Powermode Monitoring Portal (PMP)
Powermode has moved to significantly improve the reliability and efficiency of standby power systems in corporate environments with its affordable, locally-designed Power Monitoring Portal (PMP).
Developed on the now universally-accepted principal of the Internet of Things (IoT), the PMP is geared to accurately monitor all elements of a corporate-wide standby power environment on a 24×7 basis.
A ‘first’ for the SA market, the GSM cellular-based system reports on a range of critical parameters associated with uninterruptible power supply systems (UPSs) solar PV systems and generators.
One of the most important areas monitored by the PMP is the storage battery bank, where the depth of charge and performance ability of each individual battery in the bank is closely observed. Battery life is influenced by many factors including storage conditions, ambient temperature, battery chemistry issues and shelf-life.
It is imperative that standby power plants, particularly in large enterprises, are safeguarded from threats that could disable them when they are needed most. Many millions of rand are lost annually in South Africa through these systems failing to initialise on demand or as required.
The PMP facilitates the flow of empirical data relating to standby systems to Powermode’s Operations Centre in Johannesburg. Here technicians stand ready to react to an alarm signalling a disparity in standby power quality from accepted benchmarks by immediately notifying the company concerned. If authorised, a service crew will be dispatched to any location country-wide.
One of the most significant advantages of the PMP is relatively little in the way of new infrastructure has to be built or designed for its failure-proofing benefits to be realised. Users should therefore be able to see an immediate return on their investment.
National Service Footprint
With the frequency of power outages and the critical nature of South Africa’s power grid, it is important that standby power plants, particularly in large enterprises, are regularly serviced and adequately supported.
Powermode, which has countrywide representation with services offered by trained and skilled technicians, specialises in UPS and generator support and maintenance with a focus on multi-sited organisations across southern Africa.
Powermode’s nationwide service footprint and its ability to market and contractually maintain both UPS and generator systems are the pillars upon which customers base their trust in the company.
This has resulted in increasing marketplace acceptance for Powermode’s preventative maintenance agreements covering diesel and petrol generators, UPS and battery backup systems.
Powermode’s maintenance scheme is complemented by a four-hour telephonic response for technical queries and priority on-site response for emergency call-outs.
One of the key features of its offering is a ‘flat’ call-out charge for regular service calls no matter where they occur in South Africa.
Powermode currently provides regular maintenance and emergency support services to more than 2000 corporate sites in SA.
The service is particularly popular with distributed enterprises and national retail chain stores and franchised fast food outlets with multiple branches in diverse locations.
Managers are able to budget accurately for a regular service and support for their mission-critical standby power devices, secure in the knowledge that the call-out rate is the same for a remote site in the Karoo as it is in central Johannesburg.
UPS and Generator Servicing
The day-to-day reliability standby power systems is largely associated with the frequency with which they are serviced. Now, as increased incidence of unplanned power outages plague South African power users, the quality of maintenance programmes has come into focus.
When called upon to do duty, UPS and generator systems must be able to work to full capacity every time. The costs of a call-out to attend to urgent repairs that might be necessary when a system fails on start-up or during operation at critical times are compounded by the additional downtime suffered by the user.
Unfortunately, when it comes to regular servicing and maintenance, many important procedures are often overlooked by owners who ignore their standby power units until they are desperately needed in an emergency.
For example, when it comes to the lifespan of a UPS, its servicing schedule – particularly of the UPS battery – could make a significant difference. However, merely checking the output voltage of batteries is not indicative of their ability to deliver adequate power. As batteries age, their internal resistance to current flow goes up. Therefore, the only accurate measure of terminal voltage is achieved under load.
In the case of a diesel generator, regular inspections are vital. They should include the fuel lines together with filters and fittings which should be checked for cracks or abrasions. The exhaust system should be checked as ‘blow-by’ could cause fires. The electrical system could be the root cause of many problems. Trouble here will make starting problematic.
A Powermode quality maintenance programme will help standby power systems work at optimum efficiency, giving them the ability to cope with every emergency. Service checks and maintenance are undertaken from both operational and safety perspectives by qualified technical personnel.