Grid Interactive UPS: Challenges and Exciting Prospects

August 23, 2022

What’s Driving the Industry’s Next Potential Power Move

The data center industry is at the center of the world’s relentless demand for more energy and corresponding push for more renewable sources that reduce carbon emissions. Industry stakeholders are looking for solutions that address the grid stability risks posed by surging demand and the momentary imbalances common to renewable energy sources – a trait that can lead to frequency variations and, if unchecked, outages.

What makes a UPS or other energy storage systems strong candidates for grid balancing is that backup batteries in a UPS only come into play should an outage occur, meaning these batteries spend much of their lifetime unused. Smart UPS technology uses the batteries’ storage systems to accumulate energy and instantly release it whenever needed —without hindering the UPS system’s ability to protect the load. Additionally, a grid-interactive UPS with a properly sized energy storage system is designed to provide a fast enough response to meet the needs for frequency containment and support income-generating services.

Grid Balancing Basics

A grid-interactive UPS must be capable of powering ancillary services while maintaining sufficient battery runtime to allow for normal transfer to generators in the event of a utility failure.

When the external controller detects a grid frequency variation, it commands the UPS to follow this request for positive and negative regulation by charging or discharging the batteries within their operational limits. The UPS controls the input power to achieve certain targets or services by working in a variety of different modes.

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