What can you expect from a small-scale UPS system?

Demand for data processing continues to rise inexorably – according to Gartner, an estimated data centre spending level of $143 billion in 2015 is set to nearly double over the next five years. However, these growing levels of IT activity are not limited to data centre operations alone; there are plenty of branch offices, SMEs and other smaller operations centres that require local computing power on a much reduced scale.

These organisations’ requirements for data security are no less critical than their larger data centre counterparts. Fewer people may be affected by a data loss, but the effect on those who are involved can be just as serious. Accordingly, there is a need for UPS systems that are scaled to such environments while offering data centre-type performance and security; extremely high availability and protection from mains disturbances, coupled with green energy efficiency and nimble scalability in particular. At the same time, these smaller UPSs should offer ‘local environment’-friendly features such as ease of operation for non-specialist users.

In fact, such UPS products are available on the market, occupying a position between large-scale data centre solutions and single desk-top units. Kohler Uninterruptible Power Ltd.’s PowerWAVE 1000 range is one example, comprising single-phase products with ratings from 4.5 to 10 kVA. Each PowerWAVE 1000 unit is available in standard 19” rack-mounting form, or as a free-standing UPS device that blends into an office environment.

The PowerWAVE 1000

Full protection from transients and other mains-borne electrical disturbances is provided, as the UPS systems use dual-conversion topology. Their load receives clean AC power that has been regenerated by their internal electronics and is independent of the incoming mains AC waveform in terms of purity, voltage and frequency.

Overall UPS availability can be significantly improved through electrical redundancy. An N+1 parallel system can be set up by connecting up to four units in parallel and managing them through their rear-mounted CAN bus connections. The same UPS paralleling approach can be used to add incremental capacity, so that the UPS configuration can always be economically ‘right-sized’ to changing loads – minimising both initial and ongoing capital costs.

Downtime is further minimised by careful battery maintenance, which includes front-access facilities for easily hot swappable battery packs, while optimising battery life and reducing recovery time from discharge through advanced battery discharge profiling. Extra, matching UPS battery cabinets can be added to extend the backup battery  power supply time by several hours. Each UPS unit can also be electrically and physically isolated using an optional manually-operated maintenance bypass switch.

The UPSs’ users can easily gain status information directly from the units through a user-friendly display. Real-time views of all system parameters and current status are provided; these include load level, battery level, system wiring faults, overload and programmable output status. Remote monitoring and control is also available through RS-232, USB and optional SNMP/Modbus network interface cards. Optional dry contacts are available for simple status signalling.

Several design features contribute to the PowerWAVE 1000’s energy efficiency and green performance. Energy efficiency is comfortably above today’s industry standards, irrespective of load. It also achieves up to 0.99% input power factor as well as less than 6% total harmonic distortion. In applications where the mains power supply is known to be sufficiently stable, the 4.5 to 10 kVA models can be operated in Eco-mode.

These UPS units will fit comfortably within an office environment, small server room or communications hub, and are easy to set up and operate. At the same time, they are designed for similar levels of availability, mains disturbance protection, efficiency and scalability as their larger equivalents within data centre infrastructures.

 

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