Powerstar were engaged to replace a large hospital’s existing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system with a more efficient, intelligent Battery Energy Storage (BESS) alternative.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
What is an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) provides battery backup power in the event that your grid power supply fails. UPS vary significantly in size and function. Smaller UPS systems work for a single device such as a server. Larger commercial uninterruptible power supply backups, often built-in shipping containers, are critical across a range of sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, defence, and data centres.
That means that on-site equipment experiences no variation in its power supply in the event of any kind of power disruption, be it a full power cut or a temporary loss or dip in power. A UPS is different to a back-up power supply, which may take several seconds or minutes to power up and support equipment. A UPS will provide a seamless transition from the mains electricity supply to the back-up by switching over faster than electrical equipment will recognise a change. This prevents sensitive equipment and machinery from being damaged or disrupted.
How would a UPS benefit your operations?
Any critical electrical equipment that would create a problem if it shut down will benefit from a UPS. For example, if computer systems are providing critical business functions, then it is vital that they do not simply shut down and lose data or stop processes.
Similarly, any embedded controller will switch off or reset when there is a power disruption. Embedded controllers are found everywhere – in conveyors, lifts, testing and monitoring equipment, and payment systems.
For this reason, all healthcare equipment, data centres, manufacturing production lines, and automated distribution centres must have UPS in order to remain operational. A containerised UPS system can help protect larger sites from disruption.
How do traditional Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems work?
Traditional UPS generally uses lead-acid battery technology. While this equipment is superb in terms of its ability to immediately kick in before any changes in supply or voltage disrupt sensitive equipment, it is not without its drawbacks. UPS is effectively a sunk cost, operating only during a power disruption event, which thankfully in the UK is relatively rare. When not operating, traditional UPS continues to contribute to energy bills and potentially carbon emissions as it needs to partially discharge and recharge in order to monitor incoming power from the grid.
How do Powerstar UPS Systems work?
Powerstar UPS solutions are a combination of a highly sophisticated Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and a control system. It features ultra-fast switching which is able to connect the battery to your site supply in less than 10ms and thus protect all equipment from power disruptions.
The power management software can forecast and manage multiple power loads and on-site generation to achieve the cheapest, greenest and most stable electrical supply for your site.
What is special about Powerstar UPS?
UPS systems come in many shapes and sizes. We design and manufacture a very specific kind of UPS which has three significant benefits over others:
The majority of UPS system are small and protect a specific piece of equipment. For example, a company’s computer server will typically have a UPS connected to it, so that in the event of a power failure it does not switch off.
Ranging from around 300kW to 10MW, Powerstar UPS solutions are large enough to support an entire commercial or industrial site. This means that no equipment will shut down, reset or fail in the event of a disruption. This is essential where there are multiple critical electrical systems, or where they are interacting with each other. For example, a manufacturing site will need all of its production lines, machine tools, robots and PLCs to remain live, as well as its compressor and production management software.
2. Low loss
Typically, large UPS systems consume significant amounts of energy to remain powered up and on standby for a possible power disruption. For example, a 1MW UPS system could consume around £200,000 worth of electricity every year. A Powerstar system consumes about 95% less electricity, saving carbon emissions and cost.
Uniquely for a UPS that is connected Behind-the-Meter, a Powerstar system can be used for other functions while it is in standby, awaiting a power disruption. To date it is the only system that the NHS has approved for use in this way. The other functions bring huge additional value to organisations trying to achieve net-zero, reduce electricity bills and gain greater control of their energy usage.
Get in touch if your organisation has a requirement for an Uninterruptible Power Supply
Related case studies
South Staffordshire Council were looking to install a battery energy storage system that provided them with site-wide UPS resilience
Stoba is a mass manufacturer and supplier of metallic parts and high quality components to the automotive industry that operates internationally.
AESSEAL needed help protecting their operations from power disruptions while driving forward net zero strategies.
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