UPS systems for industries becoming more robust & intelligent

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 By Srabani Sen

Due to the unprecedented demand for electricity by a growing population and the need to protect an economy that is increasingly digitally dependent, manufacturing industries, in particular, are recognising the need for and value of today’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. Customer demand for increased reliability and zero downtime has led UPS systems manufacturers to design more robust and smarter UPS systems. These can examine critical points in the UPS system and send that information to the end user’s monitoring system, where this data can be examined in order to predict potential failures and take preventive action. In such a competitive market, manufacturers of UPS systems are coming up with more and more technologically advanced models. 


Thursday January 12, 2012: Type of UPS systems required by industry 

Depending upon the applications, line interactive and online UPS systems are usually used in industries. For low budget applications and non-critical areas, offline UPS systems are suitable, while online UPS systems are recommended for critical load and industrial applications. 

For IT and ITeS setups such as data centres, network centres and servers, high density rack mounted or tower design online and double conversion topology-based UPS systems are recommended. For manufacturing, large data centres, healthcare centres, financial applications and mission critical systems, double conversion topology UPS systems with scalable battery runtime are required.

 

Aplab’s idustrial UPS system

The typical applications range from distributed PLC based controls to complete distributed control systems (DCS), with power requirements ranging

Aditya Arora, COO, Base Corporation

from smaller single phase input/single phase output with the capacity of 2-10 kVA up to a three phase input/three phase output capacity of 60 kVA or more. The current trend is towards more compact systems to save space. 

Most makers of industrial UPS systems offer single phase output systems ranging from 40 kVA to 250 kVA. Since industrial control systems invariably constitute 230/110 VAC single phase load control, instrumentation, computer loads, etc, it makes sense to offer single phase UPS systems that can accommodate even the largest systems operating in various industries. 

What customers demand 

Today, online UPS systems are more in demand than line interactive models. The line interactive topology is not successful in industrial applications because it leads to higher use of batteries due to wide voltage variations in India. Industries also prefer centralised UPS systems rather than distributed configurations. Another trend that is picking up is customisation. “Buyers today need an end to end integrated solution. They expect customised solutions rather than the standard UPS products being

Eaton’s 9390 UPS system

offered, to meet their specific needs, which vary from customer to customer and industry to industry. Vendors are expected to integrate UPS systems with batteries, alternate sources like DG sets and static/automatic transfer switches to provide complete power protection,”

Yogesh Dua, managing Director, upsINVERTER.com

explains Suhas Joshi, director, UPS sales, Delta Power Solutions. 

Scalable and modular UPS systems are also in demand as they reduce the initial investment for the customer. UPS systems are now expected to have larger chargers, external chargers and the capability to manage, diagnose and optimise large banks of batteries. “Energy efficiency will be a crucial consideration in all future purchases of UPS systems because of the increased awareness among customers about ‘green’ products,” says Suhas Joshi. 

In a nutshell, the new products and technologies currently in demand are green technologies, energy efficient systems, products with increased power delivery/output, convergence and hybrid solutions, customised solutions, products that enable offering a bouquet of services, apart from systems that promise ease of operation and installation, mean time to repair (MTTR) and low maintenance. 

What’s hot in the market 

Responding to the market’s needs, Delta offers line interactive and online topologies ranging from 600 VA to 4000 kVA with high efficiency, improved parameters like near unity input power factor, power factor correction (PFC), inbuilt galvanic isolation, advanced battery replacement warning, lightning and surge protection, compact dimensions and high power density, low harmonic distortion of the mains supply, and

Anoop Nanda, managing director, SA, SEA and Japan, Eaton
Riello PCI’s UPS system

many more features that reduce both CAPEX and OPEX for the end customers. For continuous process industrial applications with heavy duty motors and variable frequency drives, online UPS systems with in-built isolation transformers are preferred. “Delta’s Ultron NT series is recommended for such applications. Ultron NT can be installed in industries involved with plastics, extruders, injection moulding, packaging, bottling, fibre yarns, non-woven fabric, cable manufacturing and many others. The Ultron NT series can also support regenerative loads like CNC machines in any application,” explains Suhas Joshi.

 

Today, server technology has rapidly advanced, delivering high density, highly reliable computing without the massive harmonics issues inherent in older power supplies. One unintended consequence of this advance is a shift in load power factor characteristics in data centres. UPS systems of an older design cannot deliver their full rated power to these new loads and must be de-rated or retrofitted. Fortunately, new UPS systems designs can avoid these issues while delivering more real power to the load. For example, Emerson Network Power offers the Liebert APM online UPS systems, which range from 15-90 kW. These are

Emerson’s Liebert APM UPS system

row based and transformer free, allowing quick and easy capacity increases with FlexPower hardware assemblies, with no additional floor space required. These UPS systems operate at up to 94 per cent at loads of 50-100 per cent. The 208 V, three phase Liebert APM is available in two models, and is expandable with FlexPower hardware assemblies—the Liebert APM 45 kW and Liebert APM 90 kW. These are ideally suited for small to mid size data centres, server rooms, production floors, labs and testing facilities, in

Jerome Rodriguez, managing director, Socomec UPS India Pvt Ltd

telecommunications and process control centres.

 

Base Corporation, a new entrant in the UPS systems business, offers high-frequency new generation online UPS systems under its BSK series with advanced digital signal processors DSPs microcontroller technology in the range of 1 kVA to 20 kVA. “We provide a two step charging profile to suit the different AH capacities of battery banks,” says Aditya Arora, COO, Base Corporation. Base UPS systems are fully digitised with self-diagnosis capabilities that are in operation during systems start-up. They can work in a wide input voltage range and are compact with less noise. Their programmed inbuilt fan maintains temperature, has smart battery management and an RS232 port for communication. 

Convergence Power Systems offers its Sxi, Tsxi and Txi series of online UPS systems, which are most energy efficient with complete input-output isolation and minimal harmonic distortion, informs Sree Kumar, director, sales and marketing, Convergence Power Systems. 

Su-Kam offers Sinclair-I series (with active PFC) and Intelli Q series (with galvanic isolation) to serve sectors like manufacturing, SMEs, telecom, and government departments. “The innovative features that have been incorporated in these systems are parallel redundancy, static switch technology and a small footprint,” says Kunwer Sachdev, founder and managing director, Su-Kam Power Systems. “Active PFC technology can be incorporated in UPS systems that have the most reliable magnetics even under unbalanced conditions—something that’s necessary for industrial applications,” he adds. 

Kunwer Sachdev, founder and managing director, Su-Kam Power Systems
Nishith P Deodhar, managing director, Aplab Limited

Socomec’s modular UPS system—Modulys GP, with a range of 20 kVA-240 kVA, is designed to cater to applications like virtualised data centres. These systems are scalable, with reduced MTTR and redundancies of N+1 and N+2. Masterys IP+ (10 kVA-80 kVA) is meant for industries like oil and natural gas, manufacturing, process control systems, utility and power generation, petrochemicals, etc. These systems are robust with anti-corrosion board treatment and high ambient operating temperatures of up to 50°C. “The topology of our products allows them to achieve high efficiencies with a limited number of components. Excellent electrical performance can be achieved (power factor, harmonic levels, etc) while enjoying the highest reliability,” informs Jerome Rodriguez, managing director, Socomec UPS India Pvt Ltd. 

Eaton offers the following online UPS systems—Eaton 9355, Eaton 9390 and Eaton 9395. While 9355 is a three phase double conversion online UPS system with a 0.9 output power factor for protection of critical systems, 9390 has a combination of power protection features in a single system. “Eaton’s PW 9395 high kVA solutions are recommended for data centres and manufacturing industries as they have a very low cost of ownership without compromising on the quality of power,” shares Anoop Nanda, managing director, SA, SEA and Japan, Eaton.  

Anil Mujhal, director and CEO, Riello PCI India Pvt Ltd

The Eaton 9355 covers the power range 10-40 kVA, and can be paralleled for redundancy and capacity using Eaton’s patented hot sync technology, with 93 per cent efficiency. “This reduces utility costs, extends battery run time and produces cooler operating conditions. It is

Delta’s industrial UPS system

scalable to a wide range of applications. Our proprietary ABM technology significantly increases battery life and includes self-diagnostic capabilities that alert the user of potential problems before they become costly incidents,” says Anoop Nanda. 

The Eaton 9390 uses a new input circuit that is uniquely capable of keeping total harmonic distortion (THD) at less than 3 per cent—without compromising efficiency. Eaton 9395 UPS system comes with two innovative options—variable module management system technology (VMMS) and energy saving systems (ESS) modes. These features help reduce the operating costs to a large extent. Eaton also offers transformer free designs in all ranges. This means the UPS system does not contain power line frequency magnetics (transformers or inductors). “This transformer free design trend is catching on because power line magnetics are both material and labour intensive. On the other hand, the high frequency power processing is technology intensive,” says Anoop Nanda. 

upsINVERTER.com offers three kinds of industrial UPS under its brand name UTL. These are Eco series online UPS, newGEN

Socomec’s Masterys IP plus UPS system

series online UPS, and newGEN touch series online UPS. Eco series UTL online UPS (1-10 kVA) is based on reliable SCR technology with highly reliable single inverter card (IGBT inbuilt, up to 10KVA). newGEN series UTL online UPS (1-100 kVA) is also based on the highly reliable single inverter card (IGBT inbuilt, up to 10 kVA). “It also consists of the crest factor that allows all kind of industrial motor load to run smoothly. Its energy saving power factor correction DSP technology saves electricity bills on such a scale that the UPS turns free in just 12 months,” informs Yogesh Dua, managing director, upsINVERTER.com.

 

UTL has developed DSP technology based newGEN PFC online UPS to meet the energy efficiency requirement of the IT industry through advanced PFC technology. The purpose of power factor corrector (PFC) is to correct the phase angle of input AC current in such a way that it harmonizes in the angle of input AC voltage making input power factor very close to unity. This harmony of phase angles of input current and voltage reduces the difference between watt and VA consumption, on which the commercial energy invoices are raised these days, thus comprehensively reducing the electricity expenses of the user. 

General online UPS with SCR models utilise the Input voltage phase at various angles according to the power requirements of load

Su-Kam’s Sinclair-L series

and charging but user has to pay for the full wave practically, whereas newGEN PFC model uses DSP (digital signal processing) PFC technology and utilises full wave while drawing only required current in similar phase angle thereby consuming less power and obviously saving electricity bill for user. 

Riello PCI provides a complete range of UPS systems for all single phase and three phase applications ranging from 1 kVA to 6400 kVA. These are suitable for industries like IT and ITES, manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications, aviation, banking, research centres and laboratories, shares Anil Munjal, director and CEO, Riello PCI India Pvt Ltd. 

Aplab offers UPS systems with ingress protection ratings, built-in data logging facilities and industrial strength MODBUS monitoring systems, in addition to traditional SNMP and Ethernet. “The focus of our R&D activity on industrial UPS systems has been to increase

UTL industrial UPS system

robustness. We have leveraged our innovations, which has resulted in better thermal designs, offering UPS systems with better international protection (IP) ratings, extended operating temperature ranges, etc. While improving efficiencies, we offer a host of industrial monitoring options like real time data loggers, etc,” says Nishith P Deodhar, managing director, Aplab Limited. 

APC by Schneider offers MGE Galaxy 7000, a three phase UPS system in the 160 kVA to 500 kVA range, with high adaptability to meet the unique requirements of medium to large data centres and mission critical environments. This UPS system is an innovative solution that is easy to install, and is compatible with all types of loads and batteries as well as all backup times. APC by Schneider has built a true insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) rectifier into the MGETM Galaxy 7000. Its upstream THDI is less than 3 per cent and the input power factor is greater than 0.99. 

Technological advancements 

Technology in this field has evolved drastically over the last few years with the focus not only on energy efficiency, but also on reducing harmonics pollution of the mains and in improving PFC. Technological developments in UPS systems have also taken place in communications protocols, such as the single network management protocol (SNMP), allowing facility managers to monitor UPS processes over the Internet.

Advancements in IGBT now provide faster switching, smaller sizes and the overall cost reduction of UPS units. IGBTs can now be used in the front end or rectifier of the UPS unit, reducing its physical dimensions and allowing it to react faster to changes in electrical input and output, thereby improving overall power quality and ensuring a more efficient reaction to greater load stresses.

Power conversion, energy storage, and modularity and scalability are the most prominent technological advancements in UPS systems. In power conversion, the market is primarily witnessing the development of digital signal processing and space vector modulation to ensure the UPS system responds faster to load changes. Space vector modulation has been used in inverter controls in drives and motors for a number of years and is now evolving in the UPS industry. In energy storage, mechanical energy flywheel technology is being increasingly adopted in UPS systems to replace lead acid batteries. 

Finally, today’s paralleled, modular UPS systems are eliminating single points of failure through decentralised static bypass switches and controls. 

Advanced technologies also allow easily expandable and scalable power solutions, systems that are fault tolerant with high reliability (that is, extremely high mean time between failures (MTBF)) and those that can be repaired without causing any downtime of the equipment. However, it is important to note that system MTBF takes into account the static switch’s capability to transfer the load to a source when a problem arises. This implies that if a UPS failure occurs and the static switch makes a successful transfer of the load to the alternate source, a failure really doesn’t occur. However, this specification is nearly impossible to prove. A much more meaningful specification is component MTBF, or the reliability of the rectifier/charger, inverter, static transfer switch, battery, etc, as these are independent components.

 In recent years, the trend has also moved towards the use of much smaller modules (10 kVA to 50 kVA) to make up larger UPS systems. The advantage is that users can scale up capacity as needed and also reduce maintenance costs. Small modules are hot swappable and can be easily returned to the factory by the user for exchange or repair. Modular systems are also designed to accept one more module than required for their rated capacity, making them inherently N+1 capable at much lower cost. Modular UPS systems can also be configured and readily re-configured.

Today, energy efficient UPS systems have become the new industrial mantra. Energy efficiency can be considerably maximised by using modular and scalable UPS systems. As a result, UPS manufacturers are constantly doing R&D work to make the design, software, components and energy storage solutions compatible to minimise energy losses.

Emerson’s new technology, incorporated in the Liebert APM—FlexPower—allows the system to expand for capacity or redundancy in increments of 15 kW up to 45 or 90 kW, within a single cabinet. Addition or replacement of FlexPower cores can be accomplished without powering down connected equipment. The FlexPower cores incorporate distributed intelligence and scalable power in a common assembly, and allow configuration of a completely redundant power and control system sized to match the capacity of the protected equipment. When power requirements change, users can easily add capacity without increasing the system’s footprint. This approach allows for right sizing of the UPS, resulting in improved energy efficiency and reduced power expenditure. 

Eaton UPS systems come with technologies such VMMS and ESS modes, and achieve full system efficiency by automatically optimising the system according to load levels, reducing operating costs to a large extent. ESS helps to deliver premium power quality and highest efficiency in all load ranges. 

Riello PCI’s UPS systems have a built-in galvanic isolation transformer, which guarantees high availability of the system. Advanced battery management, very low total harmonic distortion (THDi ≤ 3 per cent), high input power factor > 0.99, high output 0.9 (high watt) and overall efficiency of up to 95 per cent are some of the technological advances that make the UPS system highly reliable and efficient for all segments of the industry.

APC by Schneider’s MGE Galaxy 7000 also displays technological developments like digital electronics for better and faster regulation, an IGBT rectifier and transformer less design, leading to higher efficiency. These systems also save energy, cut costs, and reduce air conditioning and ventilation needs in the UPS room. 

Another trend is the use of DSPs for optimised real time processing, contributing to total harmonics management. A DSP controller provides an improved and cost effective solution for designing a UPS that performs well. It replaces bulky transformers, relays and mechanical bypass switches with smaller, more intelligent functional equivalents. It gives increased power efficiency and power density. “For UPS systems above 10 kVA, IGBT based DSP technology has taken over. For call centre and PC applications, DPS microcontroller based high frequency designs are the best choice,” opines Aditya Arora.

Tips for buyers 

Buyers should carefully analyse their application needs and electrical load requirements before deciding on the UPS systems’ specifications. Factors like safety, environmental conditions, etc, must also be considered before proceeding with the buying decision. 

Industrial UPS systems generally have a higher initial cost than their commercial counterparts due to their customised architecture. They must be more reliable and should be serviceable. These UPS systems must be so rugged that they can work in temperatures that are above 40 degrees centigrade and have a high level of protection from dust, water and foreign particles. 

Here are some tips for buyers to follow: 

  • Check the actual surge and running load, type of load, nature of risk (a critical factor), frequency of power failures and environment conditions.
  • Do not buy a UPS that has a lower rating than what is required.
  • Buy UPS systems from a proven brand, which conform to all quality standards.
  • Choose a UPS system built on advanced and superior technology, which comes with the latest features.
  • It should be able to handle all kinds of power problems that a utility power supply can throw at it.
  • The UPS system should have low THDi, so that your mains are not polluted.
  • A system with a small footprint will help you in saving space in your server room.
  • UPS systems that incorporate paralleling and redundant technologies help in extreme and rare cases of single UPS failures.
  • Battery charging technologies should ensure maximisation of battery life with little or no maintenance.
  • A UPS system with transformer-free technology saves on space, is energy efficient and is able to reduce its heat output.
  • Make sure that an informed consultant advises you on your UPS purchase.
  • Look at the successful case studies of well-known brands to check which one is suitable for you.
  • Good companies give out white papers that elaborate on the needs of your type of facility. Read them and buy the UPS system that is just right for you.
  • Look for a product or technology that leads to lower operating costs. There is a large difference in operating costs between high technology, transformer-free UPS systems and other versions.
  • After sales service is a key aspect to consider. A customer should make sure that after purchasing the product, appropriate and timely service is offered by the company.
Name of manufacturer/
distributor
Types of industrial UPS systems Important features Contact details
Aplab Limited   IP ratings, built-in data logging facilities with industrial strength MODBUS monitoring Ph: +91-22-67395555, 25821861; Fax: +91-22-25823137; response@aplab.com
Base Corporation High frequency online UPS of 1 kVA-20 kVA Wide operating range; high input power factor; automatic self-diagnosis; advanced microprocessor control; centralised front with LED/LCD display; smart battery charger (selectable) with high/low cut off; SNMP/parallel redundancy/double charger Ph: 18001800007;
www.basebatteries.com
Convergence Power Systems Pvt Ltd Sxi series online UPS, Tsxi series online UPS, Txi series online UPS Sxi series: Single-phase; Tsxi series: Three phase input, one-phase output; Txi series: Three phase input and output. All with unity power factor, above 96 per cent efficiency and 100 per cent isolation Ph: 91 11 41604135, 36; cps@convergenceups.net; www.convergenceups.net
Delta Power Solutions (India) Pvt Ltd Ultron UPS systems(20 kVA to 4000 kVA); online UPS systems Wide input voltage window ensures long battery life; in-built galvanic isolation at inverter output; built in SRAM to store up to 500 event logs; economy mode efficiency up to 97.5 per cent Ph: +91 124 4874900; mob:+91 9999992084; www.deltaelectronicsindia.com
Eaton Power Quality Pvt Ltd   9390, 9355, 9395online UPS 9390: Low THD of less than 3 per cent, input power factor of 0.99, output power rated at 0.9 power factor9355: Protects connected equipment, delivers extra capacity or redundancy through powerware hot sync technology9395: Operates at 99 per cent efficiency in ESS mode Ph:+91-11-42232329/42232330; Eatonpowerqaulityindia@eaton.com
Emerson Network Power Liebert APM online 15-90 kW UPS systems Scalable UPS protection for growing data centres; FlexPower assemblies offer capacity growth without increasing footprint; operates with the industry’s highest efficiency rating up to 94 per cent; fits row-based applications Ph: 022–33154400; 18002096070 (toll free); marketing.india@emerson.com; Website:www.emersonnetworkpower.co.in
upsINVERTER.com Eco series online UPS (1-10 kVA), newGEN series online UPS (1-100 kVA), newGEN touch series online UPS (1-10 kVA) SCR technology, single inverter card, crest factor that allows all kind of industrial motor load to run smoothly, energy saving PFC-DSP technology, touch screen user interactive display, USB/SNMP based computer communication online@utlups.com, 09311190027
Riello PCI India Pvt LtdBrand: Riello Aros UPS Static UPS systems IGBT rectifier/IGBT inverter with a built in galvanic isolation transformer; advanced battery management; very low total harmonic distortion (THDi ≤ 3 per cent); high input power factor > 0.99; high output 0.9 (high watt); overall efficiency up to 95 per cent Ph: +91-124-6656999, +91-124-4111999;ups@riello-pci.com; www.riellopci.com
Socomec UPS India Pvt Ltd Modulys Green Power (ranges from 20 kVA to 240 kVA); Masterys IP+ (ranges from 10 kVA to 80 kVA) Modulys Green: High efficiency, hot scalable/hot pluggable modulesMasterys IP+: Focused on industrial needs, offering high reliability in harsh environments Mob: +91 9790968731, info.ups.in@socomec.com, www.socomec-ups.co.in
Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd Intelliq series, 1-50kVASinclair-I series 1-10 kVA (with internal and external battery)  Intelliq series: Auto self-test on LCD panel, works on any input phase sequenceSinclair-I series: Active PFC with input power factor > 0.98 for 10 to 100 per cent loadExtra wide input voltage window range minimising battery usage and enhancing battery utilisation and life Ph: 0124-4170500; marketing@su-kam.com; www.su-kam.com

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