Looking after UPS Components: Fans

Welcome to the third article on preventative UPS maintenance and the benefits it can bring to your critical power protection devices; uninterruptible power supplies, emergency lighting and battery solutions.

KOHLER Uninterruptible Power prides themselves on service excellence, making UPS maintenance and response for your critical power system a priority.

The components within KUP power protection devices are of high quality to help ensure many years of trouble-free operation. In this third article, we will discuss the fans that are within your power protection device and what they can do for you.

What do fans do?

Though modern designs aim to minimise it, the electrical components within an uninterruptible power supply still generate a significant amount of heat as electrical energy passes through them. If not removed, this heat will build up, reducing efficiency in components and affecting their performance. Ultimately continued heat build-up will lead to damage of not only the affected components but also the connections and components around them. For this reason, fans are used to direct air through a UPS power supply, carrying heat away and keeping components at a safe and stable temperature.

How do fans fail and the consequences?

Whilst modern fans are generally sealed units, they are rotating devices and their bearings wear over time,  especially so within dusty environments, and it will therefore usually be necessary to replace fans during the lifetime of a UPS system.

Though high-quality UPS power supplies will usually be cooled by several fans to increase resilience,  even individual fan failures will increase the load on those remaining and may eventually lead to the UPS overheating,  causing the system to transfer to bypass and leaving the critical load unprotected.  Therefore whilst a UPS may operate online for a short period until an individual fan is replaced, it is not recommended to run for a long period of time as it will cause the temperature to rise and cause other internal components to age prematurely.

In the event of multiple fan failures, however, the internal temperature of the uninterruptible power supply will rise rapidly and cause the UPS to transfer to static bypass, leaving the critical load unprotected from power outages. In this instance therefore fans should be replaced immediately.

Benefits of preventative UPS maintenance when it comes to fans

Fans degrade over time and have a life expectancy of five to seven years, with good environmental conditions. As part of a preventative maintenance visit, an engineer will check the health of the fans and report of any issues or need to replace. This will help you:

  • Ensure continuous uptime and availability of your UPS system
  • Avoid the risk of additional costs for repair
  • allocate budget for future component replacement

The consequences of fans failing can be mitigated by regular preventative maintenance visits with a suitably trained engineer.

If you have any questions about the health of your power protection system or our UPS maintenance contracts, get in touch with our Service Department: [email protected] or call +65 6302 0702

The previous two articles in the series can be viewed below:

Why capacitors are fundamental to the health of your UPS

How looking after your batteries will benefit your power protection system

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