When deciding the best way to provide power protection in commercial/industrial settings, you will inevitably be faced with the question of whether a distributed or centralized uninterruptible power supply configuration will work better for you. There is no fixed answer to this question because the UPS that you use will be dependent on a number of factors such as:
- How critical each of the load is
- The amount of expertise you have available for the initial installation & ongoing maintenance
- Nature of the loads – whether they’re distributed or centralised
In this article we take a look at which factors will affect your decision
When it comes to ease of deployment, at first glance it may seem like a centralised UPS will be far easier to deploy compared to a multiple distributed system. However, if you have a very large centralized system like a 3-phase UPS, this may not be the case. These systems need considerable electrical expertise in order to be installed and configured properly, and this also means it’s likely you’ll need outside help.
In addition, these systems need ongoing maintenance and you will need third party help for this job too. In comparison, distributed UPS configuration systems generally use a single phase, which is much easier to install and requires very minimal, or no maintenance. This however, is entirely dependent on the size of the load that needs to be protected. If it is too large, would need a 3-phase UPS.
The Reliability Aspect
The other aspect to take into consideration is the level of criticality for the loads. Generally, a 3-phase UPS is far more reliable than single-phase systems, with a lengthier mean time between failure; this is because the former has built-in redundancy features. It means, a large centralised 3-phase UPS offers greater protection than a single-phase UPS.
However, it isn’t all that simple. In case any problem occurs in the centralised UPS, it will put all its loads at risk. In a distributed UPS approach, any problem with a specific UPS will impact only the loads that are being protected by it.
Understanding More About UPS configuration
In most settings, a combination of centralised and distributed UPS’ are used. In practice, what all this adds up to is typically a mix of distributed and centralized UPS’ in the same facility. For instance, critical loads like emergency lighting may be protected by a centralised UPS system. But various production and manufacturing departments may have their own individual, dedicated UPS system.
In most manufacturing facilities, a centralised approach is adopted to better protect all the plant floor machines and other equipment. However, there could be some critical points that have separate power protection, such as “clean rooms” in semiconductor plants.
Since there are a number of variables to consider when it comes to UPS configuration, it’s important to get the advice of professionals in the field before deciding on which system works best for you. They will guide you through the entire decision-making process and provide a design that works perfectly for all the critical loads in your setting, from the perspective of business risk.
If you want to know anything more about any of our products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us at KaRaTec Power Supply Pty. You can give us a call at 612 9808 1127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we will respond within the shortest possible time to help you with the guidance and information you need.
Thanks for reading,
Karatec Power Supply Pty
612 9808 1127