Because of the extensive range of technologies and topologies available in modern uninterruptible power systems (UPSs), selecting the optimal solution to fit your business needs might seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. We’re going to break down the pros and cons of two prevalent UPS options: modular and standalone models.
Modular UPSs represent an ever-growing and popular option across a wide range of market segments. With separate components that work together as a whole system, the UPS is comprised of a combination of power and/or battery modules housed within the same cabinet.
As the fastest growing segment of the three-phase market, modular UPS sales are expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2020. The appeal of modular power protection systems is driven by a range of benefits, including high availability, scalability, lower cost of ownership, ease of deployment, and reduced maintenance costs.
In this four-part blog series, we will examine the overall advantages of modular UPSs; the reasons an organization might instead consider a standalone UPS model; and the key questions to ask when determining the best possible solution for your particular environment.
Let’s start by assessing three of the main benefits to deploying a modular UPS solution:
1. High availability. When a group of modules works together as a complete system, it reduces the possibility of a single point of failure, which in turn minimizes costly downtime. Relying on this approach also enables organizations to achieve an unmatched level of redundancy, as all critical components are duplicated and distributed between modules. In addition, the ability to easily and quickly replace a faulty module significantly reduces mean time to repair (MTTR) and mean time between failure (MTBF), further enhancing uptime and availability.
2. Seamless scalability. Because modular UPSs offer the flexibility to expand with changing load requirements, organizations can essentially future-proof their power protection investment. Rather than being forced to install a much larger UPS that can eventually be “grown into,” or continually having to upgrade to a new UPS as critical loads expand, users gain a “pay-as-you-go” approach from modular solutions. The ability to easily scale the UPS as needed — by simply adding additional power or battery modules —eliminates the need for hefty upfront capital costs, not to mention wasted electricity from an under-utilized, oversized UPS.
3. Bolstered efficiency. A UPS system operates at its highest efficiency when the load is at or near the maximum rated capacity. So a lightly loaded system — such as a UPS with more capacity than is immediately required — will be far less efficient than a unit properly sized to meet the load. Because a modular solution offers scalability and the option of increasing capacity or runtime on the fly, organizations can operate their UPS solution in a much more efficient manner.
In our next blog in this series, we will examine some additional key attributes to modular UPS solutions, including how they simplify and reduce maintenance requirements and costs, offer a smaller footprint, and contribute to a clean, green environment.
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