Power solutions company Meissner, a major supplier of uninterruptable power supply (UPS) systems for mission-critical applications, such as data centers, hospitals and other commercial applications, has unveiled the latest energy efficient control software, which further enhances the range of Eaton 9390 and 9395 UPS systems.
Meissner GM Graham Beyleveld says that, while the systems already include advanced battery management (ABM) and a higher-than-normal output power factor, the new software will make the units more energy efficient, a factor that, when considering ever-increasing electricity costs, should be a major decision-making criterion when buying a UPS system.
Meissner recently installed two 1,1 MVA parallel redundant modular UPSes at a Teraco tier-four data centre, in Gauteng.
The UPS system was enhanced by implementing Eaton’s latest variable module management system (VMMS), which manages the modules in such a manner that peak efficiency is maintained at all times, saving Teraco electrical operating costs significant enough to cover the original purchase price of the UPS system within five to seven years, depending on the data centre’s loading.
The VMMS software takes into account the fact that the average data centre does not always run at peak capacity and, as a result, its input loading on the electrical grid fluctuates.
All UPS systems need to run at above 80% capacity to maintain peak efficiency.
Eaton’s VMMS software manages the UPS system by shutting down redundant modules, without affecting the integrity of the UPS’s redundancy, and, in so doing, increases the load on the remaining modules, getting them loaded to over 80% and consequently increasing their individual efficiencies, which results in massive electrical savings.
“This type of energy saving is very attractive to companies eager to reduce their carbon footprint. State-owned power utility Eskom is also encouraging users to make savings by rewarding consumers who achieve significant electricity savings with tariff reductions in an effort to support the global drive to be green,” adds Beyleveld.
Eaton has also introduced the Energy Saving System (ESS), a separate but similar energy saving software feature, which is supplied standard with all new Eaton UPS systems and is retrofittable to all their UPSes from May 2011.
Another hugely beneficial feature of the Eaton UPS is its ABM. Any mission-critical application relies heavily on its UPS, which has an internal set of batteries that are the actual source of backup power during a power outage.
“ABM controls the way in which batteries are charged. In a generic UPS, the batteries are subjected to continuous charge current regardless of whether they are fully charged or not. This continuous charge current actually damages the batteries by causing attrition to the lead plates in the batteries. Less lead equals less charged plate area in the battery and consequently less backup time,” explains Beyleveld.
Removing the charge current when the battery has reached full charge, decreases the wear and tear on the lead plate surfaces, extending the life expectancy of the batteries by up to 50%. The battery voltage is, however, constantly monitored and, if the charge voltage drops by only 2%, the charger is reactivated automatically to ensure maximum performance of the battery set at all times.
ABM ensures that the battery is more reliable, which is critical in applications such as call centres and hospitals and results in significant cost savings over the life of the UPS.
Eaton Takeover of Meissner
Meissner has been the local agent for Eaton products for nearly 20 years and Eaton is currently in the process of acquiring Meissner so that it can enhance its product supply and services into sub-Saharan Africa.
Meissner has long been regarded as a leader in the local UPS industry and Eaton, keen to consolidate its presence in Southern Africa, can do so off a well-established base and reputation, states the company.
The most significant benefit for customers is that already high levels of product availability and technical support will be even further enhanced. The after-sales support of any product is always the hallmark of customer satisfaction so it follows that Eaton’s enhanced technical training of Meissner’s support, teams will significantly improve product support resulting in a high degree of customer satisfaction.
This will consolidate Eaton-Meissner as a trusted vendor to serious UPS users. “Buying a UPS is one thing . . . getting support for it afterwards is always the kicker,” says Beyle-veld.
“The barriers to entry to selling UPSes into an environment desperate to avoid power outages are minimal. “Too many customers are lured by slick operators selling cheap machinery from Middle and Far East countries that do not include any after-sales service strategies or capabilities,” adds Beyleveld.
Generally, a UPS has a life expectancy of eight to ten years. A UPS generally lasts three times longer than the equipment it supports because information technology is advancing at a far more rapid pace than power protection needs to.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that maintenance and repair services are readily available. “Meissner has always guaranteed its customers that spares will be available for 10 to 15 years after its product was first supplied,” concludes Beyleveld.