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A warning against complacency over weather-related power problems

Eaton Electric : 19 November, 2012  (New Product)
In launching its new 9PX UPS for Virtual Environments, Eaton’s Power Quality Division says that many businesses believe that at this time of year when the summer thunderstorm season has passed, there is no longer any need for concern about the risk of power blackouts. But nothing could be further from the truth - research that shows blackouts are at least as likely to occur in the winter months as in the summer months.
A warning against complacency over weather-related power problems

Eaton reports that the dominant causes of power blackouts in the winter months are different from those associated with the summer period, but that this does not translate into a reduction in the prevalence of blackouts. As would be expected, the level of lightning strikes is reduced in winter, but other weather-related risk factors, such as damage to overhead power lines by gales and by excessive loading with ice and snow, increase.

Because of this, the company concludes that power blackouts should be a year-round concern for all businesses, especially as its research shows that over 33% of businesses take more than a day to recover from a power outage and suffer financial losses of ranging from around £12,000 to in excess of £300,000. The research also revealed that 90% of companies that experience a major IT failure and don’t have a survival plan in place go out of business within 18 months.

Fortunately, it is neither difficult nor expensive for businesses to put in place measures that will protect them against the potential impact of power blackouts. The key element of the solution is to install an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system.

Provided this is correctly specified, it will ensure continuity of power supply to critical loads during short to medium-term power outages, and allow the loads to be shut down in a controlled way in the event of a longer power outage. The best UPS systems also offer comprehensive protection against power line surges, which often occur in thunderstorms even when the supply does not fail completely. These systems are, therefore, capable of offering effective protection whatever the season and whatever the weather.

The new Eaton 9PX Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), a next-generation energy-efficient 5 to 11kVA future-proof UPSs for virtualised environments is aimed at IT and facilities managers who are targeted with managing rising energy costs and consumption. The 9PX offers the ideal power protection solution due to its power density and highly effective power use.

The units feature up to 95% efficiency in online double conversion mode, and 98% in high-efficiency mode, with a power factor of 0.9, enabling them to deliver 28% more power than other UPSs in the same class. As a result, the 9PX is particularly suitable for users looking to protect their equipment in computer rooms and small data centres as well as in industrial, manufacturing and medical applications.

The devices come as a compact rack or tower delivering up to 5400W in a 3U form factor and 10kW in 6U. To allow for enhanced manageability, a sophisticated graphical LCD display provides clear information on the UPS’s full status and analytics as well as configuration capabilities. The multilingual screen also tilts 45 degrees for ease of viewing and its position can be adjusted to suit rack or tower use. In double conversion topology the 9PX constantly monitors power conditions and regulates voltage and frequency for optimised capacity management.

Users have the option to monitor energy consumption via the LCD or through Eaton’s Intelligent Power Software Suite, which is compatible with all major operating systems and virtualisation software. Thus, the 9PX easily integrates with virtualised IT environments such as VMware vCenter, Microsoft HyperV, Citrix XEN and Red Hat KVM. Connectivity options are broad and include USB, Serial and Relay as well as a slot for an optional network card.

To ensure service continuity, in the unlikely event of issues with internal electronics for example, Eaton has equipped the 9PX with redundant components as well as with an internal self-powered bypass. On HotSwap models, a maintenance bypass is also available for easy replacement of the UPS without powering down critical systems. The devices allow for parallel operation so that users can either build a redundant solution or scale up their UPS system using HotSync technology to double the power at a later point in time depending on their infrastructure growth.

The 5 and 6kVA models feature load segment control, which enables prioritised shutdowns of non-essential equipment to maximise battery runtime for critical devices. Eaton’s Advanced Battery Management (ABM) technology includes a three-stage intelligent charging process that optimises recharge time, eliminates overcharging and continuously monitors battery condition. Thanks to ABM battery service life can be extended by up to 50%. Furthermore, users can increase runtime by adding up to 12 external hot-swappable battery modules. As a result, the system can provide power for several hours if necessary. All Eaton 9PX UPS units come with a two-year warranty covering the entire unit including batteries.

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