Data Center Journal

Volume 28 | August 2013

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FACILITY CORNER Power System Equipment Maintenance and Long-Term Servicing Requirements for Data Centers BY KEN AGENT, P.E. N o engineered system can run indefinitely without the need for maintenance, and the electric power equipment found in Data Centers is no exception to this rule. This article will address: • Maintenance considerations in the initial design of a data center and how they enhance long-term reliability. • Why equipment servicing and maintenance are crucial to the long-term operation of a data center power system, and the typical servicing activities for different types of equipment. DESIGN In an ideal world, the initial design of a power system should account for both the loads being serviced in the facility and the ease of maintenance. Following are several design opportunities that can make both scheduling and implementing maintenance much more realistic. Tie breakers allow power from alternate sources to feed downstream loads, while a main circuit breaker, and possibly another tie breaker, is opened. This allows maintenance on some of the upstream distribution system. Auto Transfer Switches (ATS) and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are vital to a data center. An ATS quickly switches between various power sources during events such as a voltage interruption, sag, or loss of phase. Using an ATS with a downstream UPS provides maximum reliability to the power system. Draw-out equipment provides an advan- tage during both maintenance and system downtime since it can be quickly removed from service for testing or replacement, while fixed-mounted equipment usually requires an extended shut-down to remove the equipment. The frequency of maintenance for equipment in an electrical power system depends on the operating conditions. Inspection and maintenance should always take place after any fault operations.To ensure the integrity of maintenance and testing activities, it is critical to have updated system documentation and the original manufacturer's operating manuals. 6 | THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL

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