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Delivering a L1 factory acceptance test to multiple stakeholders during a global pandemic

Client: Global Co-lo player and leading UPS OEM

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Sectors: Data centres

The Challenge

International travel restrictions posed difficulties in conducting conventional Level 1 UPS and switch boards integrative testing

A major co-lo data centre in Japan had ordered 3 sets of uninterrupted power systems (UPS) from a global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) as part of their facility’s upgrading plans. To prove the operationality and resilience of the new UPS systems, typically, a Level 1 factory acceptance test (FAT) is conducted in the OEM’s manufacturing facility.

The test at the OEM’S site enables the solution to be witnessed by the data centre customer before being shipped out to be installed on site. The data centre operator had also procured a set of switchboards locally in Japan, adding to the challenge as they would have to be tested together with the UPS.

With the unfolding and unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 crisis and hard global travel restrictions in place – representatives from the data centre were unable to travel and witness the FAT take place. Testing and verification operations were halted meaning interruption in planned timescales and project delivery delays, causing financial concern.

Project fact file

Digital Load Bank 1 1000 kW
HV Transformer 1 1500 kVA
Power Generator 1 1500 kVA
Underwent rigorous testing 3 UPS
of testing operations 4days

The Solution

First of a kind L1 factory acceptance turnkey load testing solution at neutral location with no major travel

We had to think quickly keeping two key aims in mind, a solution for our customer without compromising on safety – coupling this with our in-depth sector knowledge, we developed an alternative way to safely demonstrate our solution. 

The customer based in Japan normally would travel to OEM’s factory to witness the test, in this case a distance of more than 4,500 miles during a global pandemic. A first of its kind solution, we worked proactively with stakeholders proposing to take full turnkey management and delivery of level 1 FAT at a neutral location in Japan. 

Both the OEM and data centre customer saw the value of this solution which ensured the project could continue. By taking sole ownership of the L1 load testing, including the newly acquired UPS and switchboards, we were able to conduct the demonstration safely in Japan. 

The L1 FAT test includes synchronisation, load control, precision scaling of load, outage, and start-up tests. Our dedicated technical team advised and gave full technical support, including site design and deployment along with scheduling and scripting of testing procedures such as:

  • Separate tests for individual UPS with overload tests at 115% and 150%
  • Synchronising tests for UPS on standby
  • Test operations for accuracy check on load control and frequencies with incremental step loads
  • Black out, start-up, unbalance load test alarm tests and more. This ensured that all probable scenarios were simulated for a robust and effective test which verifies the equipment operationality in realistic settings.

Furthermore, we deployed and integrated full suite of power generator, load bank, transformer with full distribution set-up, inclusive of cables and fuel management system. The set-up was simulated to the specific data centre’s site grid specification. The power generator and transformer, supplied power at 6.6kv, charging the UPS system, which in turn, discharged power at 415v to the load bank. 

The tests were conducted digitally where the ‘smart’ load bank was connected in parallel through control cables, this made the management of incremental loads easier as increases and decreases could by altered remotely through a laptop. All data was reflected in real-time providing accuracy to our on-site technical support team who would be ready to face and issues that might arise, offering peace of mind for the customer.

The Impact

Securing of major equipment sale and avoidance of project timeline delay

Projects such as this one involve inter-dependency with different stakeholders with any delay halting the project timeline and having a negative financial impact.  

The Co-lo customer’s project delivery timeline was unaffected resulting in no issues with the upgrade, meaning no financial repercussions due to non-availability of data halls for the co-lo operator’s enterprise customers. The UPS and switchboards are integral to the industry-standard data hall set-up.

For the OEM, there was no way that the equipment sale could be closed if load-tests and verification procedures were not witnessed by the customer. Our solution ensured that the OEM achieved its sales and revenue objective.

The OEM and Co-lo customer remained impressed and assured during the entire project from concept through to delivery. With Covid-19 changing and accelerating new ways of working, Aggreko is poised to support stakeholders in managing delivery, operations and achieving resiliency with agility and no compromise in quality and standards.