Data Center Journal

VOLUME 49 | APRIL 2017

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THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL | 27 Important Considerations in UPS Testing By john Steele w hen it comes to ensuring the highest level of data center continuity, it's vital to thoroughly test infrastructure systems at the onset of any installa- tion or build-out to develop a baseline of performance parameters. is is especially true when it comes to power equipment and three-phase uninterruptible-power-supply (UPS) systems. UPSs may be protecting any number of mission-critical systems, including computers, data centers, telecommunication equipment, medi- cal diagnostic laboratories or other equipment, where an unexpected power disruption could cause major losses to the business. When the power goes down, the impact is huge: lost revenue, lost productivity, spoilage, damaged equipment, customer dissatisfaction, safety issues and more. Experience shows that UPS testing and operator training can go a long way in mitigat- ing problems before they start. In a facility, numerous factors can affect power continuity, such as voltage and frequency fluctuations, harmonic distortion, transients, short circuits, and ground faults—not to mention complete power blackouts. Below are five recommended testing phases that should be considered for today's mission-critical data center. 1. factory teStIng Some UPS manufacturers have sophisticated testing labs that perform real-world electrical-load testing, as well as performance and efficiency analysis under varying conditions. Tests may include the following: • Short-circuit test • AC input failure and recovery • Unbalanced-load test • Output-transfer test • Efficiency tests • UPS-overload tests When these tests are performed before the installation, they assure customers and their consultants that the installation and commissioning of the UPS will be seamless. Pre- installation assessments can include simulated loads designed to mimic actual working environments as well as worst-case scenarios that facilitate a holistic evaluation of the UPS equip- ment and the related infrastructure without interfering with ongoing op- erations. is approach can give users the highest level of confidence that all will go well when their new systems go live. 2. onSIte teStIng Onsite specification and per- formance testing includes but is not limited to the following: • Battery run-down evaluation to determine whether the connec- tions are correct and that all cells are performing as expected • Battery-capacity testing to verify that batteries are sized correctly • Load-bank testing to ensure that loading between phases is bal- anced correctly • Harmonics testing on the input side of the UPS to ensure that

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