Critical Power Supplies - Facebook-double Critical Power Supplies - Twitter-double Critical Power Supplies - Linkedin-double Critical Power Supplies - Google-plus-double Freephone 24 Hour: 0800 978 8988 Int: +44 (0)1844 340122

10 Benefits of Thermal Surveys for Critical Infrastructure

Published by Lee Kelly on 10 October 2019

Thermal surveys are the perfect way to detect potential faults in your server rooms or data centres, as well as critical infrastructure, particularly uninterrupted power supplies (UPS). A non-invasive way to identify power and cooling issues, thermal imaging can pick up minor issues before they become major problems that lead to expensive downtime or catastrophic failures. Read on to discover more about thermal imagery, and 10 reasons why you should be using it for your UPS.

What is a Thermal Survey?

During a thermal imaging survey, an infrared-sensitive thermal imaging camera takes images of an area or system to show the levels of radiation. These images are effectively a heat map that you can use to identify areas of concern. Our engineers use sensitive thermal imaging cameras to take the pictures, which they carefully analyse. They are then able to determine whether or not there are any issues that could cause a problem, and can make suggestions about how to remedy the situation.

Critical Power Supplies - Thermal survey of UPS room with bypass switch

Thermal Surveys and Critical Power Solutions

Whatever your equipment, you can benefit from a thermal survey for your UPS as part of your preventative maintenance routine, or if you need to investigate poor performance. At Critical Power Supplies, we suggest using thermal imagery for your UPS, which might include one of the following leading brands from our stock:

  • APC by Schneider Electric, who offer a wide range of reliable products backed by over 100 awards;
  • Award-winning Riello UPS, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of UPS;
  • Yuasa Batteries, one of the leading brands of battery manufacturers in Europe, and the industry standard for telecoms and UPS.

1. Safe, Fast and Non-Invasive

Thermal imaging surveys don’t take up too much of your time. Since they are non-intrusive, they are conducted without causing any interruption to the normal operation of business, and they don’t put any part of a building or its critical infrastructure at risk. In addition, our thermographic survey reports satisfy strict safety standards and are an extremely cost-effective way to avoid system failures.

2. Avoids Downtime

Consider using thermography as part of a predictive maintenance or condition monitoring programme. You’ll be able to identify defects early on and schedule remedial work at a time that suits you. That means planning maintenance around essential business operations, and preventing unplanned production downtime, saving you time and money

3. Fault Diagnosis

If you suspect a fault or notice that equipment is not performing as well as it should, you can use thermography to investigate further. Thermal imagery reveals what can’t be seen by the naked eye without any major disruption to you. You’ll be taking the first step towards diagnosing the issue and getting your systems running at their optimal levels.

Critical Power Supplies - Thermal survey of cables under UPS running fairly warm

4. Expert Advice

When you use Critical Power Supplies for your thermal survey, you are in the hands of the experts. To begin with, we document the entire critical infrastructure of the building or room for the survey. Next, we analyse existing temperature monitoring data to identify any hot spots. We then get to work capturing thermal images for each component we identified at the start, and analyse the images to identify any problems. We present you with a report detailing the severity of any issues, and our recommendations.

If you do have any specific areas of concern, such as failures within server racks, circuit breakers tripping, or UPS system battery failures, please let us know.

5. Outstanding results

With a thermal survey, you get a full audit trail of what was inspected, the health of your equipment, and our overall findings. Where a fault is identified, we give you a description of the fault, its severity, and recommended remedial action. Along with appendices, checklists and images of every asset that was inspected, you get a report that you can use as a baseline for future point inspections and comparisons.

6. Qualified Engineers

Our engineers are qualified 18th-edition electrical and critical power UPS engineers. You benefit from our experience in working with both AC and DC solutions and air conditioning systems. In addition, we are a Contractor’s Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) accredited company, and we are proud to partner with a host of other industry-relevant professional organisations.

7. Effective Measurement of Airflow

Thermographic surveys are useful when you are addressing airflow in your datacentre or server room, and considering how to manage heat in a building. Effective at identifying poor airflow and airflow containment leaks, thermographic surveys are a key step when refreshing or refurbishing a server room to enable you to get the best out of the space you have available.

8. Identifies a Range of Problems

Thermographic surveys can identify issues with:

  • Critical power supplies (UPS), cabling, LV switchgear, racks, air conditioning
  • Poor connections, overloaded cables and server cabinets
  • Hot-spots and overheating electrical components
  • Power and cooling related issues
  • Harmonics of airflow and poor recirculation
  • Loose cables and corroded or poor connections
  • Component failure
  • Unbalanced electrical circuits and tripping faults
  • Issues with power protection devices and battery packs
  • Cooling systems and compressor units

Critical Power Supplies - Thermal survey of cables from UPS running hot

9. Monitors Airflow in Datacentres

Further, thermal surveys can monitor heat-flow performance in hot and cold aisles, confirm the presence of adequate segregation, monitor integral systems, map heat dissipation, and ensure components are operating correctly.

10. Preserves Your Reputation

Finally, use thermal surveys to identify problems in new equipment before it leaves the factory or is handed over to the client. You can take steps to remedy any faults without losing face or undergoing extra expense. Thermal surveys can also be used to satisfy insurance requirements, i.e. fire hazards.

Thermographic surveys are vital for fault-finding in your critical structure to enable you to schedule any remedial action that is needed. This is especially true for your critical power solutions.

 If you are interested in using thermal surveys as part of your maintenance routine or for fault diagnosis, get in touch with us. By identifying anomalies and potential defects as soon as possible, you can improve electrical efficiency by removing the common power and cooling issues. You also stand the best chance of preventing catastrophic system failure.