Can you please tell me in simple terms the best way to test an ATS and generator on a live data center? Simple Method of procedures to check on my contractors’ technician doing the job safely and properly?

This inquiry recently came in to PlanNet’s Michael Fluegeman, PE from a reader of one of the many PlanNet articles focused on the data center industry. Albeit this reader’s question provided almost no detail about the specific data center environment. There are many ways to approach load testing an ATS and generator in a live data center depending on the configuration and actual load.

Assuming there is only one (non-redundant) ATS, and the data center is 24/7 (they almost all are these days) then you probably need to test using live load with some contingencies planned (watch for proper UPS and cooling response).  If the load is light, less than 25% of rating and you can safely connect a load bank to supplement the live data center load this may be a good way to go. Otherwise you probably would want to isolate the generator and connect a load bank directly to test the generator at full load, ideally for at least a couple hours once per year.

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Would like to meet Michael Fluegeman? Michael will be presenting “Is Your UPS a Beautiful System… or a Frankenstein?” at the Critical Facilities Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 5th, 2016.