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Is it Time for a New UPS System?

UPS systems are the heart of your critical infrastructure. They condition, monitor, and filter incoming utility power, and when the power goes out, the UPS system supports the load itself with internal batteries. They are sensitive pieces of technology that contain hundreds of parts, including capacitors, batteries, and controls, all working together. These systems ensure that your critical loads are protected and backed up 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Given their importance, we’re frequently asked by data center operators if nowis the right time to replace their UPS system. Before answering this question, we’ll ask several of our own. Here’s the questions you need answers to before purchasing a new UPS system:

How Old is the UPS System?

The major risks associated with operating older UPS units are component fatigue, parts availability, higher service costs, and higher downtime risk. But with proper servicing, a UPS can operate safely and reliably.

  • If it’s under 12 years old, you probably have a little life left.
  • If it’s over 12 years old, its age coupled with the numerous efficiency improvements of newer models make a compelling argument for replacement.

What is Your Current Load Level?

You can estimate your UPS capacity requirement by totaling the wattage requirements of all the equipment you plan to connect to the UPS system. If you’re not sure, refer to the manufacturer’s guide to find the wattage.

  • If loaded between 25-80% – you’re in just the right range.
  • Over 80% loaded – You may run out of capacity or overload the UPS.
  • If loaded less than 25% – you’re wasting energy and money.

What is the Efficiency Rating of Your UPS?

Improving energy efficiency is one of the key components for ensuring cost-effectiveness in your critical infrastructure.

  • Achieving 92% UPS system efficiency is good, but it could be better. Today’s UPS systems are realizing 97-98% efficiency.
  • You’re wasting money if you’re achieving less than 92%. For example: If you increase the efficiency of a 100kW UPS system from 92 to 97% you can save up to $5000 a year in operating costs (at $.10 kWh).

What is the Age of the UPS Batteries?

Batteries are vital in the 24/7 operation of the UPS. However, the capacity decreases over time based on usage, environment, and cycles.

Preventative battery maintenance will not only extend the UPS system’s life, it also allows you to see if a battery will fail from a defect or deteriorationbefore it becomes an emergency. This is important because the costs to replace a string of batteries can be very expensive – sometimes 40% of the value of a new UPS system. Proactive battery maintenance also helps eliminate downtime and contributes to a “highly available” infrastructure.

CEG is an elite partner with many battery manufacturers, enabling us to provide superior maintenance of your batteries and the entire UPS system. Our UPS battery services include:

  • Replacement and installation by certified technical service labor and EPA-approved recycling of old batteries.
  • Ongoing testing & maintenance
  • Battery Monitoring Systems – CEG utilizes a unique approach to battery monitoring that allows us to monitor cell voltages, internal resistance, and temperature; remotely monitor the battery system and provide immediate failure warnings; record up to 120 days of battery history and analyze trending analysis; and thoughtfully budget for replacements.

You’ve got Questions, CEG has Answers

Within your IT infrastructure, a UPS system is a critical investment. CEG’s specialists can help evaluate your IT growth, power needs, downtime exposure, and cost of ownership to determine if a new UPS system is appropriate. If not, we can help extend the life and efficiencies of the one you’ve got. We have the expertise to rightsize existing power infrastructure, provide preventative maintenance services, and perform rapid repairs. Get in touch with us today to learn more.