Are You in Charge of Maintaining Your Telecom Power Supply Equipment?

Posted by Kim Otte on Mar 23, 2012

Then you should know that preventive maintenance strategies are an important part of best practices for any telecom power supply equipment, and a key facttelecom dc power supplyor in maintaining the 24x7 uptime and availability that is required of any telecommunications facility.

Planned maintenance schedules of critical power supplies optimize uptime for business continuity, as they can often identify an impending equipment failure and prevent it. Regular preventative maintenance of telecom power supply equipment is often scheduled twice a year, although more frequent maintenance may be needed if equipment is frequently subjected to dust and pollen or high temperatures and humidity.  Excessive heat and humidity increase wear on equipment, and sometimes can be prevented by improving airflow. Frequent power fluctuations can also have a negative effect on equipment lifespan. 

Preventive maintenance for your critical power supplies can extend the life not only of common telecom power components such as UPS and DC power systems, but also of the entire telecom power train, including generators, transfer switches, transformers, and power distribution units (PDUs). Fundamental telecom power components like switches, disconnects, and circuit breakers should also be tested at least annually to verify smooth operation without catching or binding.   

telecom power supply maintenanceAs a telecom power supply preventive maintenance contractor, we frequently review the appearance of circuit boards, sub-assemblies and cables, as well as inspect connectors, filters, ups and dc power supply batteries, capacitors and insulation, and check all contacts and connections in the system for looseness, pitting and discoloration. The torque of all connections and the tightness of transistors and PDUs also need to be verified. Dust and humidity can damage switchgear, forming a layer on surfaces that increases component operating temperatures. The dust coat restricts the movement of components, causing excessive wear.
Our comprehensive inspections focus on early detection of problems, as well as immediate replacement of suspicious components.

Electrical thermal imaging of telecom power equipment, especially if it is documented andelectrical thermal imaging tracked over time, can often identify emerging threats for repair and prevent them from actually causing a problem. Thermal imaging (infrared thermography) on electrical connections can help detect overloaded circuits or loose connections which can cause degradation. Abnormal temperature readings for other telecommunication power components like breaker panels, transformers, PDUs or switchgear should also be investigated.

Modern UPS systems have digital signal processor controls that don't suffer from voltage drift the way older units did, but periodically recalibration can still help prevent problems, especially when you replace major telecom power components. Cleaning away dust from the UPS enclosure, and visually inspecting the unit for loose connections, burned insulation or other wear is advisable. Operation of the UPS equipment should be tested at least annually, including battery run-down testing. 

Batteries – both DC power plant batteries and UPS system batteries will eventually require replacement. But these critical components should be replaced before they fail, as part of a scheduled inspection program. Replacement will be necessary sooner in elevated temperatures and where batteries frequently cycle due to poor utility-provided electricity. Electrical resistance may increase at the terminals of a deteriorating battery, generating heat and accelerating battery failure unless it is noticed and the battery is replaced. With proper measurements (battery trending analysis) and a good visual inspection, a weak cell can be targeted before it turns to a dangerous condition. UPS and DC power plant battery preventive maintenance can provide detailed information regarding the complete battery plant. Take a look at our blog post on maintaining and extending the life of your UPS batteries.

The take away from this post – telecom power supply preventive maintenance  is a key factor in maintaining continuous network availability in your communications facility. Many component and equipment failures can be prevented by steps as simple as dust mitigation and scheduled inspections and as-needed filter or belt replacement - however, a comprehensive preventive maintenance routine is recommended .

What are your thoughts on the best maintenance practices of your critical power equipment? Are there other telecom power supply maintenance issues you see in your facility?

Tags: Data Center, telecom power preventative maintenance, telecom power supply maintenance