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Powertecnique protects UK Census records

08/04/2013 11:00:00

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics, including the UK Census, and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK. The organisation’s Titchfield, Hampshire centre is using neighbouring power specialists Powertecnique to protect its power in the event of a downtime in electrical supply.

ONS Titchfield is based on a ten-acre site, which was formerly a World War Two Royal Air Force barrage balloon station. It is the home of the Census, the ten-yearly compulsory survey, in which all residents of England and Wales are required to take part. Information provided by Census respondents is a valuable resource for exploring changes in our society, such as migration, age profiles and population trends. The first Census was carried out in 1086 by William the Conqueror and published in the Domesday Book. Today’s Census statistics, along with the Labour Force Survey also carried out in Titchfield, are used to aid the formation of social policy and social forecasting in the UK.

These and other valuable statistics are recorded in data rooms within the ONS and it is of critical importance to be able to protect the data, in this case from loss caused by a potential downtime in power supply. Powertecnique has recently supplied two UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) units as a key strategy in its protection, and will continue to maintain the equipment once the installation is complete.

The two UPS units work in parallel with each other in an N+1 configuration to ensure that clean, conditioned and protected power can reach the load in the IT room at all costs. This parallel system safeguards against a loss of data by increasing redundancy and means that power can be retained during failure or maintenance.

Space constraints mean that the two UPS units cannot be sited in the same room as the battery, but they need to link. So Powertecnique ran 25 metres of cabling between two adjacent rooms.

As part of the contract Powertecnique will remove two existing UPS units from the site, which will then be tested. Depending on the results, they will either be recycled by Powertecnique, or safely disposed of in conjunction with Powertecnique’s waste consignment certificate.

Contracted through Aspect Electrical Contractors Ltd, Powertecnique was first approached in November to install the UPS units at ONS.

Simon Aspital at Aspect Electrical says: “Working with Powertecnique is ideal for us. Not only are the engineers specialists in the industry, but they deliver exactly what we need and on time. Powertecnique was able to design a solution for the project and all contacts were professional and friendly. No doubt, one of the best firms we’ve worked with.

Author: Owen McIntyre

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