Modular UPS Systems

Modular UPS systems have a standard module size and a range of frame sizes into which a set number of UPS modules can be installed. The modules are typically plug and play and can be arranged in an N+X parallel or capacity arrangement. Modular UPS systems are very efficient with on-line operational efficiencies of 96% or more achieved using the latest power electronics and intelligent controls that place unused modules into a ‘sleep mode’. Modular UPS may also use plug-in battery cartridges or be connected to an external battery cabinet or battery stand arrangement.

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Modular UPS systems that can be easily scaled for rapidly growing server rooms and datacentre operations and tend to be three phase uninterruptible power supplies with UPS modules available from 25kW up to 50kW.

Sizing Modules For UPS Systems

UPS modules are typically rated at Unity Power Factor where kW=kVA i.e. 25kW=25kVA. Once the total load capacity (in kW) has been determined the total number of power modules can be calculated:

Load kW / UPS module size = number of UPS modules required

Additional UPS modules may then be added to achieve N+X redundancy. The most common practice being to add one further module for N+1 redundancy.

Once the number of UPS modules has been determined the next step is to select a UPS frame size. A typical modular UPS manufacturer may offer two or three frame sizes. The frame can be fully or partly populated (with UPS modules). Best practice is to allow one to two slots (if available) for future expansion.

The UPS frame will incorporate the necessary electrical switchgear to connect the UPS to the local mains power supply and to connect the output from the UPS modules as a system to the connected load(s). The UPS frame should also incorporate an overall static bypass and maintenance bypass switch arrangement. These switches may also be built-into some UPS modules.

Modular UPS tend to have a price premium over mono-block UPS systems including transformer-based and transformerless designs.

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