UPS market : There’s enough to delight consumers

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Come summer, businesses dependent on machinery and automation, are hit by acute power shortages. In order to keep to delivery schedules, industries need an assured supply of electricity to function unhindered. Moreover, with the ever increasing gap between the demand and supply of power, power conditioning has become a dire need for all businesses, not just for IT and banking. An unlimited power supply is at the heart of a process industry and any downtime is intolerable as it leads to huge productivity losses in terms of material wastage and manhours. 

By Srabani Sen

Friday, June 11, 2010: Growth rate of UPS market

Within the power solutions sector, UPS systems continue to have a major market share as they provide comprehensive protection and continuity of power for all critical loads. The UPS industry in India has excellent scope. It is growing at a steady rate of around 13.4 per cent per annum. The growth of the IT, ITeS and BPO sectors continues to fuel the growth of UPS business. Also, increased use of advanced and automated industrial equipment has made UPS systems mandatory for continuous process applications.

The Indian UPS market will continue to enjoy double digit growth for the next several years. The increase in the number of data centres has added to the booming demand for power solutions. Further, the government has been the biggest driver of growth in this segment, as it continues to spend on educational and infrastructure projects across the country.

Where is the demand coming from?

The demand for UPS systems has shifted from class A to class B and C cities. With the telecom infrastructure in place and IT reaching these cities, the growth of the UPS industry has got an impetus. Also, SMEs and the SOHO segments are contributing to the rising demand. Apart from these, the software, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, medical and textile sectors also depend heavily on UPS systems. In the government sector, demand is predominantly fuelled by large IT spending, and in maintaining and creating critical infrastructure.

What’s the latest in the market

Delta has introduced state-of-the-art scalable and modular UPS systems—the NH Plus. NH Plus UPS are available in ratings of 20 kVA to 480 kVA, expandable in steps of 20 kVA. “The NH Plus UPS is the ideal solution for IT and data centre applications, meeting criticality requirements and resulting in a lower TCO (total cost of ownership). The modular construction ensures lowest mean time to repair (MTTR) and protects from system downtime,” says Deepak Sharma, country business manager, Delta UPS. In addition, NH Plus UPS offers  uniqueness in the level of redundancy that an application may possibly require, right from 1+1, N+1, N+X, 2N or 2(N+1). To top it, the bus synchronisation feature enables the user to have independent dual bus architecture without any additional hardware required altogether.

Besides NH Plus UPS, Delta has comprehensive range of online UPS from 1-4000 kVA, namely NT series (20-4000 kVA) for centralised configurations, E Series (1-3 kVA) for extended backup application, R series (1-3 kVA) and GAIA (5-11 kVA) in rack/tower configuration for IT rack based solutions, J series (5-11 kVA) and H series (15-30 kVA) for small and medium IT setups in SME/SMB segment. The complete UPS range has very high energy efficiency up to 94 per cent, compact size and small footprint, high power density, remote manageability and control, extended input voltage range to extend battery life. Above all, the UPS are tropicalised for operating reliably in difficult power and environment conditions prevailing in India.

DB Power offers UPS systems that are superior in technology. “For the end user’s requirements and benefits, our UPS systems offer longer backup time. The UPS rectifier is strong enough to charge higher rated batteries. For example, a DB UPS system will support load of 100 computers, and can also simultaneously change the batteries required for 150-180 minute backup time without any compriomise,” says Vinayak Joshi, additional general manager, marketing, DB Power.

DB Power’s systems have a high energy efficiency, better output PF handling, and can handle overload smartly. The LCD display along with the mimic feature, shows the health of the entire system. The LNi and LNux series UPS systems offer galvanic isolation and better protection, as well as long backup time analogies.

Lzen Electronics has a unique mini CFL lighting UPS (50 VA). It is a MOSFET based high frequency UPS, with quick battery charging, overload and deep discharge, and the overcharge protection facility. These can be used on the tabletop or be mounted on the wall. “We also offer digital UPS systems (500-1500 VA), which are microcontroller based with very fast switchover times. These give pure sine wave output, and provide long power backup,” says Manish Gupta, CEO, Lzen Electronics (India). “We also have digital UPS systems of 2000-3500 VA and true online UPS systems of 1-100 kVA,” he adds.

This summer, Uniline has offered all kinds of UPS systems—from line interactive models (of 500 VA to 3 kVA) to online UPS systems of 1- 300 kVA single units. “We constantly improve our UPS systems in an attempt to make the product more reliable and more efficient with the help of R&D. These days, consumers are looking for an increased efficiency and reliability of the system, a decrease in the loss of energy, and reduction in costs,” says R K Bansal, managing director, Uniline Energy Systems.

All Emerson products are based on adoptive architecture that has three basic pillars—lowering the total cost of ownership, flexibility in the solution offered, and availability. “Customers can change the solution any time, as per the load demands,” explains Venkat Rao, country manager, medium and large UPS systems, Emerson Network Power (India). This season, Emerson offers desktop/workstation UPS systems—both offline and line interactive UPS systems, whch are ideal for sensitive electronic equipment. Its rackmount UPS systems are required for networks and electronic equipment in rack environment. The company offers true online UPS systems for network servers, bridges, hubs, routers, storage devices, and critical workstations. Emerson’s large facility UPS systems are suitable for large data centres and for facility-wide protection for sensitive electronics.

Elent Electronics Pvt Ltd’s basic range starts from E-series line interactive UPS systems. “This series protects computers from high voltage fluctuations by providing output voltage between 200-240 V AC. The E-series UPS range has various models, from 650-3000 VA to provide backup power upto four-five hours depending on the connected external battery bank,” says Ramotar, director, Elent Electronics Pvt Ltd.

Elent’s online UPS range is based on double conversion technology, where incoming mains is rectified and converted into DC to charge the battery bank and then convert into AC to provide the constant output voltage and frequency as required by the customer. “The critical load at the output is fed by the inverter, which converts DC into AC at the precise voltage and frequency. It employs state-of-the-art PWM dual conversion IGBT based technology to provide pure sine wave output with very low distortion,” adds Ramotar.

“We have the capability of customising even a single piece. Our effort has always been to reduce costs and to provide best product and services to our esteemed customers. Our UPS systems are designed as per the Indian conditions. These are isolation based UPS systems, which are more reliable when compared to the Chinese UPS systems, which are high frequency based and have a shorter life,” informs Ramotar.

upsINVERTER.com has come up with a combo UPS system, which is a cross between a UPS and an inverter. It is a high frequency device, which allows multistage charging. It also has battery level display and can be configured to run IT products as well as household gadgets. “It takes time to innovate but we come out with new products. However, new products always don’t translate into new business,” comments Yogesh Dua, managing director, upsINVERTER.com. “We offer numerous innovative features in our products, including multistage charging, auto adjustments in batteries (resulting in enhanced battery life), accentuated battery backup, improved power generation and higher efficiency,” says Dua.

HiTA Technology has developed UPS systems with solar chargers for the SOHO and SME markets. The product is designed to provide green, uninterruptible power in tier I, II and III cities. “Our range of UPS systems is available from 600 VA to 5 kVA. We have developed hybrid solar power systems, which can generate from 200 W to 1 KW to provide green, uninterruptible electricity,” says Arun Ghosh, managing director, Hita Technology.

American Power Conversion (APC) offers solutions for small offices and large data centres. “Our back UPS range is tailor made for the SOHO and SMB segments, while our smart UPS solutions are focused on the SME and mid level enterprises,” states Gaurav Burman, director, transaction business, American Power Conversion.

Innovations and technological changes

Most innovations that are happening in the UPS arena for offices are focused on increasing efficiency. This helps in saving both power and the environment, as well. With technology advancing at a fast pace, customers are demanding UPS solutions with superior technology and want the most feature packed products, doubling the competition in the market. In such a scenario, a company’s ability to successfully identify and launch new, innovative products has become one of the most important criteria for success. In this process, improving upon existing technologies has become imperative and many enterprises have established strong R&D units, into which they pump a fair amount of money every year to innovate and create new and unique products.

Says Sharma, “IT and business managers are faced with the challenge of controlling expenses—both CAPEX (capital expenses) and OPEX (operational expenses). As businesses grow, IT infrastructure should be scalable, and it will require that the power management solutions offered have in-built flexibility to expand either for capacity or building redundancies for critical applications. On the operational expenses, the energy efficiency will determine power savings and a reduction in electricity bills. UPS technology should also help to enhance the life of the batteries, which are a consumable in natgure and need replacement from time to time. Besides this, the UPS system should offer highest power density, lowest footprint, and absolutely low pollution of the mains supply with harmonics. The Delta NH Plus modular scalable UPS meets all these requirements,” says Sharma.

DB Power UPS offers increased energy savings, increased system efficiency and reduced downtime. “In a nutshell, our UPS systems are green power UPS systems, saving not only the consumer’s energy, but also the nation’s,” explains Joshi.

“We have the capability of customising even a single piece. Our effort has always been to reduce costs and to provide best product and services to our esteemed customers. Our UPS systems are designed as per the Indian conditions. These are isolation based UPS systems, which are more reliable when compared to the Chinese UPS systems, which are high frequency based and have a shorter life,” informs Ramotar.

Emerson has introduced its high efficiency NXR UPS systems, which offer 96 per cent efficiency. “It is an efficient, space saving and flexible solution with a standard efficiency rate of up to 96 per cent. It keeps the office network protected while saving on costs and space. It has double conversion technology, which provides 100 per cent protection with complete input to output isolation and totally regenerated power. The system also has redundancy options and flexible battery configurations. It is sized to minimise capital equipment expenses and designed for optimum efficiency,” points out Rao. NXR also provides 100 per cent usable real power with high generator compatibility because of the low input. It has the standard top cable entry, and allows easy configuration of different systems architecture like dual bus and parallel ability.

Says Bansal, “Nowadays, UPS systems are becoming more compact, and with the help of power electrical devices, we are able to handle more current with a single device.

APC offers power saving features that can power down the loads in a situation of ‘no activity’ for some time. “It is a truly green UPS, with the widest input voltage range to help users maximise the mains utilisation, thus saving on battery life and replacement costs. These UPS systems operate on the mains mode at voltages as low as 80 V. It has the input power factor correction to reduce input current, which results in lower electricity bills and minimising harmonics,” states Burman.

Packed with innovative and electricity saving features, online UPS systems have redefined the concept of UPS. The primary purpose of online UPS systems is to protect critical and sensitive equipment from electrical disturbances. “Mains line failures, mini blackouts, high and low voltage fluctuations, lightning, electrostatic discharges and rapid over voltages are phenomena found in all environments. These cause damage to the hardware and result in a loss of data. When the mains supply is available, the inverter section draws its power from the mains, rectifies it and stores it in backup batteries, which are kept in a constant charged state. When the mains supply fails, the source of the DC power of the inverter section shifts to the battery without any break, irrespective of the output. This is possible with the most reliable management systems for mission critical applications, suitable for network servers, bridges, routers, storage devices and critical workstations,” explains Gupta.

Gupta points out a number of technological changes that have revolutionised the UPS industry. He explains the concept of double conversion, which refers to a UPS system that converts AC to DC and then back to AC. The inverter of this UPS system continuously carries the load. “You can configure all static UPS technologies as double conversion systems,” he adds.

Digital signal processing (DSP) based PWM technology is another technological development suited for high speed processing applications. It ensures a very low running cost, the complete charging of batteries and guarantees the saving of energy. Another change that has taken place is galvanic isolation, which ensures 100 per cent protection to the load from the entire range of power disturbances including harmonics, common mode noise and fault conditions on the input bus, and vice versa. The upgradeable onsite technology has made it possible for engineers to upgrade the system right where it is installed. This saves both time and money.

UTL, a UPS system from upsINVERTER.com has a single card facility that minimises circuit loss, mechanical loss, stray loss and improves the efficiency of the system. It also saves power.

Buyers’ requirements

As networks are becoming more complex, consumers are expressing the need to manage UPS systems from remote control sites. “UPS systems, therefore, need to be equipped with multiple network management protocols and be flexible enough to incorporate diagnostics and predictive analysis. UPS systems now come with higher capacity chargers, add on chargers and accessories that provide a user the capability to manage, diagnose and optimise u/s installation with medium to large battery bank installations,” informs Sharma.

Says Joshi, “Consumers have really become smart and energy cautious. They are now aware of the sustainable usage of energy, and this attitude will help in reducing the loss of energy. Consumers are demanding efficient systems, using renewable energy like hybrid systems that are a combination of solar, wind, battery and electric utility power.”

According to Bansal, today consumers require low cost, highly reliable and dependable after sales support for an efficient UPS system.

Buyers look for a product that comes with excellent service support after the sale. They want advanced technology with power saving features, updated software support, that is noiseless and pollution free, besides being low cost, small and user friendly, concludes Dua.

Application areas

Different application areas of UPS systems in offices

 

Some essential features in UPS systems

 

Critical CPU/server

 

Suitable for all equipment

 

Fax machines

 

Generator compatible

 

PC

 

Enhance battery life

 

EPABX

 

Auto self testing for inverters displayed on LCD panel

 

Modems

 

LCD panel for battery level and load level

 

Security system

 

Auto start

 

Projector

 

Extra wide input voltage output

 

STD/PCO monitor

 

Minimum switch overtime from main to battery mode

 

Scanner

 

Phase synchronised

 

Printer

 

Automatic overload/short circuit protection

 

Cellphone battery charger

 

Inverter and generator compatible

 

 

Deep discharge protection

 

WHAT’S THE LATEST?

New types of UPS systems in the market

• Hybrid topology

• Standby

• Standby ferro

• Double conversion online

• Conventional Indian isolated model with IGBT based technology

• Parallel redundant

• Hot standby

• Modular

• IGBT rectifier with solar charger

Source: upsINVERTER.com and Hita Technologies

Buying tips

Key points that buyers should consider while selecting a UPS system

Check the criticality level and backup requirements. This will help to know if the requirement is for a stand alone, hot swappable or power paralleling configuration

Check the criticality level to determine if you need independent battery backups

The UPS system should take up less space

It should be easy to install and implement. Installation should be such that it can be easily serviced and maintained

The UPS system should have the remote management capability, being remotely controlled through the PC

Check the efficiency of the UPS system in the mains mode

Check the charging of the battery, it should be very efficient in order to get the maximum life of the battery

Look for the company’s strengths, after sales support, the performance of the system installed for similar applications at other locations, etc

Check input/output voltage, input/output frequency, load power factor, switching frequency and cooling capacity

Module and system level redundancy guarantees very high reliability and availability, indispensable for any mission critical application. Scalable and modular UPS systems with energy efficiency and lower cost of ownership will reduce both capital and operation expenses

Check for power density

The system should have high input and output parameters

Reliability and adaptability of the system is important

Check for scalable, modular and adaptable systems

Source: Delta, Emerson & Lzen

Some user friendly technical features 

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine

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