UPS systems are a vital part of data center backup power. Power fluctuations and outages can take down workloads and damage hardware without them. They protect data centers from interruptions in commercial power that would damage or disrupt the equipment, resulting in downtime and potential data breaches. UPS systems use a rectifier, energy storage system and an inverter to provide consistent AC power. Most major UPS manufacturers offer Web-based or downloadable sizing tools that can help you determine the watt capacity required by your equipment.
Power Surge Suppression
Power surges damage electronics and destroys data. They can cause computer hardware to fail, which leads to lost productivity and costly downtime. They can also burn out refrigeration and freezer controls, leading to spoiled cold storage inventories. And they can ruin data, costing businesses lost revenue and damaging reputations. Surge suppression systems can help mitigate the effects of power transients by blocking unwanted energy from reaching critical equipment. Most types of surge protection utilize MOVs (metal oxide varistors) that work by diverting excess current to a separate conductor. However, the effectiveness of these devices decreases with repeated surges. As the number of waves increases, the threshold voltage of the MOVs reduces, and the device may overheat, resulting in a fire. Industrial plants with long electrical conductors are particularly susceptible to damage from spikes. It includes PLCs and other process control systems that communicate with sensors, actuators and instrumentation using low-voltage communication signals. These low-voltage communications are often connected via copper wire with relatively thin insulation, making them more vulnerable to lightning-induced transients than ac power lines.
Automatic Voltage Regulation
Unlike surge protectors that can only protect against certain power disturbances, the purpose of data center UPS system is that it can detect and correct voltage fluctuations. It is accomplished by a built-in automatic voltage regulator, which corrects incoming power to ensure it is within its acceptable range. It can help prevent damage and downtime when power supplies, cables, and electrical equipment fail due to insufficient voltage. For example, medical equipment like X-Ray machines requires high-quality power and a stable voltage to perform correctly. Without this stability, a UPS with an automatic voltage regulator can extend the working life of these devices and reduce their maintenance needs.
In the case of a UPS system, this voltage regulation is made by an electromechanical circuit using coiling to create an electromagnet. As the current passes through this device, it triggers the magnetic field to move a ferrous core held back by spring tension or gravity. When the current stops, the center retracts, and the power switch closes. It signals the battery backup to engage and supply power until incoming electricity returns to an acceptable range.
Power Factor Correction
Historically, power quality monitoring with sufficient granularity and sensitivity has been an inhibitor for data centers due to the cost. However, as the price of PQM has declined and technology has improved, it is now a critical part of any data center UPS system. Adding power factor correction to your data center can reduce energy consumption by improving the efficiency of the equipment in the racks. Power factor correction works by automatically switching capacitors in or out of the circuit on a varying electrical load to improve efficiency, known as power factor.
Capacitor banks or synchronous condensers can accomplish Power Factor Correction. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Capacitor bank systems can be connected in a delta or star (wye) connection. Each type of capacitor is rated in farads, and an equation is used to convert the capacitance into reactive power in KVAR. Synchronous condensers provide better efficiency for higher-voltage loads by converting inductive current into capacitive current. It reduces the input RMS current and apparent input power to increase the power factor of the load. The resulting increase in efficiency reduces energy consumption, lowers PUE and increases the reliability of the equipment in the data center.
A UPS system’s battery backup intercepts power surges, ensuring they don’t damage equipment. It is essential because electricity only sometimes comes through outlets at a perfectly consistent rate. Small fluctuations will only harm computer equipment after some time, but they can cause problems over time. UPS systems take commercial power and even out the distribution, keeping gear protected. UPS systems use a rectifier to convert AC power to DC power, which they then charge in an energy storage system—batteries, flywheels, or supercapacitors. Then, an inverter converts the DC power back to AC, which is then passed into connected IT devices.
A UPS system’s battery keeps IT systems running during short-term power interruptions, such as brownouts or spikes. These interruptions are often caused by events that can’t be prevented, such as lightning strikes. Any data stored in memory but not saved to non-volatile storage will be lost during these events. UPS systems with a battery backup allow IT teams to shut down the equipment with enough time to protect data and minimize downtime. It prevents losing critical work and exposing your business to potential cyberattacks.
In the event of a power outage, UPS systems ensure that critical hardware continues to operate and avoids data loss on a massive scale. Without the protection of a UPS, even short-lived outages could cause servers to shut down and stop the processing of data grinding, putting sensitive information at risk of breaches and affecting productivity. The battery backup provided by UPS systems will power equipment for a specified amount of time after detecting a lack of power from the mains. It is enough time to save and then close down hardware, avoiding the potential for a catastrophic shut-down that would leave the work of thousands of users halted until normal power can be restored. A UPS’s battery system comprises a rectifier, an energy storage system and an inverter. During normal operation, the rectifier charges the energy storage system, which powers the inverter when needed. Each discharge and recharge cycle reduces the capacity of the battery chemistry, so it’s important to select an energy-efficient UPS that will provide a long-term return on investment.