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
- 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.