Airports are under pressure. Not just from greater traveller numbers but their infrastructures are under immense strain from significant new technology integrations. Emergency power strategies are now more critical than ever as any power downtime will intensify an already volatile environment. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) solutions play an essential role in maximising uptime and ensuring a stable, reliable and continuous source of power.
The nation’s headlines have become a little tiresome. If they are not reporting the latest Covid-19 data, they are commentating on the latest industries to fall victim to the pandemic. As the country braces itself for the summer holidays, journalists continue to revel in ‘travel chaos’ captions.
Even broadsheets are fuelling traveller panic. However, on the busiest travel weekend since the pandemic began holidaymakers should have been prepared for longer queues, extended waiting times and more lengthy security measures. Afterall, it is that time of year. It is undisputable though that Covid-19 has exacerbated travelling ‘chaos’. Despite £billions in irrecoverable revenue losses, the industry is still investing in its infrastructures to improve traveller experience.
Moves to introduce more technology into airports continues at a rapid pace. The sector is wholly focussed on achieving passenger automation and most recently has pledged to have more than half of all electronic passport gates working by the end of July, where the majority will be operational at the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow.
Additional technology, more complex infrastructures and fluctuating capacities will be placing greater demand on an already weakened electrical network. Airports are power hungry and are reliant on a resilient power source for almost every process from check-in, security scanners, conveyor belts, traffic control, IT networks, EPOS and emergency lighting. Robust power protection strategies and UPS solutions are for some applications, not only required by law but are absolutely critical to the smooth running of any airport.
Adopting both single phase and three phase UPS solutions, many of these are integrated within airport facilities in isolation of one another. Secure Power warns, that whilst equipment will be protected from power anomalies, the adoption of UPS systems in this manner is grossly inefficient and might not meet the extreme demands of an airport. Whilst standard single phase UPS units will be sufficient for less critical requirements such as EPOS, airports rely heavily on centralised rugged UPS for harsh environments. Unlike mainstream backup power solutions, ruggedized UPS are engineered specifically to be weatherproof and to be able to support irregular inrush currents.
Many airports are still beholden to the UK’s ageing electricity network, which continues to cause critical power supply issues. In addition, airport facilities themselves need to improve their internal electrical infrastructure and ensure that there are no legacy pieces of equipment that could do more harm than good.
Taking UPS systems as the example, this essential backup power equipment needs to be routinely serviced in order for it to deliver optimum resilience. Equipment and UPS batteries that are left idle are likely to not be fit for purpose. UPS component degradation and load requirements change overtime and need to be regularly assessed and where necessary modified. Where UPS systems may be overloaded, they are more liable to failure. In cases where UPS solutions have lower loads on higher rated equipment, these will be running very inefficiently. Addressing this could help save £thousands whilst improving efficiency gains. Known for having large carbon footprints, airports are under mounting pressure to reduce their energy usage and have been progressively reducing their emissions. The industry is so committed to achieving net zero and meeting carbon neutral goals that it has its own independent Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, which independently assesses and recognises the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon footprint. Understanding UPS solution load requirements can have a significant impact on not just UPS performance but also help to meet wider efficiency goals.
Despite traveller numbers at an all time low, there are still approximately 74million people passing through the UK’s airports and whilst emergency power solutions cannot disrupt the impact of Covid-19, UPS systems do play a vital role in safeguarding against other interferences that often do contribute to travel chaos.
As one of the largest brand agnostic providers of power protection equipment, Secure Power has access to an extensive range of authorised UPS solutions. From line interactive, online double conversion, single phase, three phase and modular, Secure Power’s product portfolio includes award winning UPS systems from Riello, Schneider, APC, Eaton, Socomec and Vertiv. Supporting these emergency power solutions, Secure Power has its own nationwide team of technical engineers. Available 24/7, Secure Power offers immediate response and ongoing UPS maintenance and services including UPS installation, commissioning and UPS battery works.
For more information about Secure Power’s extensive range of UPS systems and power protection services please get in touch with our team 0800-080-3118