Why UPS efficiency has improved so much over the past 10 years

The operators of data centers must ensure the highest possible efficiency and at the same time ensure the uninterrupted operation of your system. An article on upspower.co.uk now examines UPS’s contribution to these requirements.

The result is clear: UPS efficiency has improved significantly over the last 10 years:

“According to UPSL findings, it has progressed from 94% 10 years ago to 96% today, with 97% being forecast.“

The reason is new, better technologies.

“[It] relates to the change from transformer-based to transformerless technology. Early UPS designs depended on a transformer to step up the inverter output voltage to a level compatible with the utility or generator supply. However, advances in power semiconductor technology and the appearance of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) device have eliminated the need for a step-up transformer; this allows more efficient, smaller and lighter UPS designs.“

Find out more about the progress in UPS efficiency here.

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ABB launches new lithium-ion battery systems for ABB UPS solutions

ABB launches a lithium-ion battery system that perfectly suits a comprehensive range of ABB uninterruptible power supply (UPS) solutions. 

Low cost of ownership, long life span, lightweight, high safety level and compactness are just some of the advantages that lithium-ion technology has over the sealed lead-acid batteries that have been the workhorse of the industry until now.

Valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries – sometimes known as sealed lead–acid batteries – have traditionally been the battery of choice for backup power in UPS systems. However, lithium-ion battery technology has progressed rapidly in recent years, making it an attractive option – especially where high-energy density and low weight are important.
Other advantages over VRLA batteries – such as longer life span, better availability, smaller size, shorter recharging times and continually falling prices – only add to the appeal of lithium-ion battery solutions. Lithium-ion batteries are much more tolerant to changes in environmental temperature and can operate over a broad temperature range – a decisive factor in hot countries and a feature that keeps cooling costs down.

The ABB lithium-ion battery solution is accommodated in a standard 19” cabinet. All connectors are front-facing for ease of installation, maintenance and replacement. A single cabinet configuration of 34.6 kWh comprises a switchgear element, a switched-mode power supply (SMPS) and 17 battery modules. Each module contains eight series-connected 67 Ah, 3.8 V cells and a dedicated battery management system (BMS) with cell balancing functionality. The switchgear collects all information about each battery cell, calculating the state of charge (SoC) and state of health (SoH). The SMPS supplies the power for the BMS and communicates with the UPS and other connected cabinets. Battery cabinets are compact, thus saving real estate and increasing power density, and may be connected in parallel to achieve the power needed.

Lithium-ion batteries are easy to handle – they do not contain mercury, lead, cadmium, or other hazardous materials. In most cases, traditional batteries would need to be replaced multiple times before a lithium-ion battery is replaced once. These characteristics lower maintenance overheads.

Federico Resmini, product manager for ABB’s Energy Storage Solutions, said: “Lithium-ion battery systems employ the very latest in battery technology and directly address the two top concerns of critical power users: availability and total cost of ownership.”
The high-reliability and high-availability lithium-ion battery solution provides peace of mind for operators using UPSs in data centers, hospitals and medical centers, offices, banks, education centers, transportation and manufacturing, to name but a few.


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How to Increase Data Center Reliability and Service Delivery through Training

The majority of data center outages are blamed on “human error” stemming from a lack of knowledge or procedural mistake. Inadequate training can lead to a situation where operators are unprepared to respond to an incident and mishandle it. A robust training program drives reliability and predictable outcomes. A highly trained staff will also be equipped to maximize infrastructure utilization and can extend the life of your existing assets.

That’s where the Uptime Instute’s 18-page “How to Develop a Data Center Training Program” comes in. The useful guide helps data center facility managers and IT operations leaders build a data center training program, offers recommendations for materials a training program should cover, provides guidance on which personnel should be trained, and which skills are necessary.

For example, it also concludes that it should be a requirement to have staff that is fully knowledgeable in electrical theory (to include UPS and power distribution), code, practical wiring, advanced refrigeration theory, and mechanical code.

You can download the guide for free at Uptime Institute’s Website»   

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Recommended reading: The Importance of Power Protection in the Food and Beverage Industry

In In a detailed interview, Bruce Bennett, Global Channel Manager, from ABB’s Power Conditioning team, talks to AZoM about why power protection is hugely important to the food and beverage industry.

Here is an excerpt:

“The physical consequences of power interruptions are obvious when they occur, but what really matters to the food and beverage business is the financial cost of power interruptions. The Pan-European Power Quality Survey concluded annual losses attributed to power quality issues may amount to 4% of the business turnover. For many, this loss runs to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars annually, but is mostly preventable!

Modern food and beverage manufacturers rely more than ever on technology based systems, machinery, and high speed continuous processes to reduce the time and cost of bringing goods to market, improving quality by reducing variability, while increasing specification and volume flexibility.

Disturbances on the power supply to this precision machinery can result in unscheduled interruptions that can be very costly in terms of lost material, production units, non-delivery, and hours spent clearing and cleaning to restart. Even a momentary interruption of a process that then requires addressing a possible contamination issue can be very expensive.”

AZoM | The Importance of Power Protection in the Food and Beverage Industry»

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Certified: ABB PowerLine DPA UPS is ideal solution for railway applications

ABB PowerLine DPA is now certified according to the European standard EN 50121 (“Railway applications. Electromagnetic compatibility“) and International standard IEC 62236 for fixed power supply installations and apparatus.

The series of standards EN 50121-x describes in detail the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements for railway applications. IEC  62236-x is based on EN 50121 and is divided into five parts, with the same titles as the relevant parts of EN 50121.

With these certificates ABB PowerLine DPA is a proven UPS delivering quality electrical power from 20kVA to 120kVA for railway signaling and rail infrastructure throughout the world that might be subjected to rough conditions such dust, water condensation, excessive humidity (up to 95 percent), corrosive air contamination and rough manhandling. Its fail safe electrical and mechanical design make ABB PowerLine DPA ideal for railway applications.”


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ABB’s single-phase UPS safeguards Swiss Alp railway

ABB’s single-phase UPS, the PowerValue 11 RT, has been selected by private rail operator Rhaetian Railway (RhB) to regulate the power supply for one of Switzerland’s most demanding rail lines.

The Bernina Railway runs across the Bernina Pass, which at an altitude of 2,253 meters means any train not only has to contend with very low temperatures but also a severe level of vibration that comes from travelling across such rugged terrain.

To prevent highly disruptive breakdowns, it was therefore essential that a reliable source of quality electrical power be provided, and ABB’s PowerValue 11 RT offered the perfect solution. Guaranteeing up to 10 kVA of clean, reliable power, the double conversion PowerValue RT also conditions incoming power to eliminate spikes, swells, sags, noise and harmonics, making it ideal for the challenging Bernina Railway route.

Mr. Cotti of RhB comments: “We were very satisfied with the product, support and contact at ABB. For me, it is particularly important that we always have the same competent ABB staff at our disposal who know the equipment history and can suggest preventive maintenance measures.”

The PowerValue UPS can operate in temperatures of 0 to 40 C and is rigorously tested – including a vibration test that ensures the device can withstand rough environments. The UPS can be connected to up to four parallel battery modules for extended runtime and batteries can be added or replaced easily.

Alex Stasolla, UPS business manager for the Swiss market at ABB added: “The lifeblood of electric rail is a reliable source of quality electrical power, because even minor disturbances in power supply or quality can create major network disruptions. ABB’s power protection solutions are critically important because the electricity they safeguard not only powers the trains, but many other essential rail applications as well.”

The compact design of the PowerValue means it takes up little of the limited space available on a train. It has been installed in a railway wagon that has been converted to measure the wireless coverage of various providers – Polycom, UKW, DAB+ – as well as RhB’s train radio communications network. Should the wagon’s diesel generator drop out for any reason, the PowerValue will take over and supply power to the measurement infrastructure. The PowerValue UPS is now being accepted into RhB’s portfolio of approved standard products.

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