Even the smallest service outage is not acceptable to data centre operators and their customers; it can lead to major service issues and undermine confidence in the resilience of the services they provide.

Reduce Periodic Inspection & Testing

Tier 3 and 4 data centres are designed with redundant power from source to socket, to counter single failures. But power outages in data centres can still occur. Redundant designs are deemed to be concurrently maintainable but switching off systems even for periodic inspection, and testing carries with it the restart risk.

Prevent Shutdown

Continuous power monitoring systems from Bender are designed to remove the need for power shutdowns and meet the demand for advanced data centre availability and resilience. Residual current monitoring (RCM) systems provide early warning of problems and enable predictive maintenance to deal with problems before they arise, effectively eliminating unscheduled shutdowns.

Reduce Risk

Importantly implementing continuous monitoring enables data centres to fulfil the requirements for regulatory checks without shutting down the power. That enables the data centres to provide continuous, reliable service to customers and removes the risks that accompany even the most meticulously planned restart.

Power shutdown during periodic inspection and testing is intrusive and provides only a snapshot of the status of a power system. All other tests during periodic inspection and testing can be carried out either with power on or with minimum disruption at circuit level. The nature of the loads installed in data centres means residual current devices (RCDs) are not suitable because of the nuisance disruption caused by the devices tripping out. That increases the risks associated with insulation faults because the fault currents can become dangerously high.

Detect & Evaluate Fault Currents

It is particularly important to examine the detail of power system performance; to detect and evaluate fault currents, equalising currents and insulation faults in a finely granulated way. Insulation faults, stray currents, overloaded N conductors due to harmonics or asymmetrical loads, interruptions of PE and N conductor and also EMC influences can interfere with the entire current supply system and impact the operation.

That impact can range from triggering several protective devices and unexplainable malfunctions of protection or IT systems, to fire damage or even personnel injury.

“The advantages of Bender RCM technology are proven by its use in large data centres in Europe to deliver safer and more reliable systems and greater availability through advance warning of developing insulation faults. It can also pinpoint the locations of earth faults,”

remarks Lisa Hudson, Marketing Manager, Bender.

Real-Time Information

Continuous residual current monitoring enables real-time health check on the health of the power infrastructure, including cables and UPS systems, and monitors the status of connected equipment, including servers and printers. Various values are measured in real time at essential nodes in the power supply and recorded for subsequent evaluation. Residual current monitoring provides peace of mind and instantly alerts the control centre if a problem begins to develop, equipping the operators to take action before the problem becomes critical.

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