‘At the Roeterseiland Campus thousands of students and staff make use of all the ICT facilities. If these facilities suffer an outage, that has major consequences, of course, and we want to avoid that. This is why we have developed an emergency power supply for all computer rooms on the Nieuwe Achtergracht (REC B/C/D).’ This system was tested last weekend. A lot depended on it. Eric Slotboom from Campus Development explains.
Businesses with a vital function, such as a hospital, can entirely fall back on emergency power in the event of a power failure. While in the new Social and Behavioural Sciences building the lights go out and the lifts come to a standstill during a power failure, ICT facilities continue to function. The Central Energy Supply was specifically designed to ensure this.
The emergency power supply was first tested in late May, and that was very tense. It was done in a weekend, so as to affect as few people as possible. Slotboom: ‘This kind of test has a major impact on the building. After the test, for example, we had to reset all the lifts and check all the fuse boxes. It is preferable not to do this sort of thing when there are a lot of people around.'
But all this effort was not in vain, because during the test, technicians on site were able to make a few additional modifications to the software. After that, the test went smoothly, and I am extremely happy about that. This means that the UvA network is safeguarded during a power outage, and that is a major benefit for all users.’
When a power outage occurs, the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) needs to deliver sufficient electrical capacity to keep the ICT facilities running. The emergency power test consisted of two parts: does the emergency power start up in the way the designer intended? And then does the power supply remain stable? The first start-up went well, but after the second start-up the power supply didn't come up to full speed due to a bottleneck in the security system. Technicians on site corrected a few lines in the software and after that the power supply remained stable.