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UPS: Out with the old and in with the new

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

By now most people will have broken their New Year resolutions. Some may back on the booze or cigarettes, some can no longer spurn the temptation of a sumptuous desert and some simply can no longer be bothered to spend more/less* time with family members.

Eaton’s New Year resolution is to transform its UPS product range. Expect a bombardment of new product announcements this year, Eaton’s EMEA single-phase UPS product manager Jean-Marc Emont tells me.

The first of these is the 9PX. The 9PX is at the upper end of single-phase UPS systems, being as it is in the range of 5 to 11 kVA, with up to 22 kVA with paralleling. Typical applications for the 9PX are small data centres, and other office and commercial applications.

Eaton EP0341-9PX

The units feature up to 95% efficiency in online double conversion mode, and 98% in high-efficiency mode, with a power factor of 0.9, enabling them to deliver 28% more power than other UPSs in the same class. 95% efficiency in on-line mode is far above existing UPS in this category, says Emonet.

“91% is the typical performance of our competition,” he says. “With 95% efficiency, the yearly saving is so high that one-third of the price will be recovered thanks to the improved efficiency.”

Eaton has applied three-level inverter technology and power factor correction from its larger UPS units to the new 9PX. With the three-level inverter technology Eaton is able to use lower voltage switches, which reduce losses. It also uses smaller magnetic components to make the unit more efficient.

The devices come as a compact rack or tower delivering up to 5.4 kW in a 3U form factor and 10 kW in 6U. This is a big step compared to previous generation and existing competition, says Emonet. “It makes a big difference with a UPS of this power rating. This is a huge increase in available power, so the same units can power more servers.”

9PX LCD RotateEaton has improved the user experience with the introduction of the 9PX. In addition to offering improved efficiency, enhanced usability is one of the main drivers behind Eaton’s new range of UPS products for 2013.

“After interviewing some customers I was struck by the number of people who have a personal target to reduce the energy bill of the data centres or server rooms,” says Emonet. “What they need, therefore, are tools to identify how much power they are consuming and how they can use less.

“This UPS has the capability to monitor consumption at the output level and report it in the software so that analysis and trends can be defined. The user interface is another new feature. A big LCD screen not only gives values and measurements but also detailed menus to access parameters so that users can be clearly informed. Most of the competition’s UPS systems do not feature a LCD display of such sophistication.”

Earlier this month, Eaton launched the 93PM series of three-phase UPS covering power ratings from 30 to 50 kVA.

In double conversion mode, the Eaton 93PM units are designed to perform at a 96.7% efficiency. Eaton claims the UPS automatically adapts to incoming power conditions (aka Eco Mode), increasing efficiency to 99%, switching to double conversion or battery mode with a typical transition time of two milliseconds.

Eaton is updating its entire product range, focused on improving efficiency, the user experience and ability to monitor power consumption. “We are introducing a new generation with new technology. There is a huge programme of renewal in 2013. The new version of the three-phase equivalent to the 9PX in the 5-11 kVa range will also be introduced this year.

Energy efficiency“In addition to UPS systems, we are proposing rack-mounted PDU products to power servers with the capability to measure and control power consumption.”

Emonet notes the European models of 9PX have now been certified as an Energy Star product, an energy efficiency certification instigated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. “We believe that going forward Energy Star will be very important for UPS customers to make sure that what they are buying is really a certified product. Everybody is talking about green, so it is necessary to have a certification to support this message.”