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Can critical equipment stand the heatwave?

Published: 5 July 2019 - Carly Wills

As Europe faces one of the worst heat waves in its history, Aggreko is urging businesses to address their power and cooling equipment contingency plans.

Any business reliant on power and cooling to function - most notably data centres - is now at higher risk of failure due to extreme temperatures. France recently hit its highest temperature of 45.9°C and the summer heatwave is set to return in full force by the middle of July across the UK, according to a new weather chart.

It is all too common for hot weather to strain equipment. In a worst case scenario during a heat wave, a company could face downtime as a result of several circumstances, including IT equipment overheating, UPSs coming alight, electrical systems failing, power outages and other events. 

The message from Aggreko is that while many companies believe they have a contingency plan in place, quite often this is not regularly updated and therefore may pose further risk in the event of an emergency. Any recent change to personnel or building extension, for example, could jeopardise any existing plan in place. 

Nick Osborne, sector sales manager for data centres explained: “Any type of plant failure can cause untold problems for the facilities managers that run them. It is crucial that a contingency plan is carried out meticulously in calm conditions, as health and safety risks are often heightened when people are trying to work under pressure. 

“The temperatures we are seeing and expecting in the coming months are high risk. In response, we are ensuring that all our contingency clients are well equipped to deal with any issues, should they arise.” 

Aggreko’s team of engineers are able to conduct immediate site surveys to understand the power and temperature requirements of a site. This enables them to develop a bespoke plan which gives details of the appropriate equipment needed and where it would be located, with installation and connection points. They also consider how it would be transported, the engineering scope, methods of operation, risk assessments, method statements and roles and responsibilities. This means every site knows what to do in the event of an emergency.

Osborne concluded: “I would urge any facilities or building managers, who haven’t revisited their contingency plans recently, to get in touch with a reliable supplier as soon as possible.”



 
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