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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Providing Uninterrupted Power Service
by Darrel Enoki

On July 22, 2000, the main electrical transformer that provides power to the computer network based in Keller Hall at UH Manoa was brought down for a three-hour period for maintenance. In its place, a rented 125kW generator provided an uninterrupted power flow, allowing all network and mail servers to remain online. With this backup generator solution, ITS is able to provide uninterrupted service to the University community and other State facilities. The uninterrupted e-mail service prevented a backlog of e-mail files and denial of pop-server connections.

Follow along this behind-the-scenes peek at how all this was achieved with no break in service to the University community.

  • Engineers from Innovative Electric Services, Inc. (IESI) arrived on the scene well before the scheduled outage. Their preparation work included stringing out the 600 amp cable that connected the generator to the circuit box, as well as firing up the generator and tuning its output to avoid "frying" the circuits. Here we see members of IESI hooking up the power cable to the 125kW generator rented from Pacific Machinery, Inc.
  • The 600 amp cable was strung from the generator, and over the double glass doors of Keller Hall. The smaller yellow line was for the engineer's work light.
  • The power cable continued from the double glass doors, over the double doors at the entrance to the Keller Lobby, then into the electrical room containing the circuit box.
  • A crowd of curious onlookers began to gather outside the electrical room. With the generator and the feeder cable ready, IESI engineers disabled the building's power line. The Keller UPS systems immediately kicked in to provide battery power to the network systems. The engineers then hooked up the generator to the circuit box and switched the power on. All systems were then fed by power from the generator.
  • Here's a close-up of the generator hook-up in the circuit box. The generator feeds are the green, red, white, and black wires.
  • The three-hour outage was needed to allow for electrical maintenance of the Keller transformer which is located on the mauka side of Keller Hall.
  • Contracted electricians perform maintenance on the Keller Transformer. After the maintenance was complete, IESI engineers reconnected Keller's regular building power source. This successful pilot generator project has set the stage for future planned outages.

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