Uninterrupted Power

Uninterrupted Power

Running low on battery power here at Mindpack we decided to add another UPS to provide pure sign wave double conversion power to every piece of rack equipment. APC, Eaton and Tripplite are pretty much the biggest names in the power conversion and protection business. Slightly smaller names, but seemingly just as capable product mentions are deserved for both CyberPower and Minuteman.

A few stats on what we required to get everything covered:

  1. Standard Enterprise UPS requirements
    • double conversion / AVR / 0ms switch time / etc
  2. At least 5kva per unit to cover the energy usage of each rack
  3. 240v input mains
  4. Active notification via network when we are on/off battery or replacement is required
  5. Active Testing / Measurements
  6. 120v Transformer for legacy PDU’s
  7. Expansion capability (more battery power if necessary)
  8. Energy Efficiency (90% + conversion rate, hoping for more)

To save you a really long analysis and R&D post – we ended up liking Eaton and Tripplite units the best this time around. APC, CyberPower or Minuteman weren’t bad choices, just that for our price point they didn’t seem to be quite on par with the aforementioned.

We were really swayed by Eaton’s software feature set, some really neat VM features were included and although they were “neat” features, we couldn’t find a great use for them within our network at this time, maybe when we get a bit bigger. Comparing apples to apples (we like fruit), we ended up going with a 6KVA Tripplite Smart Online UPS with built in transformer (SU6000RT4UTF).

Our server room is designed to eventually have one of these units for each rack. Unlike our last battery which gave us closer to 3 hours of uptime, these units are much higher output (6000W vs 1500W) but don’t have any additional expansion batteries installed to increase backup time. This means our uptime is only about 10 minutes w/ the existing load. That being said, we only should ever need about 25 seconds before we are on generated power anyway, so expansion battery purchases (and their costly replacements) are hopefully a thing of the past.

Overall, the new system has been in place for about 6 weeks now and matching expectations to the previous Tripplite UPS we are running, absolutely no complaints. It seems to be running clean and the tests we’ve performed (hot mains disconnect & monitoring) seem to happen without a hiccup. Fortunately we haven’t had any power outages yet to confirm it’s ability in a real world power emergency, but we’re happy with the simulated results.

In regards to energy efficiency, these units operate at 90% typical and can even operate in a higher efficiency 96% econo-mode if we wanted to sacrifice some switching time. Likely something well try out when we get around to getting a second unit.

Wasting energy in a server room is doubly expensive, since it doesn’t just leave through the ceiling or walls but instead each BTU of heat generated has to be converted to cold air via AC units and recycled. We are always interested in the most energy savings wherever possible, a double win in this case both for our pocket books and the environment.

Speaking of cold air, stay tuned for our explanation of our mini-split ductless AC units and their installation process.