Just another day in the office

Just another day in the office

News Article

At Nationwide Power, we acquire thousands of new clients annually of all sizes, industries, and scopes of work. Without fail, when new customers come to us for the first time, it’s for a very short list of reasons:

  1. Their unit(s) have been out of warranty and unmaintained for quite some time, and now the unit is in alarm and/or there is an emergency situation.
  2. Their batteries are due for replacement, and our scale provides for some of the best pricing in the industry.
  3. In an effort to achieve better pricing, they want to try an alternative to OEMs without compromising service.
  4. They had service through a different independent provider – sometimes at a lower cost – only to realize that their previous service provider was unable to fulfill on the promises made.

Every now and then, the stories that come along with acquiring new customers are priceless – like the following example. To protect our customer’s identity, we’ll refer to them as Company Y.

Company Y is a large-scale packaging company who researched Nationwide Power on the internet and through our website before qualifying us for a bid.

Unsurprisingly, Company Y falls into the first three of the above categories. Previously, they worked exclusively with the OEM. However, due to the high OEM pricing, Company Y eventually opted to avoid (otherwise referred to as “defer”) preventive maintenance on their UPS equipment. When their unit went into an alarm and battery replacement was overdue, they gave Nationwide Power a call. That is when things got interesting.

When the Nationwide Power Field Engineer arrived, the site contact for Company Y said, “The UPS is over by that huge machine,” and pointed. The Field Engineer was baffled, as he could not find the UPS. After looking for several minutes he figured it out – the UPS was INSIDE another enclosure. This enclosure was a huge German-built plastic sheet printer used for packaging materials. Inside of this machine was another surprise – a Master Guard UPS, with a display that was programmed entirely in German.

The UPS system was in alarm due to battery failure. The Field Engineer, who is not familiar with the German language, was able to identify the type of display panel. After a bit of research, the Field Engineer was able to change the language to English, switch the unit into bypass, and replace the batteries.

At Nationwide Power, our Field Engineers run into interesting situations daily. It is thanks to the average 22+ years of experience, that our team can troubleshoot the most random of situations, like reprogramming a German-speaking UPS unit.

As there is a short list of why customers seek Nationwide Power out in the first place, there is also a short list for why they stick with us for years after. It boils down to the unmatched experience and expertise of our Field Engineer team, coupled with a corporate infrastructure that no other independent service provider can provide.

Here are just a few things that separate Nationwide Power from all the other service providers:

  • Industry leading warehouse and parts inventory that allows us to service all makes and models of UPS equipment, even those deemed obsolete by the OEM. Other service providers may recommend a full replacement, simply because they do not have the tools to perform maintenance or provide warranty services.
  • Our National Footprint allows us to provide 4-hour or less emergency response for contracted customers.
  • 22+ years of average industry experience that just cannot be matched in the industry.
  • 80-90% utilization rate of our Field Engineer team. What does this mean? They’re not overworked, they’re rested, and they’re ready to serve you!

For the full list of reasons why you should choose Nationwide Power, visit us at www.NationwidePower.com.

And if you’re nervous to contact us because you might be embarrassed of what we might find, trust us when we say – we’ve seen it all!

 

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Just another day in the office

Just another day in the office

News Article At Nationwide Power, we acquire thousands of new clients annually of all sizes, industries, and scopes of work. Without fail, when new customers come to us for the first time, it’s for a very short list of reasons: Their unit(s) have been out of warranty...

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November 18, 2019

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Lithium-Ion or Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries for UPS Systems – Which is Better?

Lithium-Ion or Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries for UPS Systems – Which is Better?

News Article

 

In the spirit of National Recycling Day, Nationwide Power is ready to chime in on the lithium-ion vs sealed lead-acid battery debate.

New technology is often a great thing, leading to cleaner, safer, more cost effective, and more efficient ways of doing business. The recent introduction of lithium-ion batteries had hopes of doing all these things. While Nationwide Power has a reputation of being an early adopter of new technology, a little more vetting was needed before embracing lithium-ion batteries as the better UPS battery option over lead-acid batteries. There simply wasn’t enough information, and it wasn’t clear that the benefits of lithium-ion justified the premium price tag to the customer.

There has been much hype over lithium-ion batteries for UPS systems over the past couple years, emphasizing more efficient energy, better recharging capability, and longer life span. When you look closer however, these claims either aren’t 100% accurate, or the cost isn’t worth the reward.

What about the claims of lithium-ion being more efficient? Which option is better for the environment? Which one has a lower total cost of ownership with UPS systems – lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries? Nationwide Power has conducted their own research and found the following:

Which is more efficient and/or better for the environment: lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries?

  • Lithium-ion batteries are considered hazardous material (Class 9) and cannot be moved via air freight, extending lead times or downtime. Lead-acid batteries are not classified as hazardous material.
  • Lithium-ion batteries are not easily recyclable and must be sent overseas, which raises costs to transport and puts additional strain on our environment. Lead-acid batteries can be recycled up to 98%, all of which can be done domestically.
  • Lithium-ion batteries take three times more energy to produce over lead-acid batteries (450 kWh per 1 kWh lithium and 150 kWh for 1 kWh of lead).
  • More energy is required to charge lithium-ion batteries as lithium-ion has a higher energy density than lead-acid.

 

Does lithium-ion have a lower total cost of ownership over lead-acid batteries?

  • Right out of the gate, lithium-ion batteries are nearly triple the cost of lead-acid batteries.
  • Don’t forget about shipping. Less than 1% of lithium-ion batteries are produced domestically, which means hefty freight charges are likely being passed down to the consumer, not to mention the risky supply chain.
  • From a safety perspective, most data rooms are set up for Halon type fire and safety systems, which is an ineffective system for combating lithium-ion fires. Wherever lithium-ion batteries are used, a secondary fire system utilizing water must be considered. Can you imagine putting water on your critical power components and servers?
  • Due to the specialty and safety of using lithium-ion batteries, only UPS OEMs are being trained in proper servicing by Samsung, who is the largest manufacturer of lithium-ion. This limits the number of service providers who are qualified to service and maintain lithium-ion installations, and ultimately increases the maintenance price tag.

Since the introduction of lithium-ion batteries as a replacement option for lead-acid batteries, Nationwide Power has taken a highly conservative and neutral stance. There were too many unknowns and not a great enough understanding of lithium-ion batteries to jump into all the “excitement” surrounding them. Nationwide Power will continue to monitor the development of the lithium-ion market and will proceed with whatever is best for our customers.

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Just another day in the office

Just another day in the office

News Article At Nationwide Power, we acquire thousands of new clients annually of all sizes, industries, and scopes of work. Without fail, when new customers come to us for the first time, it’s for a very short list of reasons: Their unit(s) have been out of warranty...

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November 18, 2019

"Always professional, courteous, and friendly. We’re very happy with the services rendered."

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Illinois

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Annual Halloween Costume Competition | Hitachi – CSB vs. Nationwide Power

Annual Halloween Costume Competition | Hitachi – CSB vs. Nationwide Power

News Article

 

As an annual tradition, the teams at Nationwide Power and Hitachi – CSB get into the Halloween spirit with a friendly little competition. 🎃 🤡 👻

Both companies submit their themed or individual contest pictures to each other where a panel of judges at each company reviews for creativeness, authenticity, originality, and detail. The winner is determined when either Hitachi – CSB or Nationwide Power concedes to the other as the Halloween Champion.

Both companies did an impressive job with themes and execution, and had much fun in the process!

Nationwide Power’s participants included:

The panel of judges has awarded Best Overall for Nationwide Power to…
The Service Team’s Gangsta Crew

For Hitachi – CSB, the contestants included:

  • The Creepy Bunch by the Warehouse Team
  • Day of the Dead by the Sales Team
  • Toy Story by the Admin Team

The panel of judges has awarded Best Overall for Hitachi – CSB to…
The Sales Team’s Day of the Dead

But alas, one company must concede to the other for the 2019 Hitachi – CSB vs Nationwide Power Halloween Costume Competition.

Just as Nationwide Power was about to concede, Nationwide Power’s VP, Jim Hallingstad walked in with a last-minute attempt to tip the scale. What better way to wrap up this year’s competition and bring greater awareness to freight damage, than with a Damaged on Delivery theme?

But it just wasn’t enough! The 2019 Halloween Costume Contest goes to…

Hitachi – CSB! Congratulations friends!

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Just another day in the office

Just another day in the office

News Article At Nationwide Power, we acquire thousands of new clients annually of all sizes, industries, and scopes of work. Without fail, when new customers come to us for the first time, it’s for a very short list of reasons: Their unit(s) have been out of warranty...

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November 18, 2019

"Always professional, courteous, and friendly. We’re very happy with the services rendered."

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Illinois

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Case Study # 133 | Overheated UPS Batteries in Eaton 93E 30kVA

Case Study # 133 | Overheated UPS Batteries in Eaton 93E 30kVA

Case Study

Nationwide Power™ is the leading provider in the critical power supply industry. Our core business is the sales and service of uninterruptible power supplies and UPS batteries, along with supporting other critical power components such as emergency generators, switch gear, and HVAC.  We publish critical power related case studies, highlighting best practices and quality standards.

For our contracted customers, during each and every Preventive Maintenance visit, our Critical Power Professionals™ perform an environmental inspection to check room temperature, heat spots, moisture, and any potential safety hazards that could interact negatively with the UPS system. We make recommendations based on our observations and will follow up periodically.

In this case study, we review the details of a battery replacement job for a contracted customer. Unfortunately, due to the environmental conditions of the critical power room, excessive heat caused UPS battery failure prior to the natural end-of-life of the battery string.

To protect the confidentiality of the customer, the customer will be referred to as Company A.

Product Eaton 93E 30kVA
Application Data Center in Medical Facility
Synopsis

During a routine Preventive Maintenance inspection, the Nationwide Power Field Engineer discovered overheated batteries that required immediate replacement. Upon further inspection and discussion with the site contact, it was reported that the HVAC system had been failing intermittently – in the peak of summer – which caused irreversible damage to the UPS batteries.

The UPS batteries were not due for replacement for another 12 – 18 months. Unfortunately, due to the high ambient room temperatures damaging the UPS batteries, immediate replacement was required, costing the client in excess of $4,000.

Preliminary Actions

The client had been diligent about proper UPS maintenance and regularly scheduled PM inspections. As a result of a timely PM schedule, this issue was identified early on, limiting Company A’s risk and exposure.

If this issue had not been addressed promptly, it could have resulted in any of the following:

  • Full battery replacement required, as opposed to the single string.
  • Other UPS component part failures, including damaged battery trays and cabling.
  • Risk of fire, causing a much larger safety threat to the site.
Resolution Battery string was immediately replaced, and the HVAC system repaired to fully operational condition.
Root Cause

The life expectancy for the UPS batteries in this case study was shortened by 12 – 18 months due to HVAC failure.

Nationwide Power installs strip thermometers on our clients’ UPS units. This helps the customer easily monitor temperature at any time by site personnel. Ambient temperatures in the data center room, or wherever the UPS system is located, generally should not exceed the ideal ambient temperature range of 70-77° Fahrenheit.

Additionally, Nationwide Power recommends room monitoring systems which will alert key team members whenever certain environmental elements vary from acceptable ranges.

Additional Reading Identifying qualified UPS service providers:
Case Study #131 | Emergency UPS Service For A Discontinued Liebert NXb 30kVA UPS
News Article: The Importance of Preventive Maintenance

Nationwide Power provides 24/7/365 technical support to ensure that everything operates and transitions successfully before, during, and after any power outage.

Request a quote Call | 800-868-2780 E-Mail

We are your critical power infrastructure partner!

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Just another day in the office

Just another day in the office

News Article At Nationwide Power, we acquire thousands of new clients annually of all sizes, industries, and scopes of work. Without fail, when new customers come to us for the first time, it’s for a very short list of reasons: Their unit(s) have been out of warranty...

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November 18, 2019

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Band-Aid Fixes Don’t Actually Fix Problems, Especially in the UPS World

Band-Aid Fixes Don’t Actually Fix Problems, Especially in the UPS World

News Article

Band-Aid fixes don’t actually fix problems – we all know that, right?

Take a close look at the image above. Do you see what we see?

This customer is using a fan to regulate the temperature of the battery cabinet in this Liebert Npower 50kVA UPS. Why? Because they haven’t pulled the trigger on routine, age-based component replacements. Bad idea (in case that isn’t obvious).

And just as troubling, there is no plan in place to address the underlying cause – their age-based replacement components are well past their expiration date.

Using band-aid fixes isn’t all that uncommon, though. When is the last time you saw a car driving down the road with the passenger window covered by a trash bag, or the bumper hanging on by duct tape? Or the same car driving around on a donut tire for weeks? All very bad ideas.

Not all band-aid fixes are as obvious, but it doesn’t mean the risk isn’t there. Driving an extra 1,000 miles past your oil change due date, removing the batteries from a smoke alarm to stop the low-battery alert from beeping, or even the literal sense of putting a band-aid on an injury that truly requires medical attention are all quick fixes that can be easily overlooked.

In the UPS and critical power world, it’s no different.

Your UPS system is designed to do one primary thing: keep your business on if and when utility power goes down. For that to happen, routine maintenance and age-based replacements are required. When these two things are neglected for too long, not only is the performance level of the entire UPS system impacted, but it creates an unsafe and unpredictable environment for your business. When neglect reaches a point where band-aid fixes are used to mask the issue, things get scary.

We tend to see this more often with older UPS units than newer ones. It’s like driving a car that already has 100,000 miles on it and going another 10,000 without ever checking the oil. Have you ever seen an older car charred on the side of the road, and wondered, “How did that happen!?” Hint: There were likely many warning signs in advance. The driver simply didn’t act on those warning signs, ahead of time.

Don’t ignore the warning signs. Don’t put preventive maintenance and age-based recommendations on the back burner. And please, please don’t use band-aid fixes like the one we saw above.

What are the warning signs when it comes to UPS failure? (We’re focusing primarily on batteries in this example)

  1. Nationwide Power serves as the beep on your fire alarm when the battery is low. We notify our clients well in advance of when their age-based components are due for replacement. If we don’t catch your attention the first few times, we will continue to alert you until you just can’t ignore us anymore.
  2. For businesses out there who do not have a service provider like Nationwide Power, or for the handful of our customers who neglect to take action, there will be other, more noticeable warning signs.
    • Beeping alarm on the unit
    • Rising temperatures in and surrounding the unit
    • Environmental alarms, if in place
    • Swollen batteries
    • Unmistakable odor
    • Thermal runaway
    • Building evacuation
    • Fire department visit
  3. If these warnings are still ignored, the consequences can be quite severe and damaging.
    • It only takes one bad battery to take down an entire string and/or entire unit. This means, that one bad battery that could have been replaced for a nominal amount just escalated to potentially thousands of dollars.
    • In some cases, the battery failure can be so damaging to the UPS unit, that the damages to the entire system are irreversible, resulting in a full system replacement.
    • The chemical components of the lead-acid batteries that fuel UPS systems – when the batteries are well past end-of-life – begin leaking into the air and interacting with electrical components in a way that will catch fire to the unit.
    • In some instances, the fire is not contained just to the UPS system. The entire business – and potentially lives – are put at risk.
Image: Swollen batteries due to neglect and failure to replace in a timely manner.

As a national UPS service provider, our job is to track and inform our clients of when their age-based replacements are due, with enough lead time for our clients to plan and budget. It is the customer’s responsibility to act on those recommendations as timely as possible.

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Just another day in the office

Just another day in the office

News Article At Nationwide Power, we acquire thousands of new clients annually of all sizes, industries, and scopes of work. Without fail, when new customers come to us for the first time, it’s for a very short list of reasons: Their unit(s) have been out of warranty...

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Solutions

Feedback

November 18, 2019

"Always professional, courteous, and friendly. We’re very happy with the services rendered."

View All - Greg G
Illinois

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