Looking beyond initial spend

Power Control
15 Nov 2018

The draft withdrawal agreement, set out on the 14th November 2018 by Theresa May has been approved by the UK cabinet and is now awaiting the stamp of approval from MPs and, finally, the 27 other EU members.But with still no trade deal in place the strength of the UK economy is under serious threat. Business are having to remain vigilant when it comes to capital investment. Realising long term strategies in this extremely volatile market is becoming untenable.

Unstable trading stocks, global economic slowdown and the prediction of a dramatic drop in the pound are making it inherently difficult to clearly establish true investment values, especially in the case of total cost of ownership (TCO). Defining the TCO for a capital investment must take into consideration all environmental market factors but with very few reassurances from the government on the energy climate, it is unsurprising that considerable caution is being taken where any type of investment is concerned.

As a prominent and highly influential power protection specialist, Power Control Ltd knows only too well about how the cloudy outlook of the country’s economic future can impact businesses. Commenting on this subject, Power Control’s managing director Martin Hanson said: “Buying behaviours towards UPS investment have changed significantly over recent years. It has become apparent that owner/operators are having to account for more complex physical environments in terms of sophisticated data storage, whilst also considering much longer term financial impacts of their investments.

“The approach to initial spending has changed. It seems that decision makers are becoming more shrewd when it comes to investing and forecasting TCO. Looking at UPS investment in particular, business owners cannot afford to be flippant. The number of power disturbances continues to rise making mains power sources more volatile. This inherently leads to data loss and can cost companies £millions in lost revenue.

“So not only are there pressures to select the most technologically suitable solutions but the need to make the best long term commercial decisions is becoming increasingly crucial. Despite the economic pressures, resilience must remain the top priority when it comes to selecting UPS.”

Leading UPS manufacturers have anticipated the need for resilience, greater efficiency and more flexibility and have responded with advanced technologies that achieve the highest criteria levels.

Taking a look at solid state UPS for example – these systems have been the root of power protection for many years and where once their efficiencies were poor, advances in technology now mean these models boast ultra-high efficiencies combined with unfailing power protection.

For instance, the Borri three phase range of solid state UPS, which are internationally renowned for their power resilience are able to achieve over 96% efficiency. The combined reliability and resilience of solid state UPS leaves many with the opinion that they have absolute power protection against data loss with these systems in operation.

One of the major drawbacks to their modular rivals however, is their slightly more complex installation process, which is unavoidable due to the size of the equipment and sophisticated network of cables. General maintenance on solid state UPS systems can also be more convoluted.

Despite these somewhat minor shortcomings, which can be easily managed with a highly experienced solutions partner such as Power Control, solid state UPS are a proven technology and some of the most desirable on the market.

It is the evolution of modular UPS that has muddied the waters further when it comes to power protection selection. In recent years the term modular has been making big waves in the UPS industry and offer a flexible and scalable approach when it comes to UPS investment.

Modular UPS systems also present reduced operating costs and easier overall maintenance. Engineering works can be quickly undertaken, especially with solutions such as the Huawei UPS5000-E series, which integrates hot swappable power, bypass, control and monitor modules, allowing them to be removed or replaced without disturbance to the load. This in turn can mean a more reliable power supply.

In addition, the modular approach offers a smaller footprint, greater flexibility, easy manageability, inherently greater availability, and scalability throughout its operational life.

A glowing outlook for modular UPS so far but this would not be a fair evaluation without considering resilience. A subject that is very often over simplified to the detriment of the end user.

Modular UPS allow for redundancy with spare modules, therefore it is important to ensure that the system is prudently monitored to make sure that there are spare modules at all times, because if all modules are in use, the redundancy will be lost and this would leave no capacity for backup modules. This simplistic view of the protective nature of modular UPS would make many question how resilient a modular solution can be and if it is worth the risk.

It is important to remember that UPS manufacturers such as Huawei and Borri design, develop and manufacture power protection solutions to do exactly that – deliver reliable resilience. Other features such as industry leading efficiency, operational performance and flexibility are all additional benefits that come with investing in leading edge technology.

Specialists in the industry like Power Control are urging businesses to approach UPS investment judiciously, by looking at the complete power protection landscape, environmental factors and physical infrastructure. This will deliver a solution that is exactly what a business needs not just now but in the future with a clear TCO outlook.

Mr Hanson said: “There are so many technologies to choose from and to ensure that the solutions chosen are 100% fit for purpose it is essential that the short, medium and long term objectives of a business are assessed.

“The total solutions approach offered by Power Control includes end to end consultancy from initial site diagnostics through to dedicated project implementation, technical support and long term maintenance.

The company’s product portfolio includes single phase, three phase solid state, and modular UPS solutions, the technologies Power Control supplies are of the highest calibre. Power Control provides complete peace of mind, bringing together the very best components to achieve industry leading performance and superior efficiency.