 years
- Remote monitoring 24/7
- Spare parts included (excluding. batteries) – all 5 years
- 20% discount on replacement batteries
- Response time: 6 Hours
- 2 Physical visits over 5 years
- Free access to Smart Communicator
- Software updates
- Reporting suite
What’s also interesting about the UPS service contract is the fact that it allows for future battery replacement. In the past clients have not wanted to include battery replacement in their maintenance contracts. This would entail apportioning the full cost of a battery replacement into an annual maintenance contract over the life of the UPS system. Eaton UPS have approached this particular issue from a different angle. They provide a heavy 20% discount against future battery replacement orders. With an Advanced Battery Management (ABM) system that helps to extend battery life by 50%, Eaton UPS clients can therefore possibly expect lower battery costs long term than rival UPS. In addition the longer UPS service intervals also mean less disruption to general day-to-day operations.
Whether Green Care becomes a standard for the UPS services industry remains to be seen. However, this latest UPS service contract will certainly benefit clients at EcoPowerSupplies who continue to expect us to deliver the most eco-friendly products and services within the power protection industry.