Single-Phase UPS Maintenance and Service
Best Practices for Maintaining and Managing Single-Phase UPS Equipment
Single-Phase UPS Maintenance Service can be an afterthought – until a UPS fails. Depending upon the topology, a single-phase UPS can fail and drop the load for reasons that can range from a bad battery to a failed power module. Maintaining your “fleet” of single-phase UPS can be a challenge as the number and location of these units grow or IT personnel changes.
The useful life of a single-phase UPS depends on power rating, topology, installation environment and maintenance schedule. But to simplify:
- Small, plug-and-play UPS units up to 5kVA have a useful service life of 6 years
- Larger, hardwired UPS systems 5kVA and up have a useful service life of 10 years
Maintenance for Plug-and-Play UPS Equipment Up To 5kVA
By plug-and-play, we are referring to single-phase UPS equipment that has an input plug and output receptacles to directly plug in the equipment the UPS is going to protect. These smaller units are generally less expensive, and the major manufacturers recommend replacement every 6 years.
The most likely components to fail in a small single-phase UPS are the batteries. Almost all small single-phase UPS units are designed with user-replaceable battery modules and we recommend replacing the batteries after 3 years of service, sooner for challenging environments. All major UPS manufacturers have expanded their single-phase UPS offer to include Lithium-Ion batteries. Li-ion batteries have a different maintenance and replacement timeline.
Maintenance For Larger, Hardwired UPS Equipment 5kVA And Up
Most major UPS manufacturers consider their larger single-phase UPS equipment to have a service life of 10 years. Some manufacturers offer modernization services to allow customers to extend that to as much as 13 years. The services available vary greatly depending upon the manufacturer and the model UPS.
It’s important to note that factory warranties and service plans typically include coverage for the UPS batteries only when they fail. These service plans do not cover proactive replacement of the UPS batteries. This is an additional cost that should be budgeted for.
Example Of A typical Maintenance Schedule for a 12kVA UPS Model
Managing Multiple Single-Phase Units
While the recommended maintenance and service tasks for smaller plug-and play UPS equipment are fairly simple, managing an entire fleet of small UPS units with differing vintages can get complicated quickly. Yet, to ensure 100% uptime, it is important to keep track of each UPS, its status, and the next maintenance or service due.
A site audit can help you get a handle on the status of the current fleet of UPS equipment. Power Solutions offers site audit services where we help customers gather make/model and serial number data on current equipment. We can even check the battery status, measure the temperature and humidity, and confirm the UPS is connected to the network. Armed with this detail, Power Solutions can help develop a fleet management plan with specific recommendations to optimize your fleet of UPS equipment in a timeframe that makes sense for your budget.
Single-Phase UPS Maintenance and Service Considerations
Plan and Budget for UPS Upgrades and replacement – Complete a fleet assessment and prioritize units that require immediate replacement or new batteries. Connect as many units as possible t the network for monitoring. Power Solutions, can offer discounts on volume purchases of single-phase UPS equipment. Consider buying your replacement equipment in batches to take advantage of the available discounts.
Reassess Your Power and Cooling Infrastructure – Add a DCIM solution to help monitor and manage all the UPS equipment on site if you don’t already have one. The monitoring system will help you evaluate the health of your UPS units and prevent downtime. Reconsider if the UPS topology installed is correct for the application.
Consider Revitalization Service for Modular UPS Equipment – Manufacturers such as Schneider Electric offer a Modular Power Revitalization Service (MPRS) for modular UPS equipment. With the MPRS, all the internal components of the UPS are replaced including power modules, intelligence modules, fans, and displays. Essentially, everything except the chassis is replaced leaving you with brand new UPS equipment at a fraction of the cost to replace it.
Use Factory Service – Factory service technicians are intimately familiar with all products and product upgrades. Their factory training enables them to quickly troubleshoot and accurately diagnose system issues resulting in shorter repair times, minimal downtime, and optimal system performance. The larger manufacturers can service and repair your power and cooling equipment, switchgear, generator, and other power systems engineering equipment making them a true single source provider.
Properly maintaining and updating the fleet of single-phase UPS equipment is as critical to any organization as maintaining uptime for the primary data center UPS. With extended factory warranties, comprehensive factory service plans, regular battery replacements, and modernization services, organizations can keep single-phase UPS equipment running and maximize uptime.
For more detailed information about Maintaining a Fleet of UPS, see our Whitepaper.