Are Data Centers in Need of UPS Systems?

Topics Covered

Application of UPS in Data Centers
ABB’s PCS100 MV UPS for Data Centers
About ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division


In many areas of the world, Large data centers have been gaining more importance and are requiring more power. Server density is rapidly increasing, and huge power distribution systems are taking up a lot of space.

In order to contain cooling costs, some operators allow the temperature within the data center to increase while others cool equipment by using ambient air from outside as in industrial data factories.

Application of UPS in Data Centers

Small data centers are often linked to the electrical distribution system in addition to other commercial, industrial and city loads through underground or overhead cables. Long outages and a considerable amount of voltage variations are very common in these networks. This makes the conventional double conversion data center UPS an ideal power protection choice.

However, large scale data centers are linked with highly reliable electrical transmission systems used for connecting power stations and cities. These networks ensure efficient voltage regulations and often involve micro-cuts and short voltage sags. For this purpose, the ultra-efficient, small footprint single conversion UPS technology can be used.

Higher overload ratings of industrial UPS devices ensure ruggedness and safety, enabling the design engineers to implement protection discrimination. This indicates that a fault can likely trip the circuit breaker protection without affecting the UPS. Conventional large industrial UPS systems have been rotary and ensure rugged performance. However, they include moving parts that require proper maintenance then reducing the efficiency of the systems.

In recent times, next generation large single conversion static industrial UPS have been introduced in the market. ABB's PCS100 UPS-I industrial-grade UPS is one such system with 6MVA power ratings and voltages from 208VAC to 480VAC in low and medium levels. Figure 1 shows the ABB’s PCS100 MV UPS designed for mega data centers.

Figure 1. ABB’s PCS100 MV UPS designed for mega data centers

ABB’s PCS100 MV UPS for Data Centers

The PCS100 MV UPS was launched in June 2014 for mega-size data center applications that involve critical and sensitive loads. The product features a small footprint design with a fully modular redundant inverter and a rugged centralized static transfer, which makes it highly reliable and serviceable. The temperature of components present in the product and the design life is comparatively higher than the conventional commercial grade UPSs. Figure 2 shows the ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I.

Figure 2. ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I

Industrial UPS systems are suitable for the modern energy storage technology including lithium ion battery options and small footprint super capacitors besides the conventional lead acid options. Although the capital cost for energy storage options in lead acid batteries remain low, the reliability, lifetime costs and footprint of these batteries do not make them an appropriate solution.

Taking into account the remarkable features of UPS and the growing demands, Thomas & Betts, an electrical products manufacturer and a member of the ABB group of companies recently implemented the PCS100 UPS-I industrial- quality UPS in its Memphis data center. As a part of demonstration work, the UPS unit will back up the data center and other key facilities like the customer service department.

John Penny, General Manager GPL Power Conditioning stated that the growth in the need for large scale data centers is obvious wherein the medium voltage UPS provide the benefits of total cost of ownership and design.

About ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division

ABB is a leading supplier of UPS and power conditioning products – ABB's PCS100 portfolio is a unique line up of low and medium voltage power conversion technology. The PCS100 power converters demonstrate highly reliable and cost-effective performance. With the PCS100 product portfolio, ABB offer efficient power conversion solutions that are specifically designed to solve power quality problems and stabilize networks. Covering applications from data centers through to complete industrial plant protection, microgrid systems and shore-to-ship supply, ABB have the power conversion technology for every need. Starting from a few kVA to many MVA and a wide range of supply voltages. ABB has installed more than 900 MW of power conditioning solutions worldwide. It’s business as usual with ABB Power Protection

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division.

For more information on this source, please visit ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division.

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