Online Protection vs. High Efficiency Mode
Online protection from double conversion UPSs is the most common topology used within the data center and facility environment. There are now a number of UPS manufacturers who are designing products in this category that have optional high efficiency modes, which allow the UPS to operate in a manner which offers significantly lower costs of operation.
When in high efficiency mode the UPSs will essentially operate in offline mode, switching to online mode within milliseconds in the event the UPS detects issues like harmonics, line noise, etc. Once the power quality is restored the UPS gives the all-clear and returns to offline mode to rack up further cost savings.
Our experience is that a majority of end-users are ignoring the potential cost savings of high efficiency modes of operation, and opt for the full time/online mode. The rationale for this seems to boil down to not trusting the technology.
We’ve contacted a number of the UPS manufacturers who design and build these UPSs with optional high efficiency modes of operation. At both the engineering and service levels we asked about failure of UPSs while operating in high efficiency mode and none were would point to a system failure related to the operation of the UPS in high efficiency mode.
What will it take for end-user’s to embrace this mode of operation for their UPS systems?