Once a UPS has been in service for 10 years or to, data-centre operators have to choose between three options: upgrade the existing power supply; replace it with a new model; or leave it until it inevitably fails. Each option has its merits, depending on circumstances.
A new white paper from Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and leading provider of data centre physical infrastructure solutions, presents a range of scenarios that a data centre operator might face and takes them through the merits and tradeoffs associated with each option.
Co-written by John Gray and Patrick Donovan, both senior employees at Schneider Electric with more than 20 years experience each in the design of electrical systems and critical power and cooling systems, White Paper #214 “Guidance on What to Do with an Older UPS” takes the reader through the decision making process in detail, presenting a clear set of choices for each situation.
There are some situations in which an operator has little option but to replace an old UPS: if the existing equipment can no longer meet critical performance requirements; if spare parts are unavailable, or if OEM support has ended.
In other situations, there may be options to prolong the usable life of a UPS. Here decisions have to be carefully considered based on availability of vital parts, efficiency of the UPS, the ongoing operating expense of maintaining an older UPS compared with replacing it with a new one and whether it will have sufficient capacity to handle future loads to which it is likely to be subjected.
Also under consideration should be an outsourcing strategy; might it be better to have a third party manage your IT as a service rather than upgrade your existing facility?
The option of leaving a UPS in place until it eventually fails requires a great amount of planning and contingency arrangements. Although it saves cost on capital expenditure in the short term, because one is postponing the decision to replace or upgrade old equipment, the instance of “time and material” type service more than doubles one a UPS has been more than 10 years in service. One must ensure that sufficient maintenance and failover procedures are in place to prevent the failure of a UPS having serious consequences for the data centre as a whole.
White Paper #214 “Guidance on What to Do with an Older UPS”, is now available for free download via http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/PDON-9P8QY4/PDON-9P8QY4_R0_EN.pdf .