UPS/standby power/batteries

  • UPS basics

    Budgeting for electricity, securing adequate supplies of it and finding ways to use less of it are all common topics of conversation among data center operators. Ensuring that the power their IT resources rely on is both dependable and clean, sadly, can sometimes be an afterthought. In truth, however, power sags, surges and outages are not only unavoidable but more than capable of damaging valuable IT equipment and bringing productivity to a halt.

  • Advanced UPS systems for cloud and hybrid IT

    The pace of change throughout the IT industry continues to accelerate, and data centres are no exception. Artur Faust, product manager 3-phase UPS, Data and IT Solutions at AEG Power Solutions, explains

    Rapidly evolving business cases require IT to align with updated priorities in the short term – whether that is cloud computing, virtualization, social media or hybrid IT. Data centres must be flexible, and must be able to respond to change in only a few weeks rather than many months. System utilisation can vary significantly at a moment's notice, and systems must cope.

  • Win a copy of the definitive technical guide to modern day high availability UPS solutions

    In partnership with Electrical Review, the UK’s leading provider of critical power protection solutions, Uninterruptible Power Supplies Ltd, a Kohler company, is offering you the chance to win one of 50 copies of the fourth edition of The UPS Handbook, the independent guide to modern UPS and critical power protection solutions.

    The latest edition, which has been extensively updated for 2014, details current and future UPS technology and topology and sets the scene for the power protection industry over the next five years. The UPS Handbook is the power protection industry’s most highly respected guide to

  • West Sussex cuts running costs by 75% with latest UPS

    Any shift in an organisation’s circumstances can result in significant changes to its data storage and processing requirements. In turn, this can have a knock-on effect on the UPS equipment used to support the critical load and maintain 24/7 availability. Combine this potential shift in demand with an aging, inefficient UPS system and there is often the opportunity to make significant savings to operating expenditure, energy consumption and carbon emissions through the use of the latest ‘green’ UPS technology,

  • Eaton to play key role in UPS assessment for EC’s Green Products Initiative

    Power management company Eaton has announced it is participating in the pilot phase of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) assessment for Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) under the European Commission’s new ‘Single Market for Green Products’ Initiative. The PEF is one of two approaches proposed under the initiative for establishing EU-wide measures of environmental performance for both products and organisations. Eaton is one of a consortium of volunteer stakeholders involved in the three-year testing period of the PEF for UPSs, which began on 4th November 2013, and will help to determine and test EU-wide Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs), compliance and verification systems, and communication methods.

  • Expanded rotation UPS Range

    Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) specialists, Borri has unveiled the latest upgrade to its high efficiency rotation series. Replacing the former Rotation+ 6-10kVA, the new plug ‘n’ play B500R UPS solution has been designed using the most technically advanced components available, enabling it to achieve industry leading power resilience and up to 98% operational efficiency.

    Incorporating the safest mode of operation, online double conversion as well as ECO modes, the flexible Borri B500R UPS units have a 0.9 output power factor and are proven to achieve 28% more useable power than other comparable UPS systems. Its ECO functions can also help businesses to significantly cut energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Meeting UPS operator priorities in micro and medium data centres

    A survey of data centres decision-makers has found that their key priorities for introducing new technologies and solutions are availability, energy efficiency, reduced operating costs and future-proofing for expected IT growth. Here, Kenny Green,technical product manager at UPS Ltd, a Kohler Company looks at how these priorities can be met for data centre UPS systems up to 1 MVA by specifying modular solutions such as UPSL’s PowerWAVE 9000DPA Series

    Data centres are continuously being called on to support ever larger and more critical loads, while being more efficient in doing so. Operators are introducing new technologies and solutions to meet these challenges, but what are their key metrics for success? To answer this, a survey has been conducted across over 4000 decision makers involved in the design, construction and operation of critical data centres across North America and EMEA to identify their views on these key priorities.


  • Gamatronic – the up and coming company in the the UK UPS market

    Interview with GamatronicUK’S general manager Meir Malinsky

    Meir, Who is Gamatronic, please give us a little bit of feedback about the company: 

    Gamatronic is a worldwide manufacturer of Power Equipment: UPS, AC-DC  Power Systems,  DC-AC Inverter systems as well as customised UPS for markets like data centres, marine, oil and gas and others. All Gamatronic products are researched, developed, engineered and manufactured in house by Gamatronic.  Gamatronic operates globally in over 80 countries but with a very locally oriented philosophy. Gamatronic UK – owned 100% by Gamatronic International – also follows this orientation to specialise in local needs. It was founded in 2001, meaning we have had a presence in the UK market for over 12 years now. Since I took the helm 2 years ago a lot of changes have taken place in the company regarding product, pricing and technical support. For the better of course.

    You are known on the market more for modular UPS manufacture? Is this true ?

  • Unlocking the potential of Lithium Ion batteries

    Critical equipment and applications that need to run continuously can’t rely solely on mains supply; additional energy solutions in the form of battery backup are also required. The high energy density of Lithium-Ion battery technology is an ideal solution for applications where energy reliability, flexibility and safety are paramount. Here, Neil Oliver, technical marketing manager at Accutronics explains how these energy solutions can be the future of applications in sectors such as medical and healthcare, defence, security, industrial and backup electronics

  • An integrated generator and UPS - secure power system

    PnuPower has used its extensive knowledge of battery free UPS systems to develop an extended power system that integrates a diesel generator and an industrial UPS into a single integrated system designed to be placed outside. The Extended Power System (EPS) has the option of eliminating batteries with the use of ultra-capacitors and can offer runtimes of up to 100 hours.

    Download here

  • Megawatt scale Li-ion batteries shape up for real-world PV grid integration projects

    Michael Lippert, of Saft’s Energy Storage System business, draws on practical experience in Europe and the US to explain how the correct sizing and selection of operational mode are crucial to the successful deployment of large scale Li-ion based energy storage systems

  • Steatite Batteries

    Steatite Batteries

    Contact:  01527 512 400

  • Li-ion batteries specified for new small platform GEO satellites

    Saft has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract from Boeing to build Li-ion battery packs for four new 702SP communications satellites. The technology-rich 'small platform' satellites, designed to operate in the 3- to 8-kilowatt power range, are being developed by Boeing for Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) and Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex).

  • Lithium-ion batteries selected to support NYC smart grid demonstration program

    Saft, a designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, has been selected by Green Charge Networks (GCN) to support its role in a $92 million smart grid demonstration project. The project is being led by New York’s Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) — one of the nation’s largest investor‐owned energy companies. Green Charge Networks (GCN) is a leader in smart grid, and energy storage and management technology, with a particular expertise in electric vehicle charging.

  • Saft begins deliveries of first lithium-ion batteries produced by new Jacksonville plant

    Saft, a designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, has just started shipping the first cells to roll off the production lines at the world’s most advanced automated lithium-ion battery factory, in Jacksonville, Florida. The first deliveries from Jacksonville have included hundreds of cells for battery assembly for European customers.

    “Starting volume industrial-scale deliveries to customers from the Jacksonville plant opened in September this year confirms the sound foundations we have put in place, both in terms of the advanced production technology we have implemented and the team of people we brought together to run it,” said Dan Miller, Jacksonville operations manager. “We are now ramping up production to the volume of cells a year we need to address the constantly growing demand worldwide from customers who require reliable, high performance energy storage solutions”.

  • Saft to supply Li-ion batteries for GEO satellites

    Saft has received a multi-year, multi-million dollar long-term agreement from Orbital Sciences Corporation to provide lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries for Orbital's STAR-2 geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite platform.

  • Saft batteries at the heart of hybrid telecom power systems

    Saft's batteries will provide the energy storage at the heart of Eltek Valere's hybrid telecom power systems that are currently being rolled out to 80 mobile telecom sites across Nigeria.

    These co-location sites are being provided for Nigeria's wireless operators on a fully managed leased basis, and QOS (quality of service) is absolutely vital in this competitive market. The Eltek Valere and Saft hybrid power systems will therefore play a crucial role in ensuring the close to 100% uptime demanded by customers leasing the new sites.

    Hybrid power systems are ideally suited for applications in the developing world, where they ensure continuous, energy-efficient operation of off-grid mobile base transceiver tations (BTSs) while delivering major savings in fuel costs and significant reductions in carbon emissions. Eltek Valere is initially targeting its hybrid solution at Nigeria, since it is the most important market in the African continent with over 77 million mobile subscribers (source: Nigerian Communication Commission), and successful trials have already been carried out at sites in Lagos.

  • National Grid specifies batteries for backup power for gas compressor stations

    National Grid, owner and operator of the gas National Transmission System (NTS) for Great Britain, is installing Alcad Vantex rechargeable nickel-based batteries in a programme to upgrade the DC power backup systems at some of its gas compressor stations. The Vantex batteries, developed specifically to ensure maximum reliability and optimum TCO (total cost of ownership) in stationary industrial installations, will support vital control and safety functions at the compressor stations in the event of a loss of mains power.

    National Grid has 25 compressor stations in Great Britain that boost gas pressure up to 85 bar to increase transmission capacity and move gas through the pipelines. They are driven either by industrial gas turbines fuelled by gas taken from the pipeline or by electrical compressors.

  • Batteries - VRLA Batteries – FAQs

    If you are a user or potential user of Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries this article may be of some interest to you. matt jordan of yuasa answers some of the questions often asked by installers when considering the use of a VRLA product in applications such as Telecommunications, Stand-by UPS, Fire and Security, Mobility and Leisure markets. By following these recommendations, service life and performance of the product will be enhanced

    What precisely is a Valve Regulated Lead Acid Battery?
    VRLA batteries have been designed to maximise the use of gas recombination technology and can be used in modern office environments, removing the need for expensive purpose built battery rooms etc. They utilise the latest cell plate technology with each cell comprising a number of positive and negative, lead calcium alloy plates, which are filled with either lead dioxide (positive) or spongy lead (negative) active materials. Unlike motor car batteries the electrolyte (Sulphuric Acid) is trapped in a gel substance or, in the case of a Yuasa product, suspended in absorbent glass matting (AGM), which is located between positive and negative plates. Each cell has a voltage of 2V. Therefore, a 2, 6 or 12V battery will comprise one, three or six cells respectively. The battery container and lid are commonly manufactured from ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) which are welded together to form a high integrity leak-proof seal. The container lid contains a number of low-pressure valves, which are designed to release excess gas and reseal automatically in the event of the internal gas pressure rising to unacceptable levels. A VRLA battery effectively recombines 99% of the gas generated in normal use at 20°C.

    How can I do a simple battery sizing?
    To carry out the most basic battery sizing for a portable tool for example, you must establish: (a) DC output voltage of the tool i.e. 6, 12, 24V etc. (b) load (amps) of the tool and (c) length of time (autonomy) the tool needs to be supported by the battery i.e. battery back up time. Note. If the tool is rated in watts, simply convert to amps by dividing the watts by the nominal voltage of the equipment. Determine if there are any physical constraints that may affect your selection, such as: application; environmental; temperature or dimensional restraints. Then, using Figure 1, which denotes a series of graphs based on time against current (amps) for a selection of Yuasa NP batteries, a battery selection can be made. NB. Battery sizes are normally calculated in the UK based on an ambient temperature of 20 to 25°C. At higher temperatures, the capacity of a battery increases while life expectancy decreases and, conversely, at lower temperatures, the capacity decreases.

    Is it possible to increase the DC voltage and capacity (Ah) by connecting VRLA batteries together?
    Voltage can be increased by connecting the positive terminal of one battery to the negative terminal of an adjacent battery. Therefore, connecting four 12V 7Ah batteries together in this manner will effectively raise the voltage across the battery from 12 to 48V. Battery capacity will remain at 7Ah. This is commonly termed ‘series’ connection. Capacity can be increased by connecting the positive terminal of one battery to the positive battery of the next. Negative terminals could be connected together in a similar manner. Therefore, connecting four 12V 7Ah batteries will effectively raise the capacity available across the batteries from 7 to 28Ah. Battery voltage will remain at 12V. This is commonly termed ‘parallel’ connection.

    The connection of the batteries in series and parallel will increase both capacity and voltage. Note. It is recommended that consultation with the battery manufacturer be made before connecting “mixed” product types in series or parallel.

    What does the term 20-hour and 10-hour mean?
    Battery manufacturers rate capacities (Ah) against specific times (hours) to a specified end of discharge voltage. For example, a Yuasa NP product is rated at the 20-hour rate. Therefore, the NP7-12 VRLA battery will support a constant load of approximately 350mA (7/20) for 20 hours to an end voltage of 1.75V per cell (VPC). It will not support a constant load of 7A per hour for 20 hours. Discharging the battery over one hour will reduce the efficiency of the battery to approximately 60% of the battery’s rated capacity (4.2Ah in the case of a 7Ah battery) and will therefore support a constant load of 4200mA for this period.

    What do the terms eg. ‘2C’ or ‘2CA’ mean in relation to a battery manufacturer’s published documentation?
    Battery manufacturers often publish data that refers to the ‘C’ or ‘CA’ rates. Discharge curves being a typical example. Both terms refer to current (Amps) in relation to the capacity (C) of the battery. Therefore, for a Yuasa NP7-12 battery ‘2C’ equates to a current of 14A (2 x 7) and ‘1C’ or ‘C’ for the same battery relates to 7 Amps etc.

    What do the terms ‘Standby’ and ‘Cyclic’ applications mean?
    Standby refers to battery applications designed to support AC mains failure, such as emergency back up for alarm panels, emergency lighting, UPS systems etc.

    Cyclic refers to battery applications where the battery is repeatedly charged then discharged, independently, from the charging source. Typical applications are portable equipment, wheel chairs and electric golf trolleys etc.

    Can I use a standard motor car charger on my VRLA battery?
    We do not recommend permanent use of car battery chargers, unless the charger has a VRLA setting. To maximise the service life and performance of a VRLA battery, it is essential the correct charging regime based on the specific type of application be used. Car battery chargers charge at a higher voltage than we would normally recommend for standby applications and, if these higher voltages are left continuously connected to a VRLA battery, it will cause irreversible damage. It is also recommended VRLA batteries be recharged after use. Never leave a VRLA battery in discharged state.

    What is the correct charging regime?
    This depends on the type of application ie. ‘standby’ or ‘cyclic’. In both types of applications, constant voltage charging is recommended. For standby applications, using the Yuasa NP range of batteries, the voltage of the charger should be set to give a constant voltage of 2.275V per cell at 20°C ambient. This relates to a value of 13.65V for a 12V block (6 x 2.275V).

    For cyclic applications a higher constant charging voltage is used but should NEVER be left on indefinitely since it will overcharge and eventually destroy the battery. The voltage of the charger should be set to a level of between 2.4 to 2.5V per cell at 20°C ambient. This relates to a voltage of between 14.4 to 15V for a 12V block.
    For standby or float we recommend that the current be limited to a maximum of 0.25CA i.e. 25% of the capacity of the battery in Amps. Typically for an NP7-12 this value would be 1.75A.

    What sort of service life can I expect from my VRLA battery?
    For standby applications, battery manufacturers produce a range of batteries that are designed to give a pre-determined service life, usually 5, 10, and 15 years if used as per the manufacturer’s specification.
    Towards the end of service life, battery capacity will reduce resulting in reduced run times. Operating the battery at temperatures above ambient 20 to 25°C for prolonged periods will shorten the service life of the battery.
    For cyclic applications the service life of batteries depends on (a) quantity of cycles of charge and discharge and (b) the depth of discharge as expressed as a percentage of the capacity required per duty cycle. Most VRLA products can be cycled.

    What can I do if I need support on a VRLA product?
    If unsure of any safety or operational aspects associated with the use of VRLA batteries, always check with the supplier or original manufacturer.

  • Batteries beat the million-mile mark

    Saft Matrics MRX nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) rail batteries have just beaten the million-mile mark on the GNER Mallard trains operating a high-speed intercity service for over 17 million passengers a year along Britain’s East Coast main line.

    The batteries were first installed on the Mallard trains four years ago and, in contrast to lead-acid batteries that would now have to be replaced, they are expected to continue in service for at least 11 more years.

    In early 2003 GNER began a project to totally rebuild, upgrade and refit its entire electric 225 fleet to transform them into the new-look Mallard trains. As part of this process, the existing on-board lead-acid batteries were replaced with Saft Matrics MRX batteries. This decision was based on a TCO (total cost of ownership) analysis that showed Ni-Cd batteries to be the most cost-effective option over the whole life of the train due to their reliability, long service life and extended maintenance intervals.

    Nine batteries, each comprising 76 Saft Matrics MRX cells, are fitted to each Mallard train set, while a single battery is also fitted to each DVT (driving van trailer). The main role of the batteries is to provide support for the train electrical systems through neutral sections of track, where there are momentary interruptions to the main power supply. Furthermore, in event of a power failure, the batteries will provide up to 90 minutes of back-up power for vital safety and control circuits such as lighting, door operation and passenger communications.

    Mallard trains travel around 270,000 miles a year. So after four years of service it is estimated that the batteries have already given well over a million miles of operation. The Ni-Cd batteries need is a five-year service, including a reconditioning charge, but are expected to keep going for 15 years or more.

    The extended service intervals offered by the batteries are also a vital factor for GNER. Previously, the lead-acid batteries would need to be topped up with water every month, the Saft batteries have enabled this interval to be increased to every nine months, while the integrated filling system enables all the cells to be filled from one central point, a simple operation that takes just 10 minutes.

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