By Arlene Nazareth, Distribution Sales Director, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric East Africa.
Electricity is an integral part of our daily life without which we cannot function smoothly and efficiently. From homes to factories to commercial buildings and hospitals, electricity plays a significant role in enabling us to conduct the most elementary functions to performing most critical life-saving actions.
A life without electricity would seem complicated as nearly every device or appliance we use depends on electricity. Since there is an increased dependency, a significant number of industries are impacted by losses that arise from unforeseen power irregularities. Many resources are also lost due to frequent power failures. Power outages are extremely prevalent across the globe, but the most affected countries are often the developing ones.
These countries are home to a variety of manufacturing industries. The industries start declining due to lack of proper infrastructure and power management. Despite industries being prevalent in a developing country, companies are still hesitant to enter these markets due to scarce infrastructure and lack of power management. Although, there are several types of power back ups available, they regularly fail to perform on a timely basis and sometimes fail to carry the load. As we technologically advance, the power distribution networks witness developments, and innovative battery backup solutions like uninterruptible power supply (UPS) storming the market.
A country like the Kenya, which has one of the most advanced power sectors in the East African region has witnessed a growth in electricity consumption over the past ten years mainly driven by rising population, infrastructure development, and industrialization.
Within an industry, power failure resulting in network downtime can cost businesses substantial sums in revenue; in addition, data lost during those power failures is often not recoverable. Within an industry, power failure resulting in network downtime can cost businesses substantial sums in revenue; in addition, data lost during those power failures is often not recoverable. A disaster preparedness plan is crucial to organizations operating in 24/7/365 environments. With zero disruption as the goal, management must carefully evaluate and mitigate risks to the physical infrastructure that supports the mission-critical facility. While business continuity planning typically addresses Information Technology, an inadequate disaster mitigation plan for the facility’s infrastructure demonstrates that the overall business continuity plan is built on a risky foundation.
If a natural, human, or technological disaster strikes your facility, are you and your infrastructure prepared? Does your organization have procedures in place to prepare for disasters?
UPS Systems instantly respond to power outages and can support equipment until mains power is available or a generator is active. A UPS battery backup can be best explained as an electrical appliance that provides emergency power to a load when the primary power source, most commonly the utility mains, fluctuates or defaults. A UPS is utilised to protect computers, data centres, and telecommunication equipment from an abrupt power disruption, which has the capability to cause human injury, accidents, financial and data losses.
A UPS battery backup not only manages IT infrastructure and computer systems, but also regulates other functions such as manufacturing and sales retail. This is crucial for industries getting hold of all the possible infrastructural support driven by technology and automation. UPS systems protect industrial setups by:
- Immediately providing backup power during power failure to keep the industry running
- Bridge the power gap until a standby generator is synchronised
- Protect against brownouts, power spikes, voltage dips, fluctuations and complete power failures
- Shut down a computer or server in an orderly manner
- Reduce downtime costs and protect critical equipment
- Protects against data loss; increasing user productivity.
A recent development in the domain of UPS battery is the Smart-UPS. A Smart-UPS, as its name suggests, can perform distinct functions that a regular UPS cannot based on smart technology. A smart UPS can alter the voltage levels and secure a consistent flow in case of a voltage fluctuation, which is commonly referred to as Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR). It also incorporates alarms that go off whenever the batteries are close to running out of energy. Like nearly all smart devices, Smart UPS is also linked to a network or cloud through which they can be monitored and commanded.
Monitoring system design technology now allows monitoring of virtually any type of infrastructure equipment and environmental condition, on-site or remotely. Using this information, trending information can be gathered that can help predict equipment failure and inform you when a piece of equipment changes modes of operation or goes into alarm. The ability to trend data from multiple points allows management to gather data sufficient for predictive analysis. With this data you can determine when to replace pump bearings, service batteries or rotate equipment. From generator vibration to chiller performance, monitoring the right data saves time and money while increasing system reliability.
The cloud-powered technology of a Smart UPS enables managed service providers (MSPs) to expand their offering to deliver remote UPS monitoring for Small and Medium Businesses (SMB). Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) can be devastated by any loss of availability, and whether through an in-house IT professional or trusted Managed Service Provider, they need to be certain their equipment is functioning correctly. Proactive ability to monitor UPS devices with notifications of maintenance and replacement needs sent right to a smartphone becomes a game changer for IT departments in companies of this size.
Smart UPS provides MSPs with a greater opportunity to better serve their customers through value-added power infrastructure services while generating new revenue streams – all with minimal effort and no additional cost.
MSPs can easily integrate Smart UPS with leading remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions, or via a mobile ready web portal, so they can manage customer portfolios from a single platform. No coding, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps, or software agents are required, meaning MSPs can quickly deploy their services and begin generating revenue.
Connected Smart UPS is built on intelligent, connected solutions that leverage data-driven insights to simplify the maintenance and operation of IT physical infrastructure by improving performance operation and enabling remote visibility and monitoring.
And so, let us circle back to the questions posed earlier; If a natural, human, or technological disaster strikes your facility, are you and your infrastructure prepared? Does your organization have procedures in place to prepare for disasters? If nothing else, Covid19 has taught us that surviving tomorrow’s disaster requires planning today.
The writer of this article can be reached on the email [email protected]