If you have been reading our blogs for a while you have probably heard us shout the importance of reliable backup power from the rooftops. For a data center, it is one of the most important things for the successful reduction of, and hopefully elimination of downtime. With the high cost of downtime, not to mention the extreme frustration, it is critical that facilities implement the appropriate uninterruptible power supply . But, not all uninterruptible power supplies are created equal. Different UPSs can handle different power loads and it is critical that you not only have backup power, but that you have the appropriate and adequate amount of backup power to support your facility should it be needed.
When it comes to UPSs, there are a variety of options that include standby, line-interactive, double-conversion and double conversion UPSs with multi-mode capabilities. A standby Uninterruptible Power Supply is ideal for personal computers and is not typically used in a data center application. Standby UPSs remain in standby mode and only operate should they be needed. With a line-interactive UPS, the battery and the AC power inverter are connected to the Uninterruptible Power Supply at all times. It is highly efficient and reliable, making it useful in a variety of continuous power supply applications. Double-conversion Uninterruptible Power Supplies are commonly used in high voltage applications and takes almost no time to switch between power applications making it ideal for data centers. The most recent technology improves upon double-conversion UPSs with a double-conversion multi-mode style. Data Center Knowledge provides a good description of how it improves upon traditional double-conversion UPS models, “Referred to as multi-mode UPS, or eco-mode, this technology uses smart control logic to switch in milliseconds, as needed, between a premium efficiency mode (multi-mode) and a premium power protection mode (rectifier/inverter double conversion). This improves the energy efficiency of converting alternating current (AC) power to direct current (DC) power by reducing conversion steps required when utility power is within an acceptable tolerance. If there is a power anomaly that affects the load to data center servers and equipment, multi-mode UPSs quickly switch to double conversion mode. With energy efficiencies topping 98 to 99 percent compared with double conversion technologies operating at 92 to 95 percent levels, these new multi-mode UPS architectures offer significant operating expense (OpEx) savings for data centers.” Managers must carefully weigh their unique power needs, along with their facility capabilities, to determine what Uninterruptible Power Supply will be the right fit for them.