The UK is a country known for it’s relatively mediocre, predictable weather. Although it does, from time to time, have the capability to produce adverse extreme weather that we quite frankly struggle to adapt to. Whether it’s 35 degree heat where we buy every ice cream in sight, or 2 centimeters of snow that slows our roads to a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour. With this in mind it is of little surprise that power issues, often caused by unexpected extreme storms, pose large threats to both home and business users. Whether you manage a small office or are responsible for running a large data centre, there are a few points that we have compiled below that may help you protect your critical equipment from power issues in the future.
1. Understanding power issues
The common term that is referred to is power cut, where power to an area or premises is totally lost. This is also known as a blackout, which is capable of causing data loss and damage to equipment. However, there are other power issues that can often occur such as power sags or surges. A sag is a sudden drop in voltage and a surge is a sharp increase in voltage, with the former often caused by lightning. Other power issues include under voltage (brownout), over voltage and line noise.
2. Establish your critical equipment
Does your business heavily rely on its telephone system, or maybe a server rack or room is the real heart of your day to day operations. Establishing the key electronic equipment in your premises is key to preparing for power issues. Having a reliable system in place with a suitable standby power solution in place is key in giving you peace of mind that you will not lose money or reputation should power issues impact your business.
3. Choosing the correct standby power solution
With a vast array of different standby power technologies available, there is a solution for every application. Choosing the right one for your equipment may appear to be a challenging task. From load requirements, desired standby time and battery or UPS (uninterruptible power supply) sizes, there are a lot of factors to consider. It is the job of companies like ourselves to assist with this, specialising in the selection and installation of UPS and battery systems.
4. A little maintenance goes a long way
It would be fair to say that you should look after your UPS or battery system in the same way you would care for your car. To ensure it can run to its full potential it is important to have it regularly inspected and tested so you know the condition of the system all year round. For 364 days a year, the UPS may sit quietly without ever being called upon, but the possibility of a power cut is a constant, realistic threat. Your UPS needs to be ready for the 1 day a year where it is required to protect your critical equipment/ load. Routine UPS maintenance is a service offered by BCL Power and provides the user with a comprehensive report on the welfare of the system and its key components, such as batteries. We recommend that this service is carried out annually.
5. Don’t panic
Power issues are and always will be a danger to businesses. Whether you have a UPS or standby battery system in place or not, it is important to stay calm when power issues occur and follow any emergency processes that have been setup for that particular scenario. These may include shutting down certain devices in a particular way to protect the system or saving work correctly to avoid data loss.
We hope that the above points provide some food for thought on the topic of power issues. Without doubt they can be a daunting and often costly threat to businesses of any size, but following the above points and preparing as best as possible can ensure your operations will run smoothly when these issues occur. As mentioned BCL Power specialise in the supply, install and maintenance of UPS and standby power systems, for more information on our services please click here.