UPS and battery reference on the large scale
December 17, 2009 5:04 AM   Subscribe

I would like to learn more about large-scale UPS systems, particularly the battery strings used in traditional RBOC/Telco applications. These are the sort of beasts that use huge strings of 6V 220aH deep cycle batteries, or even large numbers of 2V 400aH batteries on very strong earthquake-resistant shelving wired up to create a 48V mega-battery. Can anyone point me to the most definitive reference materials on the subject?
posted by thewalrus to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
APC may have some free information for you. Call them up and tell them you are a business and that you are interested in buying some giant UPS hardware, and they will send you documents about their products (forever).
posted by gregr at 6:14 AM on December 17, 2009

One thing of note would be that phone equipment uses a -48v power source. SO the UPS system doesn't need to reconvert the battery power in order to power the equipment.
posted by gjc at 7:37 AM on December 17, 2009

Liebert also makes some serious UPS systems.

Both APC and Liebert also publish white papers on a variety of telco and data center topics. They're available on their sites and may be another good source of information regarding design principles.
posted by Hoenikker at 7:41 AM on December 17, 2009

In telco applications, much of this is either down to particular switching equipment manufacturers (e.g. Siemens, Alcatel, etc) or specialist - and often country-dependent - power system suppliers (e.g. a few Australian names come to mind). And the rest of the specs / info / design docs / etc will be locked up in internal telco engineering documents.

There's 2 basic types of power setups used by telcos - a centralised power room filled with enough rectifiers & batteries to power the whole exchange [CO in US-parlance], or distributed power systems consisting of smaller rectifiers and battery banks designed to power a few racks or a suite of equipment and distributed as-needed around the equipment floor. From the sound of your Q, you're interested in the former, though the latter is becoming more common.

FWIW, a few years ago when I was directly involved in maintaining this stuff, a 220Ah or 400Ah battery string was considered a small one. 3 or 4 banks (each 24 x 2.20V cells) of 220Ah batteries were used in small (500~1500 line) rural exchanges. Most suburban exchanges of a few thousand => 10-15,000 lines used multiple (3-6) 550Ah batteries. The biggest I ever dealt with myself used multiple banks of 2170Ah batteries in an exchange which drew upwards of 3000A @ 50V.

So the real question is "what do you want to know, exactly?". 'Cos the answer will differ greatly depending on style, size, type, etc.
posted by Pinback at 2:57 PM on December 17, 2009

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