particularly important during the summer months when temperatures are higher.

Next, they’ll physically check all the electrical connections to see if any are loose and need tightening. Circuit breakers, cabling, fuses, printed circuit boards, fans, and capacitors are amongst the components to pay closest attention to.

“A PMV is the perfect chance for

the engineer to install any firmware updates. Running the latest software

enhances the UPS’s performance and can also improve energy efficiency.”

These days, many UPS maintenance providers will employ thermal imaging cameras for this, as such equipment is far more effective at detecting possible hotspots than the eye or hand of even the most experienced service engineer. Any increase in heat the camera senses could be caused by a loose connection or impending component failure.

With batteries, it’s important to check connections at the terminals and make sure they’re at the correct torque.

Mechanical tests of the UPS’s functionality are next on the agenda. This starts with downloading the unit’s historical performance and alarm logs, followed by a series of tests to analyse how the UPS runs in various operating modes.

Depending on your facility, you might require more advanced functional testing, such as using load banks that enable the engineer to test the UPS at various load levels without ever putting your critical load at risk.

Another key stage of the PMV is a thorough check of the environment. A plant room prone to dust, excessive heat and humidity, or poor ventilation will easily speed up the deterioration of your UPS.

Ideally these sorts of problems would have been ironed out during the initial installation of the UPS. But

circumstances can obviously change and the day-to- day environment might be somewhat different from any previous maintenance visits.

A PMV is also the perfect chance for the engineer to install any firmware updates. Running the latest software enhances the UPS’s performance and can also improve energy efficiency.

Once all the tests and updates are complete, the engineer’s final task is to fill out a detailed field service report. For you as a facilities manager, this is where you’ll find all the readings from the engineer’s inspections. It’ll also highlight any faults that need repairing and include a list of recommended remedial actions, for example, whether any consumables are approaching end of service life and due for replacement.

Reaping the rewards of a

proactive approach The basic principle of maintenance is that preventive actions tend to be far more effective – and less costly in the long run – than reactive ones.

Take the batteries used in the majority of UPS systems. Even though they are manufactured with a five or 10-year lifespan, it’s accepted best practice across the industry to swap them in year three or four (for five-year) or year seven or eight (for 10-year) as it significantly reduces your risk of a major failure.

Your PMV might advise taking a similar proactive approach with two other key UPS components, the capacitors and fans.

Replacing these ageing components with new ones is known as a UPS Overhaul. It’s a cost-effective way of extending the lifespan of your UPS, with the added benefits of significantly improved overall performance and efficiency.

Such a proactive approach to maintenance helps maximise your budget and lower the total cost of ownership (TCO). It also demonstrates astute future-planning as it means you’re far less likely to suffer costly equipment downtime or need to fork out for an entire UPS replacement.


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