Guidance on What to Do with an Older UPS

I think there are a lot of people who built data centers during the dot com boom who now have aging UPS systems. They’re probably wondering what to do…do I need to buy a new one? Can I get a few more years out of it by upgrading? Should I not make any investment beyond minimal maintenance practices and just let the thing run-to-fail? Or should I use this situation as another justification for outsourcing? If you’re in this situation and you aren’t thinking about these things, you should be. The need for service and risk of downtime goes up significantly when a UPS is over 10 years of age.

The answers to the questions above are, of course, “it depends”. There are sets of circumstances that make each of the choices – to buy new, upgrade, or do nothing – a rational approach. Here is a table showing various conditions that favor one of the 3 options:

UPS Upgrade Chart

I just authored a new White Paper on this topic with John Gray, the Power Systems Manager at Schneider Electric’s Technology Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The paper lays out a simple framework for evaluating your situation to determine the best path forward. It starts with understanding the current state and circumstances of the existing UPS and evaluating that in the context of the future requirements of the UPS system. These requirements should be reviewed across three factors: the outsourcing strategy, efficiency capabilities, and load requirements (redundancy & capacity). The paper acts as a sort of check-list to help ensure the right decision for you is made



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