European Committeeof Manufacturersof Electrical Machinesand Power ElectronicsSaving Europes EnergyThe main function of a UPS is to protect sensitiveloads (computers, servers, critical medicalequipment, automated processes, etc.) againstpower disturbances that can affect their operationor service life, often with serious consequences.Many types of disturbances can affect electricalpower during transmission or distribution including:q Major voltage fluctuations (surges or dips)q Frequency variationsq Harmonic distortion and transientsq Brief or extended outagesFor this reason, UPSs are increasingly installed aspower-protection interfaces between the utilitypower point and sensitive loads.When choosing a UPS, it is important to takeoperating costs into account.These costs are directly related to the electricalefficiency of the UPS under real operatingconditions.This document provides a basic review of efficiencyaspects to help users, installers and designers inchoosing an energy-efficient UPS.UPSEFFICI E N C Y
95 %90 %85 %80 %Efficiency1980 1990 2000IGBTsTHYRISTORSBIPOLARTRANSISTORS& MOSFETSEfficiency: the important parametersTo avoid unpleasant surprises (high operating costs,inadequate ventilation or air-conditioning), a number ofparameters must be considered when comparing UPStechnologies and topologies, each presenting certainadvantages but also very different characteristics.s TopologiesThe different UPS topologies are defined in annexes Band D of CENELEC standard EN62040-3.q Passive standby UPSs: the passive standby topologyoffers very high efficiency given that the load is supplieddirectly by the utility under normal operating conditionsand only transferred to the UPS in the event of a utilityoutage. However, such UPSs are classified as VFD(see EN62040-3 Annex D), meaning that there is noregulation of input voltage and frequency variations.Such UPSs are generally reserved for applicationsthat are not highly critical and for low power levels(1 to 3 kVA).q Line interactive UPSs: the line interactive topologyalso offers high efficiency, but this can depend on inputvoltage and frequency characteristics.Such UPSs are classed VI (see EN62040-3 Annex D)and do not provide frequency regulation. They are usedin environments not subject to heavy disturbances andfor low and medium power levels.q Double-conversion UPSs: given the continuousoperation of the AC/DC and DC/AC converters, thedouble-conversion topology offers less higherefficiencies when utility power is undisturbed, howeverthe efficiency is virtually independent of input voltageand frequency variations.Such UPSs are classified as VFI and have power ratingsfrom 1 to 1000 kVA. They are considered to provideoptimum protection of sensitive equipment in disturbedenvironments.Efficiency: a key characteristicthat is improving continuouslyThe choice of a UPS must take into account a numberof technical and economic aspects including:q the types of disturbances that the load must beprotected from.q the required technical performance (voltage andfrequency regulation, reliability, size).q the required operational efficiency.For over 25 years, electrical efficiency has been one ofthe characteristics that manufacturers have strived toimprove, in particular by developing new UPS topologiesand by using new power components.A 15% increase in efficiency hasreduced losses by a factor of 4 !UPSEFF ICI E N C Y
s Load levelA UPS is rarely used at full rated load, in particular ininstallations using redundant UPSs to provide continuousprotection even when one of the units fails or is beingserviced. The load is therefore generally lower than100% of the rated capacity.Given that certain losses are practically constant, theefficiency will decrease with load level. It is thereforeimportant to ask the UPS manufacturer for efficiencycurves at typical load levels, often 25 to 50% of the fullrated load.It is also important to avoid oversizing the UPS withnormal power not to far from the load level,as at low load the efficiency decreases. An optimumefficiency curve should have the following shape:25% 50% 75% 100%91 % 94 % 94 % 93,5 %EfficiencyLoadMeasuring UPS efficiencyEfficiencies given in commercial documents are oftenthe values measured at the full rated load (100% FLR)of the UPS, with a linear load and the nominal inputvoltage and frequency.UPS efficiency is expressed as the ratio between theactive output power and the active input power, withoutany transfer of energy to or from the battery (i.e.battery fully charged). The measurement must be madewith appropriate instruments, in particular for non-linearloads. Standard EN62040-3 (part 6.3) defines theequipment that should be used.Efficient measurements may be part of Type Testscarried out by the manufacturer for a certain productrange or Routine Tests carried out during production.Depending on the actual conditions of use, thesemeasurements will be carried out for different cases:q Linear and non-linear loads (standardized)q Load levels from 25% to 100%q Different input voltages and frequencies within theindicated tolerancesq Different types of operationThese efficiency measurements can be used to calculatethe UPS losses under different operating conditions.These values are very important and must not beunder-estimated as they are often used to size theventilation and air conditioning of rooms housingmedium and high power UPSs.An under-estimation will increase electrical consumptionbut could also have catastrophic consequences on thereliability and availability of the power-protection installation.Choosing the right UPSChoose the technology best suited to the need,environment, application and required availability :q VFI : Voltage and Frequency Independentq VI : Voltage Independentq VFD : Voltage and Frequency DependentOnce the type of UPS has been defined, compare thecharacteristics guaranteed by the manufacturer,possibly based on tests carried out by an independentlaboratory under real operating conditions.To achieve the required performance level, choose theUPS presenting under real operating conditions both thelowest operating cost and highest efficiency.Today, manufacturers belonging to theEuropean Committee of Manufacturers ofElectrical Machines and Power Electronics(CEMEP) are making continuous progressin the protection of the environmentthrough product design, operating energysavings and end-of-life recycling.s Type of loadThe loads supplied by UPSs may have very differentcharacteristics.The loads are seldom linear (perfect sinewave) and non-linear loads have a non-sinusoidal current with a highharmonic content.This is particularly the case for computer hardware andmedical and industrial equipment.It is therefore essential to know the actual efficiency ofa UPS when supplying this type of load, as certainconverter technologies are very sensitive to non-linearloads.Different technologies can be compared using thereference non-linear load defined in annex E of standardEN62040-3.s Input voltage variationsThe efficiency is often given for a nominal utility voltageof 230 or 400 V. Once again, continuous operation at adifferent voltage level, for instance 210 V or 370 V, canalter the UPS efficiency.This point should always be checked with themanufacturer.
CEMEP associates the main UPSmanufacturers in Europe through the nationalassociations.CEMEP is the representative of themanufacturers of UPS towards the EuropeanCommission.Members of CEMEP UPS GroupANIE/AMES, Italy, www.anie.itANIMEE, Portugal, www.animee.ptAGORIA, Belgium, www.agoria.beFEEI, Austria, www.feei.atGIMELEC, France, www.gimelec.frGAMBICA, United Kingdom, www.gambica.org.ukSERCOBE, Spain, www.sercobe.esSET, Finland, www.electroind.fiZVEI, Germany, www.ZVEI.orgSecretariat of UPS Group11-17, rue Hamelin, F-75783 Paris CEDEX 16Tel. + 33 1 45 05 70 70 - Fax : + 33 1 47 04 68 57European Commission - JRC contacts :General Directorate for EnergyMr Paolo BERTOLDII-21020 Ispra (VA)Tel. : 39 0332 78 9299 (secretary 9145)Fax : 39 0332 78 9992E-Mail : email@example.com://energyefficiency.jrc.cec.eu.intGIMELECPROMOTION-04-2002