Aaron Oddy

Sales Engineer, CENTIEL UK

In this article, Aaron Oddy, Centiel UK does the math on whether to repair or replace a legacy UPS system and answers the question “Do the Numbers Add Up?”

There comes a tipping point where over the long-term, the cost to replace equipment becomes less than the cost to maintain and repair it.  For any item of kit, this calculation needs to take into account a number of variables, including the running cost to power an older, less efficient system plus replacement parts.  For a UPS, it also needs to factor in other operational costs such as environmental control or cooling.

We are often asked to make these evaluations and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculations and they can be revealing.  The information enables clients to make an informed decision if it is more cost effective to replace certain elements of the system such as batteries, capacitors, fans or to purchase a new solution.

We recently quoted for multiple standalone UPS systems throughout a complex located in the heart of London’s banking district.  There was a mix of systems already in place and some of the legacy UPS were almost 20 years old.  The client wanted a clear insight into the cost of replacement versus repair across various locations at the site to see how the numbers added up.

We spent some time drilling down into the details but here are the headlines.   We worked on calculations for each individual legacy UPS, we even identified savings on the smaller 30Kva systems, which I have used as an example in this article.  We compared costs for both buying and running a brand new PremiumTower UPS or keeping the old system running over the next five years.  The calculations included running costs, repair and maintenance plus cooling.

The total cost of repair and running of the legacy 30kVA UPS with its low efficiency was circa £30k over five years.

The purchase of a brand-new standalone UPS, which had increased efficiency of 96.6%, lower running costs, lower anticipated repair and replacement costs over the whole period, turned out to be more than 10% cheaper than trying to keep the legacy system running.

This is a 10% saving for replacing just one of the UPS systems on site.  So, over five years if all the UPS systems were replaced the overall reduction in costs would be compounded.  They will more than pay for themselves within five years.  We were also able to calculate a significant positive environmental impact of switching to new hardware across the site.

The further benefit to replacing the UPS is that each new system comes with a two-year warranty, which includes any replacement parts needed within that time, offering peace of mind to the client.

The analysis and information provided, was helpful to the client as they could use it to allocate future financial budgets as they now move to roll out a replacement UPS programme across the entire complex.

Often clients just look at the initial purchase price of a UPS and don’t factor in the cost savings due to the increased efficiency and lower running costs of new equipment.  However, armed with this knowledge, we can support clients in making informed and intelligent decisions on when is best to repair or replace a UPS system.

At CENTIEL our goal is to achieve the ultimate availability of power possible for our client base while helping them keep a careful eye on expenditure.  The team has been at the forefront of UPS development over several decades bringing to market the most available and efficient UPS systems.   We are trusted and always happy to advise on where and how systems can become vulnerable and to make evaluations and calculations on potential savings on TCO.   So, if you have aging legacy UPS systems, why not contact us to find out if it’s more cost effective to repair or replace?  Our experienced sales engineers can tell you if the numbers add up.

Originally featured in UK Power News Magazine November 2020.

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