How to Select the Best Industrial UPS for Your Business
When selecting an industrial UPS, businesses have a lot of criteria to consider, including the exact application, environment, risk tolerance and more. You can review a checklist of the various considerations in selecting an industrial UPS in this previous blog post. Also, with so many products to choose from, it may seem like a daunting task to choose the right one. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an expert to guide you?
That’s exactly what Schneider Electric provides with its Secure Power Industrial Selector, an online tool that walks you through the selection process and helps you identify the handful of UPS products that will be a fit for your exact application.
Industrial UPSs Put Safety First
Selecting the most appropriate UPS for any given commercial or industrial application is crucial to ensuring not only uptime for your applications, but also for safety. That includes the safety of whatever process or production you need to protect as well as the safety of your employees and, potentially, members of the public.
Consider an oil and gas platform out at sea. If any of the devices or processes required to maintain safety aren’t functioning due to a power failure, it could put the whole crew in danger from a fire or worse. Similarly, if a public building suffers a power outage at night but the UPS that powers its emergency lighting fails, anyone inside the building could be in danger. The list of possibilities goes on and on.
Click Through Backup Power Requirements
The list of industrial UPS products is likewise long, which is where the Secure Power Industrial Selector tool comes in.
First, input the country where the UPS will be installed and the industrial sector. You’ll find many to choose from, ranging from airports and automotive to healthcare, marine, railways/subways and semiconductor.
Depending on which sector you choose, you’ll then get a drop-down list of applications. For “airports,” for example, you’ll find access control and air-traffic control along with firefighting, luggage screening and parking systems. Select “oil and gas” and the list is quite different, with applications including desalters, motor and gas turbine control and reactors.
Selection of an application will help inform the next section, which is electrical characteristics. Options include configuration (unitary or parallel redundant, for example), input and output phase, voltage and frequency, load power rating, power factor and battery type. For example, if you’re looking to back up an oil and gas navigation system, you’ll find the three-phase option is already selected, because there are no single-phase UPSs for such an application.
Next up are environmental characteristics, including humidity level, vibration, temperature, chemical and saline ambiance. Selections here will determine whether you need a ruggedized UPS that can withstand harsh outdoor environments or if a UPS intended to be installed in a controlled indoor environment will suffice.
Making the Final Industrial UPS Decision
After going through all the selections in the selector tool, you’ll be presented with the list of UPSs that will be suitable for your application. The exercise is likely to narrow your selection options to a handful of UPSs, down from the hundreds of potential options. After that, it’s up to you to select the best one.
One of the final decisions may be whether to select a traditional UPS or a highly efficient model, such as a Schneider Electric ECOnversion mode model. These UPSs deliver efficiency of 98% to 99%, as compared to 94% to 97% for traditional UPSs – without sacrificing reliability, as some eco-mode UPSs do. ECOnversion UPSs can save significant money over time through reduced electrical consumption.
Choice of battery may be another decision that needs to be made. Depending on the application, a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery may be an option, which offers numerous benefits. Li-ion batteries last far longer than traditional valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries, around 10 years vs. 3 to 5 for VRLA. They’re also far lighter and can withstand higher temperatures without degrading performance. For UPSs in remote locations or where performing maintenance is a problem, Li-ion may make good sense.
It’s a significant responsibility to design power protection systems for a business. Since it can be a daunting task sorting through the options, the Secure Power Industrial Selector will help you quickly identify the models that make the most sense – and provide peace of mind.
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