Data Center Specialized Testing
It is easy to get busy with the immense responsibilities and practicalities of running a data center but, do you really know how well things are running? Without specialized data center testing, many data center managers find that they do not have a clear picture of what is actually going on. But, where to begin? Some important questions to ask yourself about data center testing are: where, when, how, and why? What types of tests are you running? Where are these tests being run? How often are they being run? What is the actual process of testing being conducted in your data center? And, why are you testing what you are testing? These are important questions to ask before narrowing in on the types of data center specialized testing you may need to have conducted.
Lightwave elaborates on the importance of data center specialized testing and how we are in an era that makes it essential for data centers, “Data centers need to continually evolve to support increasing bandwidth demands and reduce operational and management costs. Modernizing the network architecture is required to achieve higher data rates, increase port counts, and lower cost per bit. Of course, this growth can be a complicated process in an era of rapid technological change. Data center operators need to understand the technology and tools they can utilize to design, install, and maintain new networking products…The new hardware and software trends demand the availability of flexible instrumentation to support new product development and network operation. Existing test equipment toolboxes need to be refreshed to be able to support the new technologies that are being deployed. Although some new high-speed network technology may not see broad adoption immediately, data centers need to prepare for the future. The right test equipment will help them do just that.”
To keep critical loads operating, complex facility support systems are more important today than ever before. Downtime is a major concern for any data center, regardless of size. Mission-critical facilities must go above and beyond with their testing and maintenance to protect uptime and guard against dreaded downtime. At Titan Power, we believe there are 5 important types of data center specialized testing. These specialized tests are specifically designed with a unique purpose in mind and performed under controlled conditions to help give you peace of mind and allow you to be more proactive in your risk management efforts.
5 Types of Data Center Specialized Testing
1. Infrared Thermography
When you want to identify potential problems before they become outages, one of the best ways to do so in a data center is with Infrared Thermography. The way that Infrared Thermography works as a tool in data centers is that it allows the user to identify, isolate, and document connectors, conductors, or components that abnormally warm or cool. If something that is abnormal is identified, it allows you to correct the problem before it leads to a problem in the electrical system. There are occasionally exceptions that are caused by loose or deteriorated connections, short circuits, overloads, load imbalances, or faulty, mismatched, or improper installed components.
2. Load Bank Testing
It is quite possible that load bank testing may be one of the most important things a data center can do to minimize downtime. But, you don’t have to just take our word for it, Schneider Electric points out just so important load bank testing, even for data centers with a high uptime average, “Power reliability in data centers is crucial. A data center with 99% uptime per year will still have the equivalent of 88 hours of downtime. When you consider some larger data centers can lose thousands of dollars because of an outage, reliable power is vital. Load banks provide a means of testing and validating major electrical components in a modern data center to ensure efficient operation and reduce downtime.” Generally speaking, Observed Failure Rate Resistive load banks are the most commonly used load banks for testing generator sets and power systems. The reason for this is that they can provide full KW loading to the power source. This allows for a complete evaluation of engine cooling, exhaust and fuel systems. However, if you want to be able to load your generator to its full KVA rating, reactive load banks will be required for specialized testing in your data center.
3. UPS Acceptance Testing
UPS Acceptance Testing is a specialized data center test that should be performed within 72 hours of equipment installation and successful startup. The test will verify that your new UPS system is performing according to the manufacturers’ design specifications and that there is not some underlying issue or fault within your new UPS system. While this test should be performed right after installation, as aforementioned, this test can be conducted at any point int he UPS design life to establish a benchmark or baseline of performance so that you can more easily recognize UPS failure risk moving forward.
4. Facility Roll-Over Testing
You may have a robust emergency backup system in place for the event of a critical emergency but, do you know if it will really work in the event of a real-world power outage? Many think they are safe but, when specialized testing is conducted, they come to realize they are not. At Titan Power, w3e believe that critical buss loads should n to lose power at any point and all non-critical facility loads should be re-established within 7-10 seconds after the loss of utility power. If it takes any longer than that, it could lead to significant downtime costs and problems. Our testing ensures that all equipment will perform a successful roll-back after reestablishing utility power.
5. Data Center Arc Flash Prevention and Safety
One major safety concern in data centers is arc flash. Arc flash can not only severely damage equipment and start fires, but it can also cause significant injury and even death. At Titan Power, w3e have partnered with Emerson Network Power to deliver our clients a completely customized and comprehensive solution for arc flash safety and compliance. Further, because are an industry leader in electrical testing, maintenance, and engineering services, we are equipped and fully able to provide single-point solutions for every single area affecting arc flash hazards.