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A Modular UPS Configuration for Enhanced Flexibility and Value

APC UPS for Home and Office Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our APC offers including Home Office UPS, Surge Protectors, UTS, software and services and associated products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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BillP
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A Modular UPS Configuration for Enhanced Flexibility and Value

This question was originally posted by James on APC forums on 12/8/2009


I've wondered for some time why we haven't seen a modular configuration for UPS systems on the market. Customer advantages in installation and siting flexibility, economies of manufacture and support, and ability to respond to new requirements without new development are the obvious advantages, and just a little thought will provide many more. In top-level form, this concept is:

1) Battery maintenance module. This would be the part that plugs into the wall. It would consist of a low-power embedded processor with a data interface and battery mantenance electronics for any one of several battery technologies (SLA, LiIon, etc).

The interfaces to this module are the 110/220 1-phase/2-phase/3-phase power source, output to a battery of any one of a range of technologies within the design scope of the battery maintenance module, sensors from the battery (current in, current out, temperature, voltage, etc.) and a data interface.

2) The battery. This would be any one of several technologies, selected to meet environmental, economic, and other requirements for the application. Interfaces would be power and sensor data to the battery maintenance module and DC power to the inverter module.

3) The inverter. This module will consist of a low-power microprocessor with data links to the APC control software in a host computer (UBS, RS-232, RJ-45, or other appropriate data channel), a dedicated data link to control and manage the battery management module, and appropriate sensors and controls for the output voltages and their monitoring and maintenance.

In application, the inverter could replace the power supply in rack-mounted installations, allowing the battery maintenance to be separated from the computer equipment. The battery maintenance and battery can even be in separate rooms with separate EMI, ventilation and cooling, fire protection, and maintenance access from the computer equipment. Batteries can be hot-swappable simply by designing for this in the battery maintenance module.

From the APC point of view, you have three parts bins with major commonality, and mix-and-match to put together a UPS for a workstation in France or an rack of servers in New York. Commonality of usage allows focus of technology and more frequent updates of design, thus maximizing opportunities for green engineering, reliability, and best customer experience -- which leads to market share. Economies of manufacture and support are obvious. Packaging two or all three modules together offers other opportunities for markets such as individual office workstations, home entertainment and AV systems, etc. while maintaining all of the advantages of the modular design concept.


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Erasmus_apc
Sisko
Sisko
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Re: A Modular UPS Configuration for Enhanced Flexibility and Value

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/8/2009


APC has a modular Smart-UPS solution in the 1.5kva-3kva range. We also have a modular Double Online UPS (Symmetra LX) in the 4kva-16kva single phase range. We also have several modular UPS options for three-phase systems. All of these have separate, modular, and hot swappable power module (inverter, DC charger, power processing), and battery modules. The higher level systems also include modular intelligence modules that control and monitor the system, as well as full redundancy for all the above mentioned modules.

These solutions have been in place for a few years.

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Erasmus_apc
Sisko
Sisko
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101

Re: A Modular UPS Configuration for Enhanced Flexibility and Value

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/8/2009


APC has a modular Smart-UPS solution in the 1.5kva-3kva range. We also have a modular Double Online UPS (Symmetra LX) in the 4kva-16kva single phase range. We also have several modular UPS options for three-phase systems. All of these have separate, modular, and hot swappable power module (inverter, DC charger, power processing), and battery modules. The higher level systems also include modular intelligence modules that control and monitor the system, as well as full redundancy for all the above mentioned modules.

These solutions have been in place for a few years.