ABB gets into mega-UPS market

The PCS100 MV UPS will be initially launched in China.

ABB has announced the launch of its medium voltage uninterrupted power supply (UPS) series called the PCS100 MV UPS. The PCS100 MV UPS is designed to provide large critical process industries and data centers centralized UPS protection with multi-megawatt ratings and typical efficiency of 99.5%. The product will initially be launched in China, where the country’s high technology industries rely on massive levels of power.

“China is a key market for large UPS products where vast electronic systems in factories draw from tens to hundreds of megawatts of power,” comments John Penny, general manager for ABB Power Conditioning Global Product Line. “Medium voltage becomes very useful for factory designers who can now locate the power protection equipment more remotely in a centralized location away from the production floors. At the same time, facilities can benefit from the improved reliability, efficiency, ruggedness and small footprint that were the focuses of our design team.”

ABB notes that it already holds a strong market position in industrial power protection with a substantial installed base of the low voltage PCS100 UPS-I industrial UPS product. For many years these highly efficient and reliable products have protected some of the world largest semiconductor factories in China from voltage sags and outages.

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Although the PCS100 MV UPS is industrially rated it is also targeted towards mega-size data centers, which are increasingly being developed to satisfy expansive growth in cloud computing and colocation services. “Mega data centers have very similar characteristics to semiconductor fabrication plants,” Penny added. “They are equally large scale and both have highly critical loads, and similar electrical and environmental requirements. The trend towards free air cooling and centralized protection makes medium voltage UPS protection with an industrially rated product a very attractive solution.”

The PCS100 MV UPS is also applicable for retrofits, allowing for custom designs that suit applications in plants that are currently unprotected or where traditional rotary UPS solutions require replacement. Because the energy storage is kept at low voltage levels, a wide range of energy storage options are available from traditional lead acid batteries to super capacitors and lithium ion batteries.

One of the challenges facing engineers designing is the limited fault current capacity of many traditional static UPS designs. The rugged fault and overload capability of ABB’s medium voltage UPS allow for better electrical protection and discrimination, which in itself has a major impact on overall system reliability and availability, notes the company.

Total cost of ownership is a major consideration when selecting power protection equipment, adds ABB. The PCS100 MV UPS was designed to minimize life cycle costs with very low loss and wide temperature range which reduce cooling costs. Where many commercial UPS have capacitors and other core components selected with a design life of five or fewer years, ABB says its has added some up-front cost by designing for a design life more than 10 years. The very small footprint and ability to locate the product remotely from protected load also result in reduced ownership cost, adds the company.

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