Understanding the Purpose of UPS in Data Center
UPS is a barrier to protect your IT equipment installed in the server room from the power impurities like sag, swell, harmonics, over-voltage, spike, etc. These impurities cause many problems in IT equipment and can lead to the failure of these important pieces of hardware. It is also responsible for other critical functions like voltage stabilization, power factor correction, and cleaning and conditioning of incoming mains power. This ensures that IT equipment is protected against sags, dips, brownouts, and blackouts.
UPS systems are essential for a data center to ensure that equipment is never disconnected from the power supply when there is an interruption in the mains. These systems are designed to keep the equipment running in the event of a mains failure by automatically switching from the mains to battery power supply mode as soon as it detects an electrical disturbance on the power lines. However, the purpose of data center UPS is much more than just keeping devices working in the event of a mains power failure. It is also an essential part of a data center’s infrastructure because it can safeguard against the impact of unplanned outages, which can run between USD 4,000 to USD 6,000 per minute or more. UPS systems can be subject to numerous risks and failures despite their importance. It is, therefore, critical to choose a reliable unit with an excellent track record in ensuring the continued operation of equipment. Most data centers prioritize the reliability of their UPS systems. They will choose a model that has been tested and certified to meet TIA-942 Tier 4 reliability standards for mission-critical applications.
UPS systems protect critical IT equipment from spikes, dips, brownouts, and blackouts that can cause expensive downtime and damage data center hardware. This is done through voltage stabilization, power factor correction, and cleaning and conditioning the incoming mains power. High-efficiency systems can save you up to 5 percent of power compared to low-efficiency models. This can result in significant savings over the lifetime of the UPS.
Running your UPS in its dedicated energy-saving mode, called eco or ESS mode, can boost efficiency up to 98-99%. However, this can come at the cost of reliability, and you should only activate it sparingly.
Moreover, high-efficiency UPSs use less electricity for cooling than conventional UPS models. This can reduce the need for additional air conditioning and help lower overall energy consumption. When choosing a UPS, ask your vendor to show you an efficiency curve showing how much energy your data center needs to run at each load level. This will help you identify the most efficient UPS model for your application.
Your UPS provider should also demonstrate how the UPS can scale with your organization’s future needs.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are often deployed with redundancy. This is a safeguard to ensure that in the event of a system failure, an additional module comes into action and provides extra power.
N+1 redundancy, also known as parallel redundancy, is a simple way of ensuring that a UPS is always available. In this case, the UPS modules connect via a parallel bus, sharing their load in an even fashion.
If one of the UPS modules is removed from the parallel bus, the remaining UPS modules immediately accept its load. This capability allows the entire system to be reinstalled and operate with minimal downtime.
However, the N+1 design is less resilient than other configurations. N+1 systems are more susceptible to stranded capacity and may need to be replaced sooner than other designs. In addition, N+1 systems may need a switch to manually move the critical load from the UPS to a bypass source during power loss at the UPS output. This can be very disruptive to data center operations.
A UPS is key to ensuring maximum uptime for all data center equipment. This device provides dependable power to all hardware and communications circuits, preventing the loss of crucial data. UPSs come in various form factors, with rack-mounted devices typically used by companies that need a large capacity. Organizations with smaller needs typically use freestanding units. Monitoring is critical for identifying power issues and keeping systems up and running. IT administrators can use software to track power usage at the device or PDU level and receive notifications before issues occur. Having a routine battery maintenance schedule will help to prevent the occurrence of costly downtime during power outages.
Studies have shown that a UPS with a routine maintenance plan that included two service visits a year experienced 23 times less downtime than one without this process. Data centers should also consider deploying remote monitoring applications to watch for warning signs of future trouble and send real-time notifications when it occurs. This allows data center technicians to make repairs before significant problems can occur.