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Best Practice: UPS Design in Power Systems to Optimize Performance

The data centre is one of the most dynamic and critical operations in any organizations and especially if the operations are critical or large in volume, it can cost a lot too! In the last decade, complexity of data centres have increased dramatically as data centres experienced steady growth in capacity and density, straining resources and increasing the consequences of poor performance.

Therefore, we have started a new thread in our blog to share some of the best practices you can utilize in order to tackle your challenges. This first post in the series is dedicated to power systems.

There are many options to consider in the area of power system design that affect efficiency, availability and scalability. In
most cases, availability and scalability are the primary considerations. The data centre is directly dependent on the critical power system, and electrical disturbances can have disastrous consequences in the form of increased downtime. In addition, a poorly designed system can limit expansion.

The Uptime Institute defined four tiers of data center availability (which encompass the entire data center infrastructure of power and cooling) to help guide decisions in this area. Factors to consider related specifically to AC Power include UPS design, module-level redundancy and power distribution design.

UPS design

Large transformer-free UPS systems are typically constructed of smaller, modular building blocks that deliver high power in a lighter weight with a smaller footprint and higher full load efficiency. In addition, some transformer-free UPS modules
offer new scalability options that allow UPS modules and UPS systems to be paralleled to enable the power system to grow in a more flexible manner with simple paralleling methods, or internally scalable or ?modular? designs.

Professionals who value full load efficiency and scalability above all other attributes may consider a power system design based on a transformer-free UPS. However, some transformer-free UPS designs utilize high component counts and extensive use of fuses and contactors, compared to traditional transformer-based UPS, which can result in lower Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), higher service rates, and lower overall system availability.

For critical applications where maximizing availability is more important than achieving efficiency improvements in the power system, a state-of-the-art transformer-based UPS ensures the highest availability and robustness for mission critical facilities.

Transformers within the UPS provide fault and galvanic isolation as well as useful options for power distribution. Transformers serve as an impedance to limit arc flash potential within the UPS itself and in some cases within the downstream AC distribution system. Transformers also help to isolate faults to prevent them from propagating throughout
the electrical distribution system.

Selecting the best UPS topology for a data center is dependent on multiple factors such as country location, voltage, power
quality, efficiency needs, availability demands, fault management, as well as other factors. A critical power infrastructure
supplier who specializes in both designs is ideally suited to propose the optimal choice based on your unique needs.


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