Thomas & Betts Data Center Increase Power Protection with PCS100 UPS-I from ABB

Power protection is an important factor in many data centers across the globe. Such power safety ensures that day to day operations are carried out easily and smoothly without any voltage fluctuations.

ABB’s newly acquired company Thomas & Betts (T&B) based in Memphis, Tennessee, required a long-term power protection solution to eliminate its production downtime. To overcome this issue, ABB provided a power protection package that included a PCS100 industrial UPS (UPS-I), surge suppressors, breakers and a diesel generator, all of which ensured that the data center and other major areas are protected against power failure.

Although a UPS and a diesel generator had been used at the T&B’s data center Memphis for a number of years, the existing setup was not sufficient to meet the company’s daily business requirements. In view of this scenario and also with the need to future proof its infrastructure, T&B was looking for a suitable power protection solution. According to James Holcomb, Director-iTeam Infrastructure, T&B, in late 2011, the company intended to replace certain parts of the equipment, including the UPS and the building generator.

The Power of Collaboration

Holcomb collaborated with Mark Buchanan, the Memphis Facility Manager, and John Fouts, Director of Real Estate for T&B and specified the coverage and capabilities they required, and subsequently proposed a solution to scale up the requirements. In the event of a power loss, the Baldor 2000kW generator would supply power to the entire facility rather than just the important area coverage provided by the existing UPS (Figure 1).

The existing unit was only capable of providing back-up to the data center and specified areas of the building. The 600kVA PCS100 UPS-I from ABB will not only back up the data center but would also cover other important areas including the customer service department.

The Baldor diesel generator is providing power to the entire facility.

Figure 1. The Baldor diesel generator is providing power to the entire facility.

Advanced Technology

ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I is capable of handling short duration power quality events such as voltage sags and swells without the necessity of starting the generator. In the event of an extended power quality event, ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I closes the gap between the starting of the generator and the failure of the utility(Figure 2). The UPS even handles the synchronization with the generator as well as the synchronization and reconnection to load the utility when the utility voltage has returned to a usual condition.

600 kVA PCS100 UPS-I bridges the time between the utility failing and the generator starting.

Figure 2. 600 kVA PCS100 UPS-I bridges the time between the utility failing and the generator starting.

Dave Sterlace, Data Center Market Development Manager at T&B, further emphasized the advantages of using ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I. According to Dave, the new PCS100 UPS-I enables the company to meet the efficiency targets without affecting the system’s performance or reliability. Thanks to its modular design, the PCS100 UPS-I provides extra security through integrated redundancy, surpassing T&B’s expectations. An additional benefit of this modular design is it is easy to service.

The Complete Solution

T&B is a responsible corporation and preferred to reduce its carbon foot print. One effective way to realize this goal is to use energy-efficient solutions. As a data center, the company’s selection criteria were high efficiency, high reliability with the smallest possible footprint. Using ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I, T&B was able increase the capacity of its power protection solution to a large extent, with the overall footprint of the unit remaining the same as the existing UPS.

Power Protection Solutions

With the installation of ABB’s PCS100 UPS-I, a continuous power supply is ensured in the event of a power failure. In addition to providing a complete data center solution, ABB also handled installation and commissioning services.

Holcomb added that this was a win-win situation for all parties concerned. They were able to leverage the excellent product offerings and technical capabilities of other businesses within their new company and also volunteered to be a showcase, where the sales teams can bring in potential customers to demonstrate a live installation of products from across the ABB range.


The ABB PCS100 UPS-I has been effectively deployed in various data center applications. This year, the power protection team is extending its portfolio into the MV power range and will shortly introduce the PCS100 MV UPS. This product has been particularly designed to provide clean, efficient and reliable power in large data centers having critical or sensitive load.

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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