Maintaining your generator is a critical step in keeping your data center up and running in the case of power failure. The industry average is nearly three outages per year from natural disasters, human error, power outages or routine maintenance.
It’s important to run regular tests to ensure your generator can operate at peak performance if needed.
WEEKLY: Generators should be exercised regularly. Generally, a weekly run schedule is employed. Often a generator will run for 30 minutes during a testing phase.
MONTHLY: It’s recommended that a monthly load test is performed. In these situations, a generator is fired and the ATS is manually switched to generator. This forces the generator to carry the IT load. Once complete, the process is reversed and all settings are put back in auto. A load test stresses a generator
more heavily. The added load will increase the temperatures in the exhaust system and burn off any lingering hydrocarbons.
For more information about maintaining your generators
QUARTERLY: A certified technician should inspect your unit quarterly and change the engine oil. During these events, the generator will be put in shutdown mode, which means without an N+1 power configuration you run the risk of outage.
ANNUALLY: Generator batteries should also be closely monitored and replaced every 3-5 years. Deep cycle sealed batteries are recommended. More cranking amps will be to your benefit in those cold months. As per your manufacturer, schedule any plugs, filters or coolants that need to be replaced.
Remember when working around a generator, ALWAYS put it in manual or emergency stop. The last thing you want is for it to fire while you have your hand anywhere near the unit.
Whenever working around generators, be sure to wear hearing protection. After any maintenance is performed, you should run through a “back in auto” checklist to ensure all systems are prepared to carry the IT load.