This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.


Contingency planning for critical power applications

Jason Koffler of Critical Power Supplies warns of the dangers of not taking your critical power contingency planning seriously enough.

Contingency planning for critical power applications

No company has been left untouched by the effects of global recession. However it is still vital to ensure that your critical power solutions are regularly serviced, covered by a maintenance contract, or upgraded in line with your business requirements. Over the last ten years there has been a series of high profile incidents when poorly maintained UPS or generators with no-fuel left in their tanks have failed to deliver power when needed, creating significant financial loss and additional business issues.

Power infrastructures that fail to deliver power when needed, can result in significant costs which are, typically, more than the cost of a manufacturer backed maintenance contract which would keep equipment in prime condition.

With maintenance contracts in place even unexpected breakdowns can be overcome. You will have a guaranteed engineer response time. Furthermore preventative maintenance visits can help uncover faults before they occur... whether these are caused by incorrect operation, aging equipment or changes in the load profile.

Typically, organisations suffering power failures, and that do not have any form of contingency planning, will face company liquidation within 14 months, as they struggle to regain control of their business and put systems/processes back together. In some countries organisations actually have a legal responsibility to protect their data and prevent business continuity issues.

The key to preventing power infrastructure issues from damaging a business is not just redundancy. It also involves the application of a resilience strategy for the organisation no what the size.

According to a SwissRE study, over 50% of disasters are weather-related. However, terrorism must now also be taken into account - whether from inside the organisation or from external threats. As organisations address contingency planning, infrastructure and electrical system design must be made fault-tolerant. A good example is that a short circuit should not stop the functionality of the whole building, riser or output from a power distribution unit in an IT Rack, which ideally should be fed by two separate sources. Since UPSs, source transfer switches and generators are at the heart of any mission critical applications, data centres or key industrial application, a high degree of attention and time must be paid to the resilience of the electrical infrastructure.

In Europe, electricity utilities can just about meet 99.9% (i.e. 999) of availability. This can result in 9 hours of blackout or several short blackouts and some brown outs. As the utility companies are not required to guarantee continuity, organisations also have to protect themselves against these power losses.

Certainly, no organisation can accept this poor level of availability, making it essential to have critical applications backed up with UPS systems and standby generation to protect the core infrastructure.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

Electrical Products