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on battery power in response to distorted input message

Discussion in Data Center & Facility 3 Phase UPS started by Erwin , 2/1/2013 11:12 AM
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  • eblonk
    Erwin
    New Member
    New Member
    Erwin 2/1/2013 11:12 AM

    A few months ago we bought an APC Smart-UPS 1500X with network card. The first one went down on what looked like a problem with the AVR (shutting off the power to the servers instantly, which , oh irony, is what an UPS is supposed to prevent). We got a replacement . But that and the first one had a series of events popping up regularly:

    on battery power in response to distorted input
    no longer on battery power

    In all cases this happened within the same second or consecutive seconds.

    I browsed around the internet and found a few mentions of about the same issue. The only advice I could find so for was getting to latest firmware, which I did, but to no avail. In any case, the firmware I had was already beyond the version that was said to have glitches.

    When I pointed to this problem during the troubles with the first one, APC support didn't deem it a problem. When, after the pull-out-all-the-cables-and-start-again procedure the messages kept coming (this on the first one) even though the UPS seemed to be giving no problems, they decided to replace the unit. Still I got no information on what these messages could mean. As said, the new one does it as well. It largely, but not always, happens around the same time slots. It's 1 to 10 times per occurrence, it happens about 30 times a day.
    Voltages, according to the data log (10 minutes intervals) are between 216 and 227 volt with peaks outside the 218/223 range being rare.

    I found no info so far making it clear what happens and if it is a problem. Some say no, some say maybe. No other equipment seems to suffer from anything, not even the old APC UPS we wanted to replace and still use until we can be sure the present one will not kill off the servers again, creating power outages rather than preventing them.

    Is this a problem? Should I ignore it?

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 2/1/2013 4:08 PM (in response to Erwin)

    hello,

    on some earlier revisions of SMX1500, I used to see this. can you tell me via your network card what you see on UPS->About screen in the web UI? I think there were some issues with hysteresis with voltage variances that could potentially be resolved in a UPS firmware upgrade. no promises there but i do feel like we should at least check the firmware version as you noted.

    if that does not solve the issue, can you please provide the event.txt, data.txt and config.ini from your management card? instructions are @ http://www.apc.com/site/support/index.cfm/faq/ in article FA156131

    i am thinking we may want to see what your sensitivity settings and power quality settings are set to in order to try and lower them. maybe there is some noise on the line and the UPS is a bit too sensitive to them - just a thought.

  • eblonk
    Erwin
    New Member
    New Member
    Erwin 2/4/2013 8:53 AM (in response to Angela)

    APC support quickly answered an e-mail with the same question that I sent shortly after this post. Theu asked me to loser the sensitivity setting and that worked. i had already turned it down to the medium setting but I wasn't sure I should put it lower still. I did and now after the weekend it turned out that works.
    I will look into what you recommend albeit at a slower pace as 5 million other things are demanding my attention (you know, the usual sysadmin workday :-P ).

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 2/7/2013 1:01 AM (in response to Angela)

    I have the same issue with my SMX1500RM2UNC

    Firmware Revision: UPS 03.8 / COM 03.8 / UBL 05.0 / CBL 02.1 (ID11)

    The network card is Model Number: AP9631

    thanks,

    Mike

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 2/7/2013 5:35 PM (in response to Mike)

    hi mike, have you tried to lower the sensitivity and power quality settings? is it a certain time of the day? is there anything else on the same circuit?

    you're UPS is at the latest firmware revision already.

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 2/17/2013 1:24 PM (in response to Angela)

    I lowered the sensitivity and it still happens, but less often. No set time of day. The ups is on a circuit with other stuff. I am not sure what else it on it.

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 2/18/2013 2:57 PM (in response to Mike)

    ok, you might want to see if anything else on the circuit (such as like a soda machine or Air Conditioner, or other high current device for example) is powering on at certain times causing sags. there could be other things causing sags or surges or electrical noise too but this is my first guess. the UPS is most likely doing its job because it sees something wrong on the circuit and it is trying to protect the attached load from it.

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 10/14/2014 12:43 AM (in response to Angela)

    i am still having this issue.  on reduced sensitivity it happens a few times a week.  today i had a 20 amp dedicate circuit installed and a 22kw automatic generac generator installed.  this is at my house.  after the dedicate circuit was installed, i switch to normal.  all seemed ok. i then tested the generator and i was getting the on battery due to distorted power every minute.  i then switched to reduced and then it was every 3 to 5 minutes.  is this normal?  The ec tested and the generator had only around 14KW load at the time.

    i do not think i have the latest firmware.  should i update?  will that fix it?

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 10/14/2014 2:22 PM (in response to Mike)

    Hi again,

    For your UPS ID11 Firmware Revision:     UPS 03.8 / COM 03.8 / UBL 05.0 / CBL 02.1 (ID11) is actually the latest firmware on the UPS itself.


    If the UPS is going back and forth to and from battery while on generator, then there must be an issue with the output from the generator. Usually, if it is nothing obvious that is causing problems with dimming lights, etc, it is a frequency drift problem or Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). Adjusting the sensitivity to low is really all that you can do and if it does not work, then there is not too much else to do unfortunately beyond maybe reviewing the sizing guideline on generators or looking into an online UPS that can better tolerate a wide range of input power.


    I asked for a general guideline for on sizing generators for Smart-UPS but could not find a specific article for Smart-UPS. I asked our technical support lead and he advised this article that applies to Symmetras would work -> http://www.schneider-electric.com/support/index?page=content&country=US&lang=en&id=FA157508


    So all in all, I do believe the behavior on generator is normal as that is a relatively common issue and the behavior is likely attributed to the quality/sizing of the generator. If you want too, I can look at the full logs to see if there is anything in there that shows us a specific problem with voltage or frequency. To obtain the NMC logs, you can review this article and attach them here-> How can I download Event, Data, Configuration, and Debug files from my Network Management Card? | FAQs | Schneider Elect…

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 10/14/2014 2:28 PM (in response to Angela)

    i have the logs in pdf.  how do I send those to you?

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 10/14/2014 2:44 PM (in response to Mike)

    I will create a Box folder with an email address you can send the PDFs to that will put them in that folder. I'll direct message you the upload address. Alternatively, you can reply to this post using "advanced editor" and attach the files there.

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 10/14/2014 2:45 PM (in response to Angela)

    Also, please note that when testing the generator, we turned just about everything on.  The EC measured the load at 14KW.  So the 22KW is over 1.5x the load.  So i do not think the generator is undersized.   Do you know what is the tolerance for normal, reduced, and low? For both voltage and frequency? I want to let my EC know.

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 10/14/2014 2:48 PM (in response to Angela)

    Logs sent.

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 10/14/2014 3:07 PM (in response to Mike)

    Thanks. Will check for the logs momentarily. On the thresholds, I know we have this but that is all I have (I will check to see if we have any more specifics on THD) -> http://www.schneider-electric.com/support/index?page=content&country=US&lang=en&id=FA156514

    Checking the logs now I guess before I reply... I do see them there. The data log is a little hard to see in PDF so I am going to compare the order of the columns with my UPS which is the same model of yours. I thought I was looking at frequency but I think it may be your load percentage/% wattage out which are both near 60 coincidentally. So looking at that, I don't see any obviously weird voltage/frequency issues logged when the UPS is going to/from battery. The other idea is you could lower the data logging interval to 1 minute (instead of every 10) during your generator test to see if it captures anything. Though, if it is THD, I don't think we'll see any indication of that in this data log. The only thing we may catch is a large voltage or frequency fluctuation. The UPS does log its minimum voltage and store it on its own but a lot of the other things in the data log are just "snapshots" it takes of the current value at the 10 minute NMC logging interval.

  • rinconmike
    Mike
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Mike 10/14/2014 5:42 PM (in response to Angela)

    thanks.  I lowered it back down to reduced so if the gen kicks it, it is at that setting.  I will see about testing it for 15 minutes on gen power to see what happens.

    I assume if I set the sensitivity to low, i wont have any issue.  My concern is with the equipment.  Will there be an issue with the sensitivity on low?  The equipment on this include a sonicwall NSA router, netgear 48 port switch, verizon router, Wifi Hotspot, panasonic phone system, and two dell workstations.  I am moving one of the work stations so there will be less load too soon.  I think it will have a load of around 5.2 amps instead of the current 6.6 amps.

    thanks,

    Mike

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 10/14/2014 8:40 PM (in response to Mike)

    None of the UPS sensitivity settings should allow any surges or power events or anything like that through that would damage equipment. If the input power is bad enough where "we" (the UPS) are concerned, then the UPS would go to battery.

    Also, I forgot to reply earlier - apparently the THD threshold is based on three criteria (frequency, change in voltage over time, and one other thing I just forgot to write down) and then the UPS does some type of judgement call on all three of them combined and decides to go to battery or not. Long story short - there is no simple, basic threshold that you could look at.

  • eng_hossam_09
    Hossam
    Novice
    Novice
    Hossam 7 days ago (in response to Erwin)

    Please i face the same issue 
    i have APC Smart-UPS SRT 5000VA 230V (SRT5KXLI)
    Model: Smart-UPS SRT 5000
    Firmware Revision: UPS 04.0 (ID1013)
    Apparent Power Rating: 5000 VA
    Real Power Rating: 4500 W

    and when the power go off and the generator run a got a lot of notification email like this:

    Critical - UPS: Bypass not in range ; either frequency or voltage.

    Informational - UPS: An input voltage or frequency problem no longer prevents switching to bypass mode.

    and i couldn't find any sensitivity setting either on rear panel or in "UPS Network Management Card" of the ups.

    Please advice how to solve this or how to change sensitivity setting to medium.
     

  • B-DoubleE
    Matt
    =S= Representative
    Matt 7 days ago (in response to Hossam)

    Hi Hossam,

    The SRTK does not have a "sensitivity" like the other, smaller UPS's mentioned in this thread. This unit has manually selected voltage ranges for what the UPS considers acceptable input. Would you be able to share the data.txt file from the UPS (that shows data from when the UPS has the generator as it's input), along with the config.ini file (which would show what your current configuration is set to)? Info on how to get these files can be found here: http://www.schneider-electric.com/en/faqs/index?page=content&id=FA156131

  • eng_hossam_09
    Hossam
    Novice
    Novice
    Hossam 7 days ago (in response to Matt)

    Thanks for your fast reply
    the required data attached for your view.

  • B-DoubleE
    Matt
    =S= Representative
    Matt 5 days ago (in response to Hossam)

    Hi Hossam,

    While I don't see any direct link between the data log and the event log (at least nothing related to the voltage causing the bypass out of range alarms), looking at the config.ini file there are some best practice items we can change. 

    I see that the output frequency range has been set to 50hz +/- 0.1. This is the strictest setting of that value - increasing the tolerance of frequency issues (such as setting the value to 50hz +/- 3) might help the UPS be more tolerant to frequency issues that generators can cause.

  • eng_hossam_09
    Hossam
    Novice
    Novice
    Hossam 3 days ago (in response to Matt)

    Hi Matt,


    Thanks for your reply.

    Kindly note that we before configured the frequency to be "50hz +/- 3" and same issue still found.
    So please advice how to solve this issue.


    Thanks a lot for your help,

  • sajjad15
    sajjad
    New Member
    New Member
    sajjad 2 days ago (in response to Erwin)

    Do you know the Uninterruptible power supply can share content ? thank you

    http://fiammco.ir
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