How much power does your UPS consume to do its job? – Part 1

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How much power does your UPS consume to do its job? – Part 1

Energy consumption in an IT environment can be divided into two ie demand side or supply side. Demand‐side systems—which include processors, server power supplies, other server components, storage, and communication equipment—account for 52% of total consumption. Supply‐ side systems include the UPS, power distribution, cooling, lighting, and building switchgear, and account for 48% of consumption. The supply‐side equipment is not an independent consumer of power; its power consumption depends on the power demand

Between the incoming utility feed and IT equipment is a “power chain” of several components, each one contributing to energy loss to some extent. It is almost unimaginable to find critical IT equipment like servers powered directly from utility power or generators. Power typically passes through various equipment for power assurance and efficient distribution at the required voltage through the rack and enclosures. These would include, UPSs, PDUs, switchgear, panels, etc

Whereas PDUs typically operate at the high efficiency of 94 to 98 percent,  UPSs on the other hand operate at lower efficiency and therefore  the efficiency of the power infrastructure is primarily dictated by power-conversion efficiency in the UPS.

Advances in UPS technologies have greatly improved efficiency over time. In the 1980s, most UPSs used silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) technology to convert battery DC power to sinusoidal AC power. Products using this technology operated at a low switching frequency and were 75- to 80-percent efficient at best. With the advent of new insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) switching devices in the 1990s, switching frequency increased, power-conversion losses decreased accordingly, and UPSs could run at higher efficiency. When even higher-speed switches became available, there was no need for UPS solutions to include transformers, which helped boost efficiency to 90 to 94 percent.

When evaluating a UPS, it’s not enough to know the peak efficiency rating it can deliver at full load (the efficiency figure usually is given). You’re unlikely to be operating the UPS under full load. Since so many IT systems use dual power sources for redundancy, the typical data center loads its UPSs at less than 50-percent capacity, and, in some cases, at as little as 20 to 40 percent. You would expect efficiency to be lower when the UPS is operated at partial loads, but to what degree?

Previous-generation UPSs (before 1990) are markedly less efficient at low loads. Even most of today’s UPSs are noticeably less efficient under the low loads typically expected of them

In the Ensmart UPS, IGBT based power factor correction technology provides an input power factor close to 1 (≥ 0,99). The high input power leads to reduced electricity pay-out, minimizes cable, switchboard, fuse, and generator requirements, thus reducing investment cost.  The Ensmart UPS equipped with its new IGBT rectifier SMART BX series keeps your critical loads protected while its space-saving compact design and front access for maintenance successfully reduce mean time to repair (MTTR).

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