June 22, 2010 3.03 pm This story is over 165 months old

City Council power failure cuts phone lines

Power failure: Power-saving devices are blamed for an electrical fault at the City Council, which led to two hours of downtime.

An electrical fault at the City of Lincoln Council has disabled the telephone lines at several Council sites across the city. The phones lines were out of action between 9am and 11am on Tuesday at the City Hall, Yarborough Leisure Centre and Hamilton House among others.

“During this time calls could not be received from members of the public and there may have been some delay in responding to enquiries,” said Angela Andrews, Director of Resources at the City of Lincoln Council. “Engineers on site managed to repair the problem and following a restart of all IT systems the problem has now been rectified,” Andrews added.

The fault was caused by the City Council’s power saving device, which led to the Council’s servers to crash at night, a source familiar with the situation told The Lincolnite. All computers were offline this morning, affecting the whole Council, including the benefits counter, which is reported to have turned people away this morning because the computers were not working.

“However, the Council’s most crucial services such as CCTV and waste collection were unaffected by the problem. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers and thank them for their patience and understanding,” said Andrews.

The City of Lincoln Council was not able to confirm this information, but sources claims that the power saving devices used by the Council caused the fuses to blow because the servers run at a higher voltage. This behaviour is similar to various reports from users of power perfectors, which the Council uses at its facilities.

“A power perfector is a voltage power optimiser, which means it adapts the voltage supply to the building to make the electrical equipment we use more efficient,” said Kate Bell, Community Environment Coordinator at the City Council.

Power perfectors work by reducing the AC voltage to the lower end of the 230v tolerance limits. This has several potential effects, including equipment designed for 240v becoming liable to overheating and faults.

On June 20th the City Council installed two more power perfectors at the Yarborough Leisure Centre and Birchwood Community Centre, claiming the device would bring around £12,000 in savings.

Photo: Chris Brandrick for The Lincolnite