25 June 2014
Contact: David Wightman
(518) 326-4142


Watervliet, NY – Utility Systems Technologies, Inc. (UST), a leading power-conditioning products design and manufacturing company, has identified a costly weakness in data center backup-power-system design. To alert design engineers and facility managers about the potential risks of using battery-based UPS systems to condition power, UST recently hosted a webinar titled, “Are Data Centers Trusting Their UPS Systems Too Much?”

In the live webinar, Dr. Robert Degeneff, UST’s president and CEO, and Dave Wightman, director of sales and marketing, gave context to conclusions published in the company’s latest white paper, “The Weakness at the Heart of Data Center Power-Backup Systems. And the Fix.”

The U.S. electrical grid is aging—and vulnerable. In fact, in 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s grid a D+ rating.

“Manufacturers who invest millions of dollars in equipment may not have much confidence in receiving good, clean power that won’t put their production equipment at risk,” Wightman said.

The primary concern of data center facility managers, however, is uptime. To ensure that voltage irregularities don’t impact mission-critical systems, facility managers and data center owners often sacrifice electrical efficiency to avoid risk by routing incoming power through the UPS. That means the UPS is tasked with both power conditioning and ride-through protection in the event of an outage. The problem, Wightman explained, is that every time a UPS system is triggered, its batteries are taxed, shortening their life and increasing the risk of failure.

“On average, voltage events in the U.S. cause UPS systems to trigger 40 to 60 times a year, but fewer than five of those events are in response to total power loss or deep voltage sag,” Wightman said. Citing published industry research, Wightman explained that 15% of unplanned data center outages are due to UPS failure, and the primary reason they fail is the battery system. “We believe modern electronic voltage regulators (EVRs) should be deployed to condition power, which will take significant stress off UPS systems.”

An EVR is fully electronic, responds quickly, and is online 24/7, lightening the load on a UPS and extending its useful life. UST claims that including an EVR in data center backup-power system design will cut UPS failure rates at least in half, and perhaps as much as 90%.

“We understand the UPS’s place in the market,” Wightman said. “UST offers a solution that complements the functionality of a UPS, promoting longer life and less downtime.”

UST has posted a recording of the webinar at ustpower.com/ups-webinar.

For more information, contact David Wightman at (518) 326-4142.

Utility Systems Technologies, Inc. (UST) is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of electronic voltage control power-conditioning products. UST’s products are in use worldwide at hospitals, factories, refineries, embassies, data centers and other critical facilities, mitigating the risk of damaging electrical surges, sags and swells, bridging brownouts, and providing a safe connection to the local grid.