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Power charge

A UPS with online double conversion sits between the load and servers and produces a pure sine wave online which converted AC to DC and back again, Spiteri said. This buffered and smoothed power fluctuations. MGE OPS national distribution sales manager, Jonathan Teasdale, said there was a rise in redundancy configuration using cascadeable, modular receiver cabinet systems.

"You can increase the kVA rating by just adding a sub-module into an enclosure and creating redundancy. That's pretty much our MX range," he said. "You can add 5kVA modules all the way up to 20kVA." Teasdale said electricity network infrastructure in Australia was ageing and not being upgraded. This meant council mains transformers were degrading and affecting power delivery to businesses across the board - and thus business continuity.

"What people don't realise is that the power fluctuations occur at the end of the day. Power can go from 240V to 260V, for example, when everybody leaves and turns the lights off," he said. "An IT manager comes in next morning and it's all down. So all our UPS are remotely managed and facilities managers actually control and monitor them remotely."

As security needs go up, so did the power load on the network, Teasdale said. With modular technology from MGE, users could start with one 5kVA unit and add to it. "That's definitely a strong selling point as you get capacity," he said. "There's strong growth in the market; we're selling a lot of software too."

Another area of growth is the consumer market, where users are increasingly looking to protect expensive home entertainment and networking systems. Teasdale said MGE is aiming different tools and products at that market.

To scale Rittal Rimatrix5 product manager, Mark Roberts, argued that single-phase UPS offered little chance to differentiate but real opportunities existed at the three-phase level. And he agreed modularity was the way to go. "You can provide the customer with a solution that they can grow with. You can also size the solution closer to the critical load, which improves efficiency, because oversizing with UPS means less operational efficiently," Roberts said.

Rittal products offer 96 per cent efficiency with 100 per cent loading and, in between 27 and 97 per cent loading, they're still 95 per cent efficient - which is a good result, according to Roberts.

"Some companies put the load on bypass to get that, but we don't," he said. "So with traditional UPS, if you go and put a consolidated server on UPS, it may actually de-rate it." Roberts said the future of UPS was modular UPS with more megawatts and integration of new technologies, such as fuel cells.


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