Electrical Engineering: How Moving To Modular Improves UPS Efficiency

Data centre managers need to embrace the UPS efficiency gains on offer from making the move to modular systems.

In our increasingly interconnected world, demand for data storage and processing is only likely to grow. That places great strains not only on data centre capacity, but also the electricity required to power those server rooms.

Our data centre energy efficiency expert Chris Cutler talks to Electrical Engineering magazine about how technological developments in UPS are enabling operators to do more with less.

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In recent years, modular uninterruptible power supplies have become increasingly popular. Using transformerless technology and taking up less space than conventional tower UPS power systems, modular UPS are more efficient even when running lower loads.

For instance, Riello UPS’s award-winning Multi Power can achieve 96% efficiency even at just 20% load.

Modular UPS offer other advantages too. Chris explains how the modular principle ensures capacity is closely matched to the actual load, minimising energy waste. While additional capacity can easily be added simply by adding in extra power modules when the need arises.

Chris Cutler Riello UPS quote old, inefficient UPS is literally wasting your data centre's money
MAKE THE MOVE: Upgrading to modular UPS delivers significant benefits

UPS Efficiency In Action

The article goes on to outline a recent Riello UPS project using modular systems that delivered amazing results. Replacing older 400 and 800 kVA units which were running at just 89% efficiency in the main switchroom with super-efficient Multi Power resulted in a 72% cut in carbon emissions.

Annual electricity costs were reduced by more than £335,000, with air conditioning alone slashed by £315,000. This saves 297.3 kW of energy a year.

All these efficiency and cost savings were achieved in less than half the space. Upgrading to modular UPS led to a 59% per square metre footprint reduction. For a data centre manager’s perspective, that’s freeing up significant space for more lucrative server racks, for example.

That’s why if a data centre’s existing UPS power supply is due for replacement in the short-term, moving to modular makes sense both economically and environmentally.

Read the full article about UPS efficiency in November’s edition of Electrical Engineering magazine