UPS Efficiency (Part 2): Why is it Important?

For years, the primary criteria for a UPS selection has been the Reliability of the UPS. While it’s assumed that any UPS could theoretically fail, it only makes sense to select a vendor and model known to already deliver consistent and highly predictable performance.

Here at Parallel, we agree that reliability is usually the de facto deciding factor in selecting a UPS, but it is also important to STOP (in reference to the image above) and consider the importance of efficiency when selecting a UPS for your data center or other critical facility.

With rising energy costs in many parts of the country, the desire for businesses to reduce operating costs (including energy consumption), and the inability for many businesses to add more power in their facility – the need becomes mandatory, instead of just “nice to have.”

Whether you realize it or not, a UPS can be a significant waste of energy that causes a major hit on your energy bill. For simple math, let’s assume your rate is $0.10/kwH in a medium-sized data center with a 100kW UPS running at 50kW load. Many UPSes would operate at an efficiency of around 90% at this 50% loading. So that means that 10kW (10% of 100kW) would be the power consumed by the UPS. That translates to $24/day, $720/mo, $8640/year, and $86, 400 over a 10 year average lifecycle of a UPS. Basically – the efficiency wasted could roughly pay for a new UPS every 10 years. If your UPS load is less than 50% or if you have a redundant UPS configuration, your efficiency is likely to be far worse than the math shows here.

These quick calculations don’t speak to the environmental benefits from using less energy and an overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels in our country. The (overused but highly relevant) “Green” factor is very present here.

To get right to the point – there is a clear, distinct benefit in higher UPS efficiency. In some parts of the country UPSes operating at higher efficiencies are being mandated. So how can a UPS become more efficient? Check out our newsletter next month where we will discuss one relatively new feature. In the interim, if you would like us to conduct an Assessment on your current UPS efficiency to determine energy losses and potential savings, please contact us to set up an appointment.

Click Here to Read Part 1

Dale Klein

Dale Klein is the president and owner of Parallel Technologies. He has more than two decades of experience in technology and business leadership. He transformed Parallel Technologies from a cabling services company into a high-growth technology company by helping clients with their reliable data center and intelligent building strategies.