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The Importance of regular Maintenance
Like most electrical equipment, data centre cooling systems, backup generators, and uninterruptible power supplies require routine preventative maintenance to obtain the maximum availability and reliability level. Don’t forget that your back generator and UPS system are specially designed to protect your vital IT equipment and ensure your critical systems’ maximum availability. So, failure induced downtime that may easily be avoided is undesirable for any institution. Your standby power system is just as powerful as its weakest link. Regardless of how well made and built your equipment might be, the internal components and parts will ultimately begin to display wear and tear signs and will require replacement. In general, a backup generator could malfunction because of a lack of fuel, a loose wire connection, or a degraded starter battery. Many users already know about ups battery disposal and replacement but usually overlook the need to replace filters, fans, and capacitors before the end of their desired service life. Routine preventative maintenance visits are the best way to identify early signs of degradation to essential components before they malfunction and schedule replacements before they bring downtime. But how do you determine what level of cover you require?  

Planned Preventative Maintenance Visits

Each maintenance and service plan should incorporate several scheduled/ planned preventative maintenance visits. In most cases, these planned/ scheduled visits will be performed during regular working hours, but there is also an option for out-of-hour upgrades. As a general rule, the least number of recommended PPMV’s yearly is:
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply: One visit
  • Cooling System: One minor and one major visit
  • Backup Generator: One minor and one major visit.
Remember, the above are only guidelines, and additional visits could be included in your contract if you want quarterly or perhaps monthly PPMVs.  

On-Site Emergency Response

In case you experience a major fault, and an engineer requires to attend the site to inspect the issue, there are often numerous options to choose from. Typically, the speed of the response to that site will influence the contract’s cost; the quicker the response time, the higher the overall cost. Therefore, it is essential to decide what is an agreeable response time for your business. In most cases, a standard contract will incorporate the following day on-site response time. However, in some regions, the same day, 8-hour and 4-hour upgrades are available. Based on the contract type, parts and labour needed for any emergency call-out repairs or works might or might not be included.  

Telephone Technical Support

In most cases, service and maintenance contracts will have some kind of telephone technical support. It could be used as the first port of call when an issue occurs. Some minor alarms and faults can be resolved with some quick advice via the phone. However, most major faults will demand a site visit.  

Remote Monitoring

Because the communication industry is ever-growing, especially from UPS systems and cooling equipment, it’s now much more possible for your maintenance provider to provide you with remote monitoring service for your particular environment. Remote monitoring is often achieved by adding an SNMP, a web-based network-attached management interface card, or a GSM modem in rare cases. When configured for remote monitoring, the modem/ SNMP card can send alerts and alarms to the maintenance provider such that they’re notified of any issues, usually before the user themselves finds out about anything. Remote monitoring allows quicker response times to site and a relatively shorter time to repair. Usually, remote monitoring needs an additional device that often has an annually renewable subscription and a one-off cost to the remote monitoring service.