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.