PPS Power Saves Data Centre


When a serious power-outage threatened the Data Centre of one of the UK’s major travel companies, PPS Power’s engineers were the first ones called. An ‘almighty bang’ was heard as one of the two back-up generators at the site failed when switching back to mains power. The site has two generators that are synced together to provide power to the whole building in cases when mains power is unavailable

PPS Power’s engineers arrived on-site at 9pm and discovered that the generator day tank had run out of fuel. Due to the fact that the fuel transfer system is electrically driven, the automatic fuel transfer between bulk tank and day tank was not possible with any mains power available. Moreover, 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.

“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, it meant that engineers had to work safely but at speed to beat the clock,” said Ian Townson, Technical Manager for PPS Power.

With data at risk, PPS Power 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. It also supplied the building’s power needs and then manually transferred fuel during the night to ensure a reliable power supply.

Because the source of the original generator’s fault had not yet been identified, during the course of the essential repair work, the data centre was powered by only the back-up generators. PPS Power’s engineers carried out repairs to the fuel transfer system, discovering a defective flow switch, and electrical components.

PPS Power’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.


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024