Emergency Power Off

Case Study.

The Situation:

Our client’s large data center was vulnerable to a single point of failure in the form of an Emergency Power Off (EPO) button. The EPO is a vital piece in the life safety aspect of the building, but the client could hardly afford for the entire building to be taken down with a single push of a button. The customer wanted a way that could prevent any accidental shutdown of the entire data center while maintaining the integrity and legality of the EPO system.

Our Solution:

We designed a dual system where it is now required to push two buttons to take down the system. We took off half the equipment that was connected to the current system and connected it to another button. Furthermore, we created extremely clear and concise signs that direct users how to use the EPO buttons when needed. In addition, all buttons have covers on them, which need to be lifted for access. Finally, lifting the buttons also triggers every alarm in the building, so that the user and occupants of the building know that an EPO button is about to be pushed.

The Results:

The system we created is a very robust solution, where users must be 100% aware when they are pressing the buttons. If they accidentally lift the cover, they are warned by the alarm. If they accidentally lift the cover, don’t hear the alarms, and accidentally push the button, then only half the system is taken down. Each step to activate the EPO to shut down the entire system requires full attention and intention of the user. Each step is easy, and extremely clear directions are posted so that users know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Both the integrity of the system and the uptime of the data center are preserved.

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