Power supply failure causes
In fact, UPS system failure ranks as the No. Prevention pays off, affording the opportunity to detect and repair potential problems before they become significant and costly. Whether you are operating aging infrastructure or looking to optimize the lifespan of a newer equipment, consider some of the most common UPS components that are susceptible to failure:. Regardless of their age, batteries should be inspected semi-annually as part of a PM visit that includes testing for impedance or conductance, as well as assesses performance and evaluates any potential weaknesses.
A typical UPS contains a dozen or more capacitors, which are responsible for smoothing out and filtering voltage fluctuations. However, because capacitors degrade over time, annual inspection helps to optimize their operation and extend their lifespan. Electrical or mechanical limitations and dried out ball bearings are common issues that can result in fan failures and subsequent UPS overheating.
Because replacing filters is an inexpensive component of an effective UPS maintenance plan, they should be inspected on a monthly basis and changed as needed. Yet regular inspection can identify potential issues before they cause downtime.
Contactors — Also susceptible to dust, UPS contactors should be inspected and cleaned regularly. At Unified Power, we are committed to delivering exceptional, timely maintenance performed by highly trained industry professionals. Unified Power offers critical power services, UPS maintenance services, DC power services, battery services, and more.
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Get a Quote. EducationUPS. Whether you are operating aging infrastructure or looking to optimize the lifespan of a newer equipment, consider some of the most common UPS components that are susceptible to failure: 1.
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Cart Overview.A power outage also called a power cuta power outa power blackoutpower failure or a blackout is the loss of the electrical power network supply to an end user. There are many causes of power failures in an electricity network.
The Main Causes of Power Supply Failure – And How to Avoid It
Examples of these causes include faults at power stationsdamage to electric transmission linessubstations or other parts of the distribution system, a short circuitcascading failurefuse or circuit breaker operation. Power failures are particularly critical at sites where the environment and public safety are at risk.
Institutions such as hospitalssewage treatment plants and mineswill usually have backup power sources such as standby generatorswhich will automatically start up when electrical power is lost. Other critical systems, such as telecommunicationare also required to have emergency power. The battery room of a telephone exchange usually has arrays of lead—acid batteries for backup and also a socket for connecting a generator during extended periods of outage.
Power outages are categorized into three different phenomena, relating to the duration and effect of the outage:. Rolling blackouts occur when demand for electricity exceeds supply, and allow some customers to receive power at the required voltage at the expense of other customers who get no power at all. They are a common occurrence in developing countriesand may be scheduled in advance or occur without warning.
They have also occurred in developed countries, for example in the California electricity crisis ofwhen government deregulation destabilized the wholesale electricity market. Blackouts are also used as a public safety measure, such as to prevent a gas leak from catching fire for example, power was cut to several towns in response to the Merrimack Valley gas explosionsor to prevent wildfires around poorly maintained transmission lines such as during the California power shutoffs. In power supply networksthe power generation and the electrical load demand must be very close to equal every second to avoid overloading of network components, which can severely damage them.
Protective relays and fuses are used to automatically detect overloads and to disconnect circuits at risk of damage. Under certain conditions, a network component shutting down can cause current fluctuations in neighboring segments of the network leading to a cascading failure of a larger section of the network.
This may range from a building, to a block, to an entire city, to an entire electrical grid. Modern power systems are designed to be resistant to this sort of cascading failure, but it may be unavoidable see below. Moreover, since there is no short-term economic benefit to preventing rare large-scale failures, researchers have expressed concern that there is a tendency to erode the resilience of the network over time, which is only corrected after a major failure occurs.
In a publication, Carreras and co-authors claimed that reducing the likelihood of small outages only increases the likelihood of larger ones. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing in October to examine " black start ", the process of restoring electricity after a system-wide power loss.
The hearing's purpose was for Congress to learn about what the backup plans are in the electric utility industry in the case that the electric grid is damaged. Threats to the electrical grid include cyberattacks, solar storms, and severe weather, among others. For example, the " Northeast Blackout of " was caused when overgrown trees touched high-voltage power lines.
Around 55 million people in the U. Computer systems and other electronic devices containing logic circuitry are susceptible to data loss or hardware damage that can be caused by the sudden loss of power. These can include data networking equipment, video projectors, alarm systems as well as computers.To gain a broader understanding of power system reliability, it is necessary to understand the root causes of system faults and system failures. A major reliability concern pertaining to underground cables is electrochemical treeing.
Treeing occurs when moisture penetration in the presence of an electric field reduces the dielectric strength of cable insulation. When the dielectric strength is degraded sufficiently, transients caused by lightning or switching can result in dielectric breakdown. Electrochemical treeing usually affects extruded dielectric cable such as cross-linked polyethylene XLPE and ethylene-propylene rubber EPRand is largely attributed to insulation impurities and bad manufacturing.
To reduce failures related to electrochemical treeing, a utility can install surge protection on riser poles transitions from overhead to undergroundcan purchase tree-retardant cable, and can test cable reels before accepting them from the manufacturer. Existing cable can be tested and replaced if problems are found. One way to do this is to apply a DC voltage withstand test approximately 3 times nominal RMS voltage.
Since cables will either pass or not pass this test, information about the state of cable deterioration cannot be determined. Another popular method for cable testing is to inject a small signal into one end and check for reflections that will occur at partial discharge points. Other methods are measuring the power factor over a range of frequencies dielectric spectroscopyanalyzing physical insulation samples in a lab for polymeric breakdown degree of polymerizationand using cable indentors to test the hardness of the insulation.
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Tom's Explains: Why Power Supplies Fail
Click here to watch it on Youtube. Not all underground cable system failures are due to cable insulation. A substantial percentage occurs at splices, terminations, and joints. Major causes are due to water ingress and poor workmanship. Heat shrink covers can be used to waterproof these junctions and improve reliability. The last major reliability concern for underground cable is dig-ins.
This is when excavation equipment cuts through one or more cables. To prevent dig-ins, utilities should encourage the public to have cable routes identified before initiating site excavation.
In extreme cases where high reliability is required, utilities can place cable in concrete-encased duct banks.At industrial facilities, vast numbers of electronically operated machines are programmed to move in various directions. None of this would be possible without a programmable logic controller PLCwhich translates commands for machines to understand.
On machines, a user will push a button to activate a particular command. However, the machine itself has no way of understanding this without a programmable code. Therefore, a code must cause the machine to act. The PLC code lives in a central processing unit that acts as the go-between. The user pushes a button, the PLC translates this information into a command the machine can understand and the command takes effect.
Since their development in the late s, PLCs have grown more complex. Today, the code is programmed for a variety of complex tasks. As such, PLCs run nonstop to translate continual strings of command for corresponding machinery. Despite these complexities, PLCs can also have problems.
Common reasons why PLC control systems fail include module failure, power outages and bad network connections. PLC failure issues can also stem from overheating, moisture and electromagnetic interference. To combat PLC control systems issues, factory engineers must inspect their systems to ensure these problems do not spiral out of hand.
Granted, a PLC is designed to operate in harsh environments. That said, even the most complex commanding code can run into problems if it is subject to blackouts, brownouts or anything that could be physically harmful to circuitry. Therefore, it is crucial to know exactly what will cause PLC failure and how to stop and prevent this problem. In four out of five cases where a PLC fails, the problem comes down to one of the following three factors:.
When a problem with one of these components occurs, the issue becomes apparent with disruptions to the process at hand. In some cases, the process stops abruptly. Each of these problems denies the PLC system the signal it needs to enact a sequence.
Various issues could be at hand in this situation, including the following:. For systems that have been intact for many years, this can be difficult. A newer module might be incompatible with the older components that comprise the system in question.
When one or more inputs acts irregularly or fails outright, it usually means an error is present with either the PLC or the power source. The next step is to see whether the wires or power source have caused the problem at hand.Just like other computer components, the power supply PSU of a computer will fail at some point. There are many causes of power supply failures such as the age factor, electrical interference, the presence of dirt or foreign matter, overheating and ventilation failures.
In some cases, people will find it very hard to know whether the power supply has a problem or if some other part of the computer, such as the motherboard, is the issue. However, there are some symptoms that can guide you to know the exact components that have failed in your computer. Here are the common power supply failure symptoms:. Strange noise is one of the common symptoms of a failed power supply. When your computer has been running normally, then all of a sudden there is a strange noise as the computer runs, then you should suspect power supply failure.
The intensity of the noise is higher especially during the booting process of the computer and while powering off. If you hear a strange noise, pay particular attention to the back of the computer case where you see the computer power cord connection. This is the most obvious symptom. Failure to turn on at all is an indication that there is a problem with the power supply.
The power will not reach the essential parts and the booting of the computer fails. Sometimes, this is accompanied by the flashing lights at the back of the computer or on the front of the computer if it has such lights.
Whenever there is such a problem, you should check the power supply as it is most likely to be faulty. Keep in mind, that not booting and not powering up are two completely different things. When you hit the power button, if the computer lights up and you hear fans running, a PSU issue is less likely. For the continuous use of the computer, the power must be supplied continuously to the essential parts. When there is a problem with the power supply, it will not supply that required power continuously for a long period.
It will just supply for some time then it will shut off. It is the most common sign when the power supply is about to fail. As time goes on, the time interval between two successive sudden shut downs will keep reducing. There are some instances where there are electric shocks when you try to move your computer from one place to the other. You will not experience the electric shocks when the computer is new but as time goes, you will start experiencing it.
Electric shocks in the metallic parts of the computer are one of the signs of the power supply failure where the power supply unit lacks proper insulation.
There is some leaking current that will be conducted by the metallic parts hence the shock. The power supply unit should not allow currents to leak and therefore you should not be experiencing these electric shocks.
These are a few of the main things to look out for when a power supply is failing. Know of another symptom to look out for? Let us know in the comments!Electrical power, in the short span of two centuries, has become an indispensable part of modern day life. Even a temporary stoppage of power can lead to relative chaos, monetary setbacks, and possible loss of life.
Our cities live on electricity and without the customary supply from the power grid, pandemonium would break loose. Power outages can be especially disastrous when it comes to life-support systems in places like hospitals and nursing homes, or in co-ordination facilities such as in airports, train stations, and traffic control.
Fortunately, most life support facilities have a source of backup power that is ready to automatically take over should the main power grid fail. Backup power is also increasingly being used in corporate facilities, manufacturing, mining, businesses, and even residential houses as the dependence on electronics and computers in our daily lives increases.
While a loss of power in smaller scale settings may not be life threatening, it can result in lost data, missed deadlines, decrease in productivity, or loss of revenue. It is important to know about the possible causes of power failure in order to better protect ourselves and our businesses from its devastating effects.
Once we have identified all that can possibly go wrong, it is easier to ensure that adequate safeguards are put into place.
Here are a few of some of the obvious, and some not so obvious, causes of power failure:. Numerous power failures are caused by natural weather phenomena such as lightening, rain, snow, ice, wind, and even dust. While it is more difficult to safeguard from major power failure from natural calamities like floods and severe storms, it does not take much to safeguard your electrical systems from the effects of water and dust.
Water can lead to short circuits and power failure. The damage caused due to water in electrical circuits can be very expensive so it makes sense to ensure that you are well protected from it.
Electrical switchboards, wires, and circuits should be protected from exposure to water. Dampness and excessive moisture can also lead to serious damages.
If you live in areas with high levels of humidity, you should consider investing in specially sealed circuit protection devices. Dust can also wreack havoc with electrical systems and lead to short circuits and power failures. If you live in an area that is exposed to dust or sandstorms, you should pay special attention to the location of your electrical circuits and ensure that they are protected from dust exposure as much as possible.
Sealed circuit boxes can also help in protecting your critical electrical equipment and can aid in preventing unplanned power failures. Hurricanes, floods, wind storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other severe weather can completely destroy critical power infrastructure and result in outages that leave expansive geographic regions without power for days, weeks, and even months. Additional causes of failures were primarily man made outages that show up in the form of vehicle and construction accidents with power poles and power lines, maintenance from utilities, and the occasional human error.
For more information on some specific things that contribute to outages, common terminology used to describe various situations, and ideas on things you can do to prevent failures, a number of key areas are outlined in more detail below:. A short circuit is the most commonly used term to describe the cause of a power failure. Unfortunately, it is also a term that is bandied about without people having much knowledge of what it actually means.
So, what is a short circuit, and how can you protect your equipment from its effects? A short circuit occurs when an electric current travels along a path that is different from the intended one in an electrical circuit.
When this happens, there is an excessive electric current which can lead to circuit damage, fire, and explosion. In fact, short circuits are one of the primary causes of electrical fires throughout the world. Short circuits can occur when the insulation of the wiring used breaks down.
It can also occur due to the presence of an external conducting material such as water that is introduced accidently into the circuit. Electrical batteries can explode if they are subjected to a large current. Short circuits can even occur when electric motors are forced to operate when the moving parts are jammed. This can result in abnormal buildup of current, ultimately leading to a short circuit.
Now that we are aware of the possible causes of a short circuit, let us look at some of the ways in which we can safeguard our electrical systems from the hazards they pose. First and foremost, ensure that all the equipment that is used in your electrical installation is composed of good quality materials and meets the correct specification for your application.
The initial installation costs may be higher than a system made with cheaper materials but the savings you will make in avoiding potential losses caused by short circuits and maintenance can be substantial, not to mention the additional safety and peace of mind you get.The component of your PC that's under the most stress is the power supply unit PSUbecause it's the power-conversion bridge between the system's components and the mains grid.
What that means: It has to deal with every abnormality of the mains and make sure those abnormalities don't affect other components. That's a tough job, and it gets even harder if there's no power conditioner or uninterruptible power supply UPS installed.
In low-quality PSUs, the first parts to go are usually the electrolytic caps and the cooling fan. You can read more about electrolytic cap life calculation in our "PSUs " article, where we also discuss the various fan bearing types. So those are the parts that tend to fail first in low-quality PSUs, but what causes failures in PSUs that use higher-quality components?
MLCCs are widely used in power-supply circuits, mostly for filtering purposes. They offer numerous advantages, including low cost, small size, low ESRhigh reliability, and increased tolerance to high ripple currents.
An interesting feature of high-dielectric-series-type MLCC caps is that their capacitance changes according to the applied DC voltage; the higher the voltage, the less the capacitance. Something that many people don't know is that MLCC caps and all other ceramic caps, for that matter can be the source of coil whine. Yes, coil whine is also generated by caps. So when the applied voltage on a ceramic cap changes, its physical size slightly changes as well, and this can result in an audible noise that users perceive as coil whine.
Even a single broken MLCC can result in issues, and they can crack due to any of the following:. This may sound silly, but in some cases, mounting screws that are too long can actually cause shorts to the PCB. If the manufacturing line is set at higher than normal speeds, and the applied heat is high, there can be either fatal or minor damage to ICs and MOSFETS, both of which will in the long run or under stressful conditions eventually cause the PSU's failure.
Besides high voltage spikes, which can be caused by weather conditions i.
The Main Causes of Power Supply Failure – And How to Avoid It
Those high currents are also called "inrush currents," and in power supplies, the main reason for them is the charge of the bulk cap s. High voltage and current surges can be the cause of multiple component failures, including fuses, bridge rectifiers, diodes, and FETs. Even if the PSU is equipped with an MOV surge protection and an NTC thermistor inrush current protectionit can still malfunction, especially if the voltage or current surge is too high.
This is why protection of the unit itself inside the box is crucial. Thick layers of packing foam are the best way to protect PSUs and other products, as well from rough shipping. A great piece of information that we got after contacting our sources is this: Shipping PSUs via air cargo increases the Dead On Arrival DOA rate significantly, because the products are usually shipped in "master boxes" in the belly of passenger aircraft.
This transportation method is actually cheaper than shipping on pallets with cargo aircraft. All the loading, unloading, vibration, and possible falls of the master boxes can kill a notable number of PSUs, especially if they're not adequately protected in their boxes.
We are not referring to software bugs here, but actual insects. In the past, we've encountered some PSUs from Chinese brands that feature a piece of foam between the soldering side of the PCB and the chassis, and we wondered about its purpose.
It turns out the foam is supposed to keep insects away, because in some environments, ants and roaches can cause fatal short circuits by entering the PSU's internals. But that foam is expensive, and it leaves the component side of the PCB unprotected.
You cannot do much about the first six, but you can keep bugs away from your system, and a power conditioner or UPS will protect the PSU from surge voltages, brownouts, and voltage sags, which also apply huge stress to the PSU's circuits. If you live in an area with an unstable mains grid, then the use of a quality UPS is essential. Even a single broken MLCC can result in issues, and they can crack due to any of the following: Bad handling i.
High Voltage And Current Surges Besides high voltage spikes, which can be caused by weather conditions i.
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