PPSPower’s engineers sprang into action to respond when a serious power-outage threatened the Data Centre of one of the UK’s major travel companies.
PPSPower was called out recently when what was described as an “almighty bang” was heard as one of two back-up generators at the site failed when switching back to mains power. Operatives at the site were carrying out work on electrical infrastructure switch gear.
The site has two generators that are synced together to provide power to the whole building in cases when mains power is unavailable.
When PPSPower’s engineers were called out and arrived on-site at 9pm, they discovered that
the generator day tank had ran out of fuel. The fuel transfer system is electrically driven and without any mains power available automatic fuel transfer between bulk tank and day tank to keep the generators running was not working. The on-site uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which would provide emergency power during input power source or mains power failures, had only five per cent of autonomy time, equating to just five minutes of available power supply.
Ian Townson, Technical Manager for PPSPower, said: “When we are called out to work like this we do what is necessary for the client. I wouldn’t describe it as a Mission Impossible but there was obviously a race against the clock and some challenges to restore power and reinstate the fuel transfer system and the generators. As the UPS would only supply power for five minutes this meant that engineers had to work safely but at speed to beat the clock.”
With data at risk, PPSPower engineers arranged a temporary supply from the UPS in order to connect to the fuel transfer system, managing to transfer enough fuel to allow the main generator to be brought back up and running and supply the building’s power needs, and then manually transferred fuel during the night to ensure a reliable power supply.
The business was reluctant to transfer back to mains power because the original generator fault had not yet been identified but this had the added complication of making it impossible to identify the fault. During the course of this essential repair work, the data centre was powered by only the back-up generators.
PPSPower’s engineers carried out repairs to the fuel transfer system, discovering a defective flow switch, and electrical components.
With power available, on-site data was backed up by transferring it to a site in the United States, allowing the generators to be switched off while repairs to the automatic fuel transfer system were carried out. Once repaired, the generator that originally failed was reinstated, along with the mains supply, before the back-up generators, now in a ready state and capable of operating as specified, were shut down and the building returned to mains power.
PPSPower’s work ensured that no data was lost as a result of the initial power outage, with engineers working through the night to deliver an outstanding service, and that this major travel company can now be confident that their critical systems will operate as expected.