If you are looking for a UPS for your data centre, you have two technology options before you – centralised or modular uninterruptible power supply. If you are wondering whether it’s possible to use a mix and match of both these systems read on….
You can use either of these approaches for data centres as long as they are customised for the application you need them for; that means the configuration and size needs to be right and they the system needs to be power-managed too. All UPS systems use some type of double conversion design which takes in the alternating current AC, converts it into DC (direct current), which then charges the batteries and reconverts it into AC. This current is then used in the required application.
Many conventional uninterruptible power supply systems are built using large modules. This was either because they had single module designs and were considered to be practical, to create a higher capacity or even to obtain the required “N+1” redundancy. For example, three UPS’ of 500 kVA could be used to deliver up to 1,000 kVA. This means, if one of the units is shut down for service or fails, it is still possible to access the full design capacity.
Modular UPS – Advantages
However, in recent years, smaller modules are being used to build larger UPS systems. And like any other engineering technology, this too has certain advantages and disadvantages. The key advantages to this kind of a modular approach are:
- Scalability– As long as the correct frame sizes are installed at the outset.
- Lower maintenance costs– The modules can be returned to the manufacturer either for repair or exchange.
These systems are also typically designed to accommodate one extra module than necessary for their rated capacity, which makes them “N+1” capable at costs which are far lower than would be possible with a larger system.
Modular Approach – The Disadvantages
Smaller modular systems are generally installed as additional cabinets, “in-row”. This adds to the weight and space in the UPS room. At times the extra capacity of one of the units might not be readily available to another area or floor that requires it. To some extent, this loss of economy of scale can be offset by moving the modules to the area you need them in. This would be possible only if the frame size is sufficient.
However, when it comes to reliability since modular systems have more parts, the chances of something failing are higher.
Comparing Modular UPS Systems With Centralized UPS
It is possible to configure and reconfigure modular systems to ensure they run to capacity. Larger, conventional systems are purchased with future needs in view. This is why they generally run below capacity for several years. But redundancy also reduces the efficiency of the system over time. But it becomes possible to minimise this using careful power management in a modular system.
When it comes to deciding whether you should opt for a modular or centralized UPS, it’s a good idea to consider using a combination of them to provide power to different zones of your data centre. While some businesses prefer to use traditional UPS systems as their primary power source, they still use a modular system as the secondary power source for all their critical corded hardware to add a “2N” redundancy to it.
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