Ken's Korner

  1. Infrared Electrical Panel Inspection

    Conducting Infrared Electrical Panel Inspections  Why Infrared Scanning Increased resistance and heat are the primary reasons most electrical components fail.  Before electrical components fail, they heat up.  Infrared scanning is used to inspect electrical equipment because excess heat is usually the first sign of trouble.  Loose connections, imbalanced and or overloaded circuits, defective breakers, damaged switches, faulty fuses, and material...
  2. UPS System Preventative Maintenance

    UPS Systems & Preventative Maintenance   An uninterruptable power supply (UPS) is designed to provide emergency power to electrical equipment when the primary power source fails.  A UPS typically serves as a bridge between the primary power source and an auxiliary power system, like a diesel generator, to provide time to properly shut down sensitive equipment.  A UPS can either...
  3. UPS Systems: Buying and Maintenance

    UPS Buying and Maintenance Tips   The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has labeled the nation’s electrical grid as a “patchwork system” that will ultimately breakdown by 2020 without massive investments. As the U.S. electrical grid becomes less reliable, and the number and severity of outages increase the steps taken to ensure continuous uptime in tomorrow’s data centers will...
  4. UPS System Battery Room Safety

    16 UPS System Battery Room Safety Issues   At the heart of any UPS system supporting a mission critical facility is the battery. IEEE, OSHA, EPA, NEC, NFPA, and many more agencies, committees and groups offer safety recommendations regarding the design, construction, maintenance and monitoring of battery rooms. Even though the data centers I was responsible for hired consultants and...
  5. UPS System Battery Maintenance

    UPS Battery Maintenance Tips The weak link in a standby battery based emergency backup system is the battery.  Storage battery failures cause more down time and service calls on UPS systems than any other component.  Buying the best battery for your intended use is the first step to success, regular monitoring and preventative maintenance is the next step in making...
  6. UPS System Battery Basics

    Selecting UPS System Batteries (UPS Battery Basics) According to Ponemon Institute’s September 2010 National Survey on Data Center Outages, 95% of the companies surveyed had experienced unplanned outages in the prior two years, with 88% citing the loss of primary power as the culprit and experiencing an average downtime event lasting 107 minutes per outage.  The survey also indicated the...
  7. Rating Generators

    Rating Generators - To avoid Generator Failure A recent study as reported by Steve Fairfax, President of MTechnology, at the 7x24 Exchange Fall Conference in Phoenix, on the failure rates in data center components and systems found generators played a role in between 45 and 65 percent of outages in data centers with an N+1 configuration (data centers with a...
  8. Load Shedding

    Load Shedding to Reduce Your Electric Utility Bill What happens when you combine regular backup generator preventative maintenance and load testing with load shedding? A significant savings on your electric utility bill!  This was the practice I followed at our data centers.  By participating in load shedding with our local electrical service provider I was able to save over 40...
  9. Generator and Stored Fuel

    Back-up Diesel Generators and Stored Fuel The importance of diesel generators is well known by the facilities and IT personnel of a data center, especially in the event of a power failure. Due to this fact, much emphasis and resources are put into the generator's physical maintenance, but - much too often a very important factor is neglected, the on-site...
  10. Generator Noise Abatement

    Generator Noise Abatement Since generator noise levels can reach 100 decibel’s (dB) or more, compliance with national, state or local ordinances can dictate when and where generators are used if noise abatement measures are not implemented.  Our city codes allowed a maximum decibel reading at our property line of 55 or less after 10:00 pm, causing us to implement a...

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