Power Reliability in the Cloud: ABB’s SmartTracker for UPS Systems
Track energy data and monitor trends remotely with ABB’s new SmartTracker software and hardware solution to monitor UPS system health, operation, and optimization from a secure, cloud-based platform.
ABB’s UPS Product Line
Most people are familiar with ABB robotics, power distribution, and drive components, but ABB also heavily invests in the UPS device market to support energy reliability for all kinds of facilities.
A UPS is an ‘uninterruptable power supply.’ When supply voltage goes out due to natural disasters or grid component failures, the UPS will kick in and continue supplying power to the devices downstream. Some UPS systems will continue to supply power for a few hours, while others simply last long enough to shut down the equipment safety.
Because the UPS needs to monitor the incoming power, most UPS systems will also monitor the power consumption and other metrics. Recently, ABB has released software that integrates with ABB’s high-performance UPS solutions to facilitate remote monitoring.
ABB’s new SmartTracker for uninterruptable power supply (UPS) monitoring. Image used courtesy of ABB
ABB Ability SmartTracker
Monitoring power grids and power consumption through the use of a UPS is fairly standard for many high-end UPS systems for remote locations, IT equipment, or process critical automation equipment.
The Ability SmartTracker software allows the end user to remotely monitor their UPS solutions regardless of where they are, thanks to cloud technology and data analytics. Power events, such as power outages or severe fluctuations, can trigger alerts using the Ability SmartTracker software. The alerts can be sent to users and also to ABB’s 24/7 technical support center in Quartino, Switzerland. These alerts can save the company money by reducing the time for technicians to locate where power issues are occurring.
Along with remote supervision, users can also review the data collected and set up action alerts or automated reports for further data analysis. The SmartTracker software does require a proprietary ANC network card to be installed into any of ABB’s high-performance UPS solutions. Once the hardware is in place, customers can start monitoring their systems from anywhere in the world. Both the hardware and firmware are designed and built with cybersecurity in mind, with ABB guaranteeing the highest level of protection and security.
Large industrial and commercial computer systems must be shut down safely, even under power failure conditions. Image used courtesy of Unsplash
Cloud-based Data Collection
Cloud data collection is becoming more popular for devices that monitor or collect system information. When collecting data in a cloud database, anybody with the proper access can review that data and perform analytics, no matter where they are located.
The SmartTracker software has built-in tools to help analyze and predict equipment maintenance and recommend corrective actions. SmartTracker tools also include analytics for ensuring that the equipment is running as efficiently as possible.
The grid is quite reliable, but when rare events occur, they can be catastrophic unless a backup power system is in place. Image used courtesy of Unsplash
Nearly all companies with modern technology strategies have some variety of digital storage or IT equipment that must be supported if the power goes out. Power outages can corrupt databases and files, costing the company a lot of money. Some automation processes rely on computers, and if those computers were to lose power, the process would stop. For these reasons, it is very important to have a UPS solution installed with any IT equipment, regardless of the location being a back office or a factory floor.
Adding monitoring software to a UPS gives maintenance staff a leg up on preventive maintenance, showing system engineers where inefficient equipment might be hiding, producing long-term, cost-saving results.