Eco-friendly UPS testing center

ABB’s UPS center in Quartino strived to adapt eco-friendly operations and sustainable practices in all aspects of their production process and these eco-friendly industrial practices were also top-priority when the testing center for UPS was put in place.

ABB’s center of UPS excellence (Newave SA) was founded in Ticino, Switzerland in 1993 to market innovative UPS technology. From the very start, the company not only developed eco-friendly UPS products (Newave has been a trendsetter in terms of modular and transformerless UPSs), but also knew how to go green on the product line. The company strived to adapt eco-friendly operations and sustainable practices in all aspects of their production process. Eco-friendly industrial practices were also toppriority when the testing center for UPS was put in place.

The ABB UPS test center is named “GREEN test bay” and is an advanced testing center for medium-sized and large UPS systems. It provides customers with performance, interoperabilityand efficiency testing for ABB’s UPSs under various conditions. The test facility offers the ability to test individual UPS modules as well as complete power systems, including large UPS units such as the Conceptpower DPA 500.

The GREEN (Generating Recycled Ecological Energy Network) test bay – designed and built entirely in-house at ABB Quartino – recycles the greater part (91 percent) of the energy used during a UPS test. Often, test facilities will waste this energy by turning it into heat. In ABB’s facility, it is used for two things:

– In production, for the final test of high power UPSs (>300 kW)

– For executing Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) with customers.

Functioning principle

Instead of being powered directly from the public mains, the UPS under test is supplied by the Eco-mains. The Eco-mains generator takes 91 percent of the energy from the Eco-load through the DCLink (recycled energy) and only 9 percent from the public mains. The Eco-load is an active power converter able to re-inject energy back into the system, once it has been converted from AC to DC. This is, of course, more beneficial than having a traditional resistor load that merely wastes energy by turning it into heat.

How it works

The GREEN test bay comprises two identical parts (System A and System B) that can work separately or in parallel. Each part is rated at 800 kW. When configured singly, each test bay can test a UPS system up to 800 kW. When configured in parallel, the GREEN test bay becomes a single test bay able to test UPS systems up to 1.6 MW.

The function of the Eco-mains generator is to combine the energy taken from the public mains with the recycled energy coming from the Eco-load. The Eco-mains generator comprises four special standalone UPS systems – namely, four PowerWave 33 200 kW devices with modified hardware and software.

A battery simulator provides DC voltage to the UPS under test to simulate backup batteries during mains failure tests. When the Eco-mains is disconnected from the input of the UPS under test, the UPS automatically goes into battery mode, taking its power from the battery simulator. The battery simulator includes an AC to DC converter (rectifier and booster), and a transformer that lowers the voltage and provides galvanic isolation.

The Eco-load is made out of a modular parallel system of active power converters (rectifiers). Up to 40 modules can be turned on or off according to requirements. This rectifier system normally behaves as a linear load (resistor), so that the UPS under test sees a resistive load. If needed, the Eco-load is also able to modify its

power factor (adjustable) and/or to connect an additional nonlinear load. This is used for special tests upon request. The Ecoload’s main advantage is that instead of wasting the energy, as resistors would do, it allows the energy to be recycled by feeding it back into the Eco-mains generator as DC.

Advantages and benefits

– Significantly lower power consumption

– Smaller electricity bill

– Less energy wasted, factory is more environmentally friendly

– Good argument (also for ISO 14001)

– No plant overload when testing high power UPSs

– Capability to test UPS systems up to 1.6 MW

– Flexible testing (more tests possible)

– Load is easily adjusted (free scale)

– Adjustable input voltage

– Frequency sweeps possible

– Variable load power factor

– Prepared for non-linear load testing

– Simple and safe control of the test bay

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