Articles - Battery Backup Power UPS Systems

Backup Power For Lab Or Server Room In Action (With Video) June 15 2017, 0 Comments


This lab facility was suffering from constant short duration power outages that routinely brought research to a standstill costing time and money. Battery Backup Power, Inc. was selected to configure and install a complete backup power solution. Currently (after the backup system was installed) the lab has surge protection, real-time power conditioning, and approximately 30 minutes of automatic emergency backup power. As demonstrated in the video, a complete power outage (simulated by flipping the electrical breakers off) now has absolutely no effect on the operating instruments in the lab. The instrument workstation closest to the door is off in the video so the cord can be unplugged to show the dual voltage receptacles. The instrument workstation along the back wall is operating and connected to the UPS through the installed receptacles on the wall during the video to demonstrate how it is not impacted by a complete power failure in the building.

Thermo Fisher Mass Spectrometer Instrument Workstation

The lab uses 2 separate Thermo Fisher mass spectrometers each with its own 240 volt, NEMA 6-15P (plug). Each mass spectrometer is paired with its own HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) stack and a computer/monitor/printer combination with a 120 volt, NEMA 5-15P (plug). Battery Backup Power, Inc. installed a Leviton 5842-I receptacle (dual 120/240 voltage and dual 15/20 amperage) and a Leviton 8300-I receptacle (120 volts, dual 15/20 amperage) placed in an electrical junction box for each instrument workstation. This provides three 120 volt receptacles and one 240 volt receptacle for each mass spectrometer workstation. Each electrical junction box is on constant real-time power conditioning and backup power provided by its own 10 kVA UPS specifically programmed for dual voltage output. Each 10 kVA UPS is powered by a 208 volt, 50 amp breaker installed in the main electrical panel for the lab. The facility only has 208 volt service available while the instruments require 240 volt service. The UPS powering each workstation is programmed to use 208 volts as the input while providing 120/240 volts as the output.   

Dual 120 And 240 Volt Output Receptacles

The two pumps used with each mass spectrometer create a brief inrush current (also known as startup current) of approximately 30 amps at 240 volts or 7,300 watts. The normal operating power consumption of one mass spectrometer, its two pumps, the HPLC stack, and the computer/monitor/printer combination is around 3,000 watts. A pure sinewave, double conversion, 10 kVA UPS with a 0.7 power factor was used for each instrument workstation. The normal maximum power output of each 10 kVA UPS is 7,000 watts with a 10,500 watt 10 second overload protection rating to absorb the inrush current created by the pumps. This ensures that the UPS transformer will not overheat with constant use over a period of years.

Two 10 kVA Battery Backup UPS Systems Side By Side

Battery Backup Power, Inc. configures, distributes, and installs backup power solutions for most applications including, but not limited to server rooms, labs, traffic control boxes, and specialty electrical equipment. (855) 330-7799

Is Your UPS Killing Your Lab Instrument? April 12 2017, 0 Comments

When cheap UPS systems intended for home computers are purchased and used with lab instruments or sensitive electronics, the results can be disastrous. As outlined in the letter at the end of this page, the UPS and/or the attached instrument can fail catastrophically if the wrong type or capacity UPS is used.  

Battery Backup Power, Inc. keeps up with product bulletins, tech notes, white papers, and general compatibility for all major lab instrument manufacturers. Recently, we were asked why we recommend larger capacity UPS systems for certain instruments when compared to other UPS companies as well as why our systems are more expensive on average. 

The answer has multiple parts. 

1. Certain electronic devices create non-linear or varying loads that can fatigue a transformer sized 1:1 or even 2:1 with the maximum load. A larger capacity UPS will be able to better handle these variations and prolong the life of the UPS and its attached devices. This is sometimes referred to as derating and/or over-sizing the UPS and/or transformer to ensure compatibility, longevity, and performance. 

2. Rapid variations in the load (as seen in many lab instruments) can build up heat in the transformer which needs to be dissipated. Battery Backup Power, Inc. UPS systems have one or many (depending on the model) active ball bearing fans that consistently run to ensure heat build up is quickly dealt with. Due to the high performance of the fan(s) and internal cooling systems, our UPS systems can be noisier than comparable units.

3. Our larger 6 kVA to 20 kVA single phase UPS systems have internal transformers with an approximate K Factor of 4. K Factor rated transformers have larger air gaps built in to help dissipate heat build up (referred to as harmonics). K Factor transformers are more expensive than standard transformers. 

4. We DO NOT use ferroresonant transformers in our UPS systems like some other UPS manufacturers do (see below Agilent letter in regards to UPS/instrument compatibility).  

5. Our company policy is to decline to sell or cancel any order for a UPS that does not meet our recommended minimum capacity safety margin for any electronic device with known capacity and/or operating requirements. 

Below is an example letter from an instrument manufacturer describing some of the compatibility issues created when pairing an instrument to the wrong type of UPS, power conditioner, isolation device, or transformer. 

Agilent Letter About UPS Compatibility With Lab Instruments