Case Study – UPS system failure to Brisbane CBD Lawyer office with storms forcast….
We were recently called to a lawyers from our Brisbane office.
John the IT manager stated his issue was their APC Smart ups 2000 kva rackmount uninterruptible power supply had a battery alarm – even though their local electrician had replaced the batteries about a year ago. When unplugged it emits a “on battery power” constant tone. The power outlets on the back were not receiving any power though. And when switched off and would not restart.
He was concerned as storms were forcast and needed power protection was critical for his Brisbane office servers.
Well when I arrived I wasn’t surprised, it was plain to see the electrician had damaged the display fixing.
There were a few issues with this particular UPS,
- Usually electricians not trained in UPS maintenance generally have a limited understanding of UPS maintenance and this was the clearly the case here, where being unfamiliar with this UPS the retaining clips for the display had been damaged whilst attempting to access the batteries.
- Batteries had failed – I opened it up and checked the condition of batteries. One was at 9.67Vdc with the remaining at between 10.1-11.3Vdc.
- This UPS requires DC for it to run, so if switched off,with failed batteries will not restart
With APC smart ups, when changing batteries we also need to modify the battery constants, which simply put, resets the UPS battery monitoring settings.
We replaced the batteries with a reputable brand CSB and not the cheap chinese imports that we found, these were only a year old and starting to bulge. We then reset the battery constants, replace the fans and switched on.
The UPS was then checked on and offload, the rectifier was checked, the inverter was checked, the battery charger was tested to confirm it was charging correctly and then the output was monitored during mains fail testing.
John was happy as it meant his UPS was back online 1.5 hrs after we turned up and his servers were protected for the approaching summer storms Brisbane is well known for.
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