Top 5 Benefits for Load Testing Your Data Center

Comrent is providing solutions for mission-critical power testing infrastructure.

How long could your data center operation survive a power outage without suffering debilitating consequences? The answer, unfortunately, is not long at all for most operations.

According to findings in the Blackout Tracker Annual Report, the average total cost per minute of an unplanned data center outage rose 57% over the last five years. In 2010, the cost impact of an outage was approximately $5,600 per minute. By 2015, this amount rose dramatically to more than $8,800 per minute.

In addition, the Ponemon Institute produced a research report sponsored by Emerson Network Power titled “2013 Cost of Data Center Outages.” According to the report authors, this is the only benchmark study that attempts to estimate the full costs associated with an unplanned data center outage. Here are some noteworthy findings from this study:

  • In 2013, the cost per square foot of data center outages ranged from $45 to $95.
  • The per organization cost fell between a minimum cost of $74,223 to a maximum of $1,734,433.
  • The overall average cost was $627,418 per incident.

Proper load testing during commissioning of your data center can help you avoid incurring downtime costs. Here’s how your operation will benefit:

  1. Load bank solutions will put equipment at all levels of the power distribution under a critical load to identify possible faults. Testing power systems after installation is a critical step in commissioning a data center. Systems tested during commissioning include backup diesel generators, UPS and DC Batteries, Power Distribution and computer equipment. Using load bank solutions, you validate the reliability of your equipment during the commissioning process.
  2. The integrated testing also enables testing the performance of the computer room HVAC equipment since the load banks are generating heat during the test.
  3. Load bank solutions can also serve an important role in preventative maintenance. Load bank testing should involve testing of generators, universal power supply (UPS) equipment, switching gear, power distribution units (PDUs) and cooling systems before they are put into service originally, as well as after they have been repaired.
  4. A well-planned integrated system test saves your company money and avoids delaying your facility launch. Ongoing testing also reduces the possibility of unplanned downtime. Larger, outdoor load bank solutions are used to test generators while smaller, indoor load banks test UPS and PDU equipment.
  5. Load bank testing uncovers a wide range of issues. Once placed under a load, primary and backup system failures can result from faulty design, improper construction, defective equipment, and equipment damaged during transit or installation. Until tested and put under a load, these problems may go undetected. Commissioning provides stringent testing procedures that validate performance and identify issues before a data center is brought on-line.
  6. New data center loads often operate below maximum design loads. As a result, you may not know how your equipment will perform at peak loads. Therefore, before launching your facility, load testing during the commissioning process will verify all equipment operates as required under full load capacities.

For mission-critical environments, load bank testing of all critical systems must be part of your commissioning process and regular maintenance program. Load bank solutions help you achieve dependable performance and continuous uptime. They provide a host of benefits, including:

  • Improved availability of the system
  • Less unplanned downtime and fewer repairs
  • Reduced lifecycle costs
  • Fewer change orders/project delays
  • Provides a baseline for a comprehensive training program and maintenance plan

Comrent’s team of experts is ready to help ensure your system is successfully interconnected. We are offering a complimentary consultation to review your project and propose the right load bank solution for your application. Contact us today.

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