It was a fairly quiet Friday afternoon. That’s when these things always happen.
I took a call from the head operator at one of our Client Facilities. She told
me that a power pole had been knocked down nearby the night before and they
had lost power.
Once main power had been restored to their facility late that morning, they
discovered a lot of electrical damage.
A lot of switchgear, several VFDs and even one fan motor had been destroyed. The
ECS CompTroller™ was still offline when she called.
Working with her over the phone, we traced the problem to a UPS (Uninterruptable
Power Supply) that was providing power to the ECS CompTroller™ Control Server.
Once the damaged UPS was bypassed, the system started back up automatically and
they were able to check out the whole system, then resume operations in the
zones that still had functioning VFDs and fans. The UPS was originally provided
by ECS during a control system upgrade done in December of 2012. While it did
not survive this electrical event, it still did its job of protecting the more
expensive and more complicated to replace Control Server.
The CompTroller™ Server 1.0 installed in 2012 is one of the last generations of
the standalone desktop servers supplied with a separate UPS. Our new
CompTroller™ Server 3.0 configuration uses an embedded server machine and UPS
protection by a dedicated industrial surge suppressor contained within a single
enclosure. With this setup, it is likely that the UPS would have been protected,
the system would have restarted automatically, and they never would have had to
call in the first place. But we are always happy to hear from our clients.