£000s Wasted on inefficient UPS systems could be saved by free ‘FAT’ health check

Slower economic growth, rising energy costs and pressure to shrink carbon footprints mean that the ‘FAT’ of UPS systems will need to be kept in check, says Kohler Uninterruptible Power (KUP).

Businesses could save thousands of pounds on uninterruptible power supply expenditure, simply by taking a free system ‘health check’ says Kohler Uninterruptible Power

“Our health check includes assessment of a system’s ‘FAT’ factors – Flexibility, Availability and Total cost of ownership – to help businesses identify ways of optimising their UPS to save running costs and reduce CO 2 emissions,” said Peter Bentley, sales director at Kohler Uninterruptible Power

1) Beginning with the ‘F’ factor, ‘Flexibility’, a health check will look at the configuration of a UPS, to assess the system’s ability to be efficiently matched to the changing size of its critical load. Does the system have the ability to increase or decrease its level of redundancy? The more flexible a system proves to be the more efficiently it will run, saving unnecessary electricity running costs which will be incurred if the system is continually running significantly under capacity. Flexible UPS systems with a truly modular architecture also enable organizations to upgrade or downgrade quickly, simply and cost effectively.

“Many older UPSs employ out-of-date technology and are often sized incorrectly for today’s needs,” commented Bentley. “Inefficiencies mean that companies could be burning excess electricity and creating needless heat emissions, compromising efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.”

2) The ‘A’ factor, ‘Availability’, assesses a UPS system’s ability to continuously and reliably support its critical load. This is done by checking the topology of the system. If the UPS solution is configured to be a parallel redundant solution, aspects such as its mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) and its mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) will be considered. The system will also be assessed based on whether it uses a centralised-parallel-architecture (CPA) or de-centralised-parallel-architecture (DPA).

3) The ‘T’ factor, ‘Total cost of ownership’, helps organizations to evaluate whether the cost of investing in a high flexibility, high availability UPS system would be offset by the reduction in running costs that it would provide. ‘True’ online transformerless modular hot-swappable UPS systems can offer relatively low lifetime operating costs: http://www.dryden.co.uk/PR/savings.pdf. A holistic approach to considering total cost of ownership also considers ease of use, reduced maintenance time and increased availability of the organizations critical applications.

The free health check includes a complete inspection, followed by a written report with recommendations for achieving savings without compromising reliability or performance. As well as identifying opportunities to optimise facilities, the health check can identify preventive maintenance requirements and evaluate options for system development as business power needs change.

In some cases, the most substantial savings in annual running costs, emissions and floor space can be achieved by completely replacing aging systems. For example, over £145,000 could be saved over five years by replacing a 10 year old 400kVA parallel redundant UPS system, running at 45 percent of its rated capacity, with a new Decentralized Parallel Architecture (DPA) 200kVA parallel redundant UPS system. This would also reduce CO 2 emissions by over 700 tonnes and cut floor space by 70 percent.

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