How to be prepared for future regulations for UPS in the European Union

The world‘s data center electricity consumption has reached 3% of the total, and that share is growing.

UPSs create one of the largest power losses within data centers. Accordingly the European Commission is introducing legislation to reduce UPSs’ environmental impact throughout their life cycle.

This will very possibly lead to new regulations with the intention to reduce the environmental footprint of data centers. This process of developing the PEF Category Rules (PEFCR), driven by the wider directive “Building a Single Market for Green Products” is fully transparent to UPS companies and stakeholders; five manufacturers are currently contributing toward its development.

After an assessment period, the PEFCR originating from the pilot phase will become the ”set of product rules” to be used by all stakeholders in the industry – both within the EU as well as internationally – who decide to measure the environmental performance of UPS products. The draft of the new regulation is expected in 2018 and implementation measures will most likely be effective from 2020 onwards.

PEF rules shall help the environment as they guide manufacturers in designing smarter products that use resources in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner (e.g. reducing power consumption, re-using and recycling substances and materials whenever possible).

Together with other EU policies such as Energy Labeling, these rules show how design plays a decisive role in the environmental impact of a product. Although regulations for UPS and PEF are at initial stages of the European legislation, the direction is already clear: in the future the environmental impact will play a significant role in product design and compliance.

Fortunately th need for a small ecological footprint has already had an impact on the way UPS systems are built to offer more efficiency, availability and scalability. In order to meet the future requirements already, you should opt for the following principles for UPS, without compromising on power availability, writes Alan Luscombe, director at Uninterruptible Power Supplies Ltd:

Modularity: one or more small transportable modules that can be incrementally plugged into or removed from a UPS frame to achieve exactly the capacity required

Transformerless design, offering about 5% improvement over the earlier transformer, equivalent with an efficiency-level up to 96.1% over the entire load spectrum

Eco-mode: While this is not suitable for every application, it may offer the possibility of further improving power efficiency to 99%.

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