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FAQs - Industrial UPS

Information on industrial UPS designed for harsh electrical environments including 6-Pulse and 12-Pulse rectifiers, IGBT-based inverters and industrial battery technologies.

The cabinet of an industrial uninterruptible power supply has to be designed to withstand and protect the electronics from a harsh environment which may include dust and moisture. Most industrial UPS systems have IP ratings from IP20 to IP43. Higher IP ratings may be available as bespoke UPS designs.

For industrial power systems a redundant architecture means that the UPS system has two or more of the same assemblies to provide redundancy in case of failure. Fans are a typical example whereby more than the required number of cooling fans is provided (with or without filters). If a fan fails (which can generate an alarm signal) there are still sufficient fans in operation to cool the internal electronics of the UPS.

Commercial UPS are designed for server room and datacentre installations which tend to be relatively clean and have a temperature managed environment. The UPS may be transformerless or transformer-based. The latter offers Galvanic isolation which can make the UPS more robust for use in industrial applications, as well as IT applications in more remote areas. UPS systems designed specifically for industrial applications have greater levels of redundancy in their architecture, can be customised to operate within wider temperature ranges (-10 to +55°C), higher humidity levels, dusty and corrosive gas environments and be made to withstand vibrations including seismic shocks and may use older 12-pulse thyristor-based rectifiers instead of the more modern IGBT (integrated gate bipolar transistors) rectifiers found in commercial UPS systems.

An uninterruptible power supply requires a DC energy source to power its inverter when the mains power supply fails. This is typically a battery set, which may be made from valve regulated lead acid or lithium-ion batteries. This DC assembly can be replaced with a bank of Supercapacitors. The advantages of a Supercaps UPS is its ability to recharge quicker than a battery-based UPS system and provide higher number of charge/discharge cycles rapidly. The downside is the period of runtime support available which can be measured in milliseconds. This period may be long enough to support industrial process manufacturing periods, transportation UPS and regenerative breaking projects.

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