Electrical Contracting News (ECN) March 2017 - Page 52

SPECIAL FEATURE UPS & POWER DISTRIBUTION QUESTION TIME Jonathan Morley, managing director at Secure Power, gives 10 key questions an electrical contractor must consider to ensure they install the right UPS on a project. At Secure Power we try to make sizing a UPS and generator as easy as possible by providing electrical contractors with free site surveys and general advice on how to install the UPS/ generator properly. It is important to look at all projects with the philosophy of offering the best UPS/generator based on certain criteria such as price, space available for the UPS/ generator, power availability, software and stock availability. However, when a site survey isn’t possible, the electrical contractor has to think of the following 10 key questions: • What is the size of load? • What is the equipment which is being backed up? • How is the load equipment going to be fed? (Commandos? PDUs? Distribution board?) • What uptime is required on power outage? (Would a generator be more suited? Or is the run time required only to be five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour etc.) • Is there any potential for expansion on the load in the future? (A very important question to ask, the UPS may be sized correctly on order but the load may have increased significantly within a year, which means the UPS is then not usable and will overload) • What is the space available for the UPS/generator? (Are there any space constraints? If rack mounted how many U is available in the cabinet?) • Is the UPS supply single phase or three phase? • Is the UPS to be rack mounted in a cabinet or a free standing tower UPS? • How quickly is the equipment required on site? • What is the software being run on site? (Do they require safe shutdown? Some manufacturers’ UPS software is better than others.) These are 10 easy steps to get the correct UPS/generator every time. We often see that these questions aren’t asked and this is when problems arise from UPS/generators not being sized or supplied correctly.