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The difference between industrial UPS and commercial UPS

Mar 01, 2021

The difference between industrial UPS and commercial UPS

   Uninterruptible power supply system (hereinafter referred to as: UPS) is to provide stable and uninterrupted power for key equipment. In commercial and industrial applications, more and more important key equipment rely on UPS to ensure continuous and uninterrupted power and data.

  According to statistics, about 8 UPS systems (80%) in every 10 UPS systems are designed for information technology applications. Therefore, many people have a wrong understanding of UPS, believing that UPS is an auxiliary equipment of computer information system, which is specially used to protect IT equipment; and the so-called industrial UPS is a technologically backward and marginalized product, and industrial UPS is some The name or concept speculated by the manufacturer. This understanding is one-sided. UPS as an uninterrupted protection power supply, its role is not only to protect computer IT equipment or information data, its application is very extensive.

  In fact, UPS is used everywhere in the industrial field (non-IT field). It is precisely because of the wide application of UPS in these non-IT fields that UPS technology and many UPS manufacturers have been able to improve and develop and maintain continuous upward vitality. This piece of cake is getting bigger and bigger, and the competition is getting fiercer.

   Choose commercial grade UPS or industrial grade UPS, there are many factors that need to be considered comprehensively. The first factor is high reliability. High reliability is based on the design, process, and configuration of the system. Industrial-grade UPS, the component selection adopts industrial grade or even military grade, leaving sufficient redundancy for key components to enhance the impact resistance of the system. Secondly, the superior adaptability to the industrial environment and the longer design life of the product are also one of the advantages of industrial-grade UPS.

   Let's distinguish and compare industrial UPS and commercial UPS from the following five aspects.

   1. Distinguish industrial and commercial UPS according to the application field of UPS

  It is very difficult for most industrial UPS users to identify the key difference between commercial and industrial machines. Commercial UPS and industrial UPS are mainly divided from the application fields of UPS.

   Generally speaking, on-line UPS systems can be roughly divided into three main application areas:

  (1) Information Technology (IT):

  Commercial UPS has been closely integrated with information technology (IT), and the bidding specifications of information technology UPS equipment do not require special technical requirements. Data centers in telecommunications, banks, insurance companies, and large enterprises are examples of typical commercial UPS applications. In these applications, the interruption of AC power may cause the interruption of data processing and telecommunications transmission, but it usually does not cause direct harm to people or property.

  (2) Key program or process control:

   For decades, industrial UPS systems have accumulated rich experience in the design and application of critical programs or process control applications. In applications in these fields, the interruption or instability of the AC power supply at the load end may cause dangerous chemical process instability failures, or cause huge damage to the production system or even the surrounding environment. Petrochemical compounds and electric power plants are typical examples of using chemical or steam processing operations. If the control power supply is interrupted during this kind of processing, danger will occur. Due to the huge risks and losses that may occur from the control power supply, a special UPS system must be designed for applications in an industrial environment, and has more stringent performance tests than commercial machines.

   For example: Nuclear power plant nuclear-grade UPS needs to pass nuclear-grade certification, the European Union has RCC-E standards, and China has nuclear safety qualified supplier certification.

   The RCCE standard clearly requires that UPS can work safely under earthquake loads.

   Offshore platform UPS needs to pass ship class certification. Such as CCS in China, ABS in the United States, DNV in Norway, BV in France, LR in the United Kingdom, etc. The marine certification standards have clear requirements for tilting, vibration, high and low temperature and salt spray tests.

  (3) Ordinary program or process control:

   We call this middle part of the application light industry. Even if AC power is interrupted during processing operations, these types of applications are not fatal. In these processes, UPS failure or instability may result in the loss of finished products or hundreds of man-hours of rearranging product equipment. The pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries will be examples of light industry types. In these areas, the high reliability of industrial UPS systems will effectively avoid the above-mentioned situations. Of course, due to the popularity of commercial UPS, there are also applications in these fields.

   Based on the above analysis, we make the following diagram of the application areas of UPS (Figure 1). Compared with commercial UPS, industrial UPS is produced in order to meet the customer demand of uninterrupted power supply and special application environment.

   2. Distinguish industrial and commercial UPS according to the technical type of UPS:

  The load of commercial UPS is mostly IT equipment that requires AC power, so its product type is typical AC output UPS, including backup type, online interactive type and double conversion online type, all have applications. There are communication power supplies (high-frequency switching rectifiers) widely used in the telecommunications field, which can also be understood as the category of commercial UPS.

  The product concept of industrial UPS is more general, including AC output UPS, DC UPS with DC output, and even a combination of multiple product types. In different industrial fields, ACUPS and DCUPS account for different proportions, as shown in Figure 2.

   Even if it is ACUPS, the technology of industrial UPS is mostly the traditional silicon controlled rectifier + IGBT inverter technical structure. The high reliability of this traditional double-conversion online UPS is generally recognized by industrial customers.

  3. Distinguish industrial and commercial UPS according to the UPS manufacturer:

  The application fields of industrial UPS and commercial UPS are different. Based on the development history, market strategy, technical advantages and other reasons, each UPS manufacturer has basically formed a situation where the industrial and commercial polarities are separated.

  In the commercial UPS market, there are many UPS brands and competition is fierce; in the industrial UPS market, the market capacity is relatively small, and several brands basically account for more than half of the market. These brands include EMERSON/CHLORIDE, AEG, GUTOR, AMETEK, BENNING, etc. They have focused on the industrial field for more than 50 years, accumulated rich professional experience and engineering experience, and have been widely recognized by customers.

   4. Comparison of the product configuration of industrial UPS and commercial UPS:

   From the perspective of customer needs, let's take a detailed look at how industrial UPS meets customer needs, and we can also compare the differences between it and commercial UPS.

  Customer needs CHLORIDE industrial solutions

  1) Mechanical structure:

   withstand top hoisting

  0.5g to 5g earthquake resistance

  Cabinet height customized integral steel structure design

  Two kinds of steel structure cabinets: earthquake resistant cabinet and general cabinet

   More than 20 cabinet sizes

  2) Battery/charger

   lead-acid battery or nickel-cadmium battery

   Longer backup time

  Battery voltage is selectableVarious optional battery voltage levels

   More than 100 kinds of charger capacity optional

  The charger is a discrete component, which can be independent into a cabinet

  3) Inverter

   single-phase output or three-phase output

   Strong short circuit withstand ability

  The inverter has to adapt to different battery voltage levels, 150 kinds of inverter capacity levels

  The inverter is a discrete component, which can be independent into a cabinet

  4) Static switch

   2 groups of static switches (required)

   Strong overload capacity

   can be combined into a single bypass, shared bypass or dual bypass parallel and other forms 40 kinds of static bypass capacity levels

  The static switch can be physically isolated through a separate cabinet (shared bypass type)

  5) Cooling method

   natural cooling

   Forced air-cooled n+1 fan redundancy

   Forced air cooling 1+1 fan redundancy Specially designed fan components to achieve redundant cooling

  6) Electrical isolation

  Input isolation

Output isolation (required)

Three-phase or one-phase, standard or non-standard voltage levels, more than 5000 types of transformers (input, output, bypass)

   90 kinds of transformer designs have been able to meet 90% of the demand

  7) Input and output protection

   Fuse, isolating switch, circuit breaker protection

   withstand kA short-circuit current

  The tripping curve can choose up to 4000 input and output protections as required

   8) Human-computer interaction and communication

   Relay dry contact/PLC

  Multiple communication protocols are available (Modbus, Profibus, DF1...)

  Visual operation and instructions

  Customized alarm information 4000 hours/year engineering design research and development capability

  Customizable communication scheme based on the customer's SCADA system

  9) Electrical control

   Adapt to different DC voltages (48 to 500Vdc)

  digital control

  Analog control (nuclear level) more than 500 PCBs

   80 of them can already meet 90% of the demand

  Nuclear power application products require analog control technology to meet nuclear-level certification requirements

  10) Bypass requirements

   Bypass parallel configuration

   Electrical isolation / voltage regulation

  Wide output voltage range

   Rotary manual bypass switch 50 kinds of bypass cabinet configurations

  11) IP protection level and sheet metal requirements

   IP21 to IP54+ explosion-proof design

   Sheet metal thickness requirements

   Various cabinet color requirements (inside and outside the cabinet)

   Paint layer thickness requirements (50to300μm) standard design, IP level can be customized according to requirements

   300 kinds of cabinet options

   100 of them can already meet 80% of the demand

  12) Accessories 50 kinds of accessory options, covering:

  Battery type and battery cabinet/rack

   Battery Intelligent Management BMS

  Distribution Cabinet


   Battery explosion-proof switch

  Project management

   Based on the diversity of industrial needs and the complexity of the application environment, industrial UPS can be customized on demand is one of its important features.

   5. Technical comparison between industrial UPS and commercial UPS:

  Customer needs comparison project customer needs

  Commercial Commercial UPS Battery Battery Industrial Industrial UPS

  24–48hrs battery recharge time (to90%) 8hrs–15hrs

  10min-1h30min backup time 30min-10hmin

   5/7 (less than 10 years) (VRLA) battery life 10 years (VRLA)-20 years (NiCd)

   90% depth of discharge 60-80%


   ACUPS type AC and DC

   0-10kVA single-phase output UPS capacity 0-160kVA

   0-800kVA 3-phase output UPS capacity 0-500kVA

   The static switch is damaged and the load is restored. The inverter and the static switch are specially designed to withstand the worst load conditions. Front maintenance

  Customers do not require input/output isolation transformer customer requirements/required configuration

  Integrated in the UPS cabinet with a separate bypass input connection for the bypass switch, which can be installed in a separate cabinet to achieve physical separation

  Not selectable DC DC voltage selectable selectable/customizable

  The number of fixed dry contacts is optional and can be customized

  UPSdesignfeatures design

  5-7 years, equipment operating life 15-30 years

  Only type test equipment test 100% test, customized test items, FAT


  25–35°C Operating environment temperature 0–55°C

  10–55% relative humidity 10–98%

  IP20àIP31 protection level (IP level)IP20àIP54

  The structural design is reinforced by the standard structural design, the thickness of the steel plate is more than 2mm, and it can withstand the load-bearing, lifting, impact, vibration, earthquake and other tests


  No project management is required, the customer confirms the drawing equipment and document delivery plan, project management

  Standard operating instructions documents are delivered to customers customized documents and need to be reviewed and confirmed by customers

  Factory Service Engineer After-sales Service Ability Manufacturer Service Engineer + Customer Maintenance Engineer + Training

   usually 5-10 years

   (product life cycle) spare parts spare parts 15-25 years of spare parts support capacity

  5.1 About the application environment and service life of UPS:

  Many industrial UPS environments, especially in certain power generation applications, may be under higher ambient temperature conditions (>30 degrees Celsius) and particulate pollutants in the air. Therefore, industrial UPS is required to work normally under a large amount of non-conductive dust and higher ambient temperature. It works normally at least at an ambient temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, and some occasions even require a design of 50 to 55 degrees Celsius.

  In contrast, the application environment of ordinary commercial UPS is almost always controlled within 30°C and kept very clean. The life of any UPS system will be reduced in a high temperature environment. The key components of the UPS that are most susceptible to high temperature environments are internal UPS components (such as DC capacitors) and batteries. In a high temperature environment, their life may be shortened, unless high temperature capacitors are selected.

  In commercial UPS applications, UPS application vendors may not require UPS to have a long service life. However, in critical process control, the UPS is usually required to have a life span of 15-20 years. The industrial UPS system has a built-in design margin to ensure that the actual operating life can meet customer requirements. In addition, industrial UPS equipment will also have a predictive component replacement plan to ensure that the UPS has a high mean time between failures for more than the entire 15-20 years.

  5.2 About UPS battery & charger:

   Generally speaking, the battery backup time of commercial UPS is not as long as in industrial applications, usually around 10-30 minutes, and the charging capacity does not need to be designed for capacity expansion. UPS battery chargers are generally designed to recharge a lead-acid battery with 15-30 minutes of backup time to 95% of its capacity within 8-10 hours.

Compared with commercial UPS, in industrial applications, the charging capacity must have a higher capacity, because the battery backup time can be from 60 minutes to 8 hours or more, which requires sufficient battery recharge in the charger of the UPS system ability. In industrial applications, a battery configuration with a backup time of 4-8 hours is used in many cases.

  In the field of industrial UPS, in order to better adapt to the harsh environment of high and low temperature, nickel-cadmium batteries are also widely used. In addition to meeting lead-acid batteries, industrial UPS chargers also need to meet the charging and discharging characteristics of nickel-cadmium batteries.

  to sum up:

  Industrial UPS is designed and manufactured according to the diversified needs of the industrial site and the harsh environment.

The process of meeting customer needs reflects the use of project management. So here, our understanding of industrial UPS should not only stay at the product level, it is actually based on a full understanding of customer needs, to provide customers with an overall power protection solution, and this program as an engineering project, and Customers fully cooperate to carry out the dynamic process of project engineering design, project management, field service and operation and maintenance. In a certain sense, an industrial UPS supplier can be understood as an engineering company.