Eaton UPS Valuable Features

VP of Colocation Data Center Operations at H5

The most valuable feature is the control. We started with PredictPulse at the very beginning. Eaton could not get it to function properly. We got to a stage where we said, "We're just going to ignore PredictPulse because we can't get it to operate and you can't get it to operate." Eaton did step up and they got it to operate in our Denver facility, and now we couldn't live life without it. It does add a level of comfort knowing that PredictPulse is telling us about potential errors before they happen.

My preference is to keep it in ESS mode. It saves me a good amount of money. I've watched it work, flip back and forth with utility outages, and I've got complete comfort that the switching supports our critical load in a timely manner. We do drop out of ESS if there are severe storms in the area, or the utility is proving to be a little unreliable. That's simply because it concerns us when the UPS is switching back and forth so often. But it has been good.

The footprint is also good. I always want it smaller, but I always want to be able to have more room to do things inside it, so I definitely understand that give and take. The good thing is that it fits in the same space as my old UPSs. It is a little bit smaller, but it's a little bit larger than the Toshiba that we have. But size is not an issue in size, at least in my implementation.

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Ray Parpart
Director of Data Center Strategy & Operations at University of Chicago

The two things that I like are the ESS, its related components, and the bypass sync, which means if there's a problem with the UPS I can mechanically wrap around it without going to static bypass. Eaton has one of the few units on the market that will do that.

Because we're running mission-critical loads, in the event I have a failure of the UPS where I can't go to static bypass before I go to maintenance bypass, I'm screwed. I risk losing the entire load. The Eatons allow me to go to maintenance bypass, which means paralleling on an alternate power source, and then take the UPS out without static. So if I have a failure, there is a minimal risk of losing a data center to repair the UPS - and that has saved me at least once. I had an alternate vendor where I wound up spending about $180,000 in mitigation - we had to provide temporary power, staffing, and a great deal of time coupled with risk because the UPS had a fault and I couldn't go to bypass. 

The alternate vendor's K13 contactor failure meant I could not go to static bypass safely. There was a 50/50 chance a unit would drop the load. On my Eaton, we had a component failure where it was unclear what the unit was doing. It was still maintaining load. I don't remember specifically what the part was, but it was one of the control systems. We were concerned that going to static bypass would have been problematic and Eaton Field Engineer said, "But it's not an issue, you can go to maintenance bypass and then we can fix it."

We learned the issue was resolved with a firmware upgrade It was never an issue. Though concerned if I moved the UPS to static bypass it would drop the load. Because of the way the Eatons work, I simply could have gone to maintenance bypass and never have had an issue. That means I would have had a mission-critical room that I don't lose.

One of the other key features that I like is ESS (Energy Saver System) for it's cost avoidance. What it allows the unit to do is run on utility power. The UPS units are smart enough and fast enough that 99 percent of the time, if utility power is clean, the UPSs operate on utility power allowing the batteries to rest.  Because the batteries are resting more than being drained in double conversion, we have seen battery strings operate 8+ years without issue.  Normally UPS batteries are replaced every three to four years. I can now get six to eight years out of the batteries providing for a large cost avoidance. When you're looking at a million-dollar battery replacement, to be able to push that out three years is an enormous saving. That's on the VRLAs.  With Lithium-Ion advances and cost reductions we are looking at a large paradigm shift to this model. 

The reason I stay with Eaton is consistency and reliability, and also the service organization. To me, Eaton provides some of the best service. I use the manufacture for my big iron. I do not use third-party maintenance for Critical Load situations. One, Eaton's been very competitive for me. There have really been no cost savings utilizing a third-party.  An advantage of using the manufacturer for service is direct access to engineers. If there is an issue, and everyone will have an issue at sometime, the field techs call the Eaton engineers. By leveraging the manufacturer access to parts is a given!  If there is an issue I don't want to wait for people to show up or argue the issue.  

VMMS is a good feature. There are multiple charging units inside each UPS. For example, on my 9395 I have three to four charging units.  The units are at full capacity the charging units will rotate on and offer similar to a lead/lag model.  This saves energy as well stages to meet capacity.   

Most of my units are large, 480v, three-phase units.  The industry is working to reduce footprint which is valuable.   Units are getting more dense and feature rich.  Advances in transformerless and Lithium-Ion are game changes.

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IT Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees

The online system monitoring is its most valuable feature. The feature set is understanding that if there are any issues, then we get notified instantly throughout the system. So, the system health check notification is really important to us.

For identifying issues, the vendor’s remote monitoring is excellent. That's one of the things that's really nice about this system is we are constantly getting health checks and health alerts. If anything happens, we immediately get notified. That's really good to know because it's such a critical piece of the infrastructure that you want to know when something's not quite right. You don't want to wait until there's a catastrophic failure and you've lost your data center. 

As far as future planning, it helps us in two ways:

  1. We can monitor the usage thresholds. If we see that we need to consider expanding capacity for our capacity planning, then we can understand if we will need to do an upgrade.
  2. If we see something that is constantly problematic, we may say, "Okay, it's not necessarily a piece of hardware failure, but there is a root cause here that we need to think about a different solution or expanding again back to that expanding point." It helps us make decisions should we see chronic issues coming up that need to be addressed with different hardware.

The remote monitoring makes our job easier. The UPS system is in an isolated room, so we would not know if there is a small issue without going in and physically laying eyes on it, since we never really see it. It just runs in there. We have temperature alarms, water alarms, system alarms, and system monitoring. From an ease of use, it's out of sight, out of mind, and we just get our updates. It also increases productivity since we don't have to spend time going in and manually checking the system and its health. That time can be spent doing other things. From a productivity standpoint, if you have to wait until the system is in a catastrophic failure, there would be a significant outage to the data center. This would then severely disrupt and hamper the productivity of the customers who are consuming the data center services.

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Matt Yorston
Data Center Manger at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees

The most valuable feature is the redundancy built into them. They work. Especially in today's climate, if your data center goes down, a lot of people come knocking at your door because they can't be productive and can't do their jobs. The best endorsement that I can give these things is they've never gone down.

It's also very important that the solution is a three-phase UPS. Three-phase cuts down on power usage, which cuts down on our electrical bill, compared to a single-phase product.

The footprint is standard, the same thing as every other solution that we could have gotten. But the power density in relation to its footprint compares really well. I have an APC that has the same footprint that's 20kW less. The Eatons have the same footprint but more power.

Also, the solution's ability to be upgraded online without bringing down our production environment works. We've never had to go down. Then you have Eaton come out and upgrade the firmware on all the modules so that they're all even. It's a simple thing.

It's a plug-and-play machine. If you need to add another power module, you just put it in like you would put a tape into a VCR or a CD into a CD ROM. You just throw it in and it automatically discovers itself. It's easy. When upgrading, you are able to increase the power capacity of the existing hardware until you get to 60kW. They're 12kW modules, so there are five of them. You can increase them by 12kW at a time. It keeps your operations costs down until you need it.

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Jim Hicks
Chief Building Engineer at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

We like the ESS, the Energy Saver System. It saves us on our electrical bill. That's a good feature. There's are two parts to that. By using the ESS, we get a rebate from the local utility of about half-a-million dollars. The actual savings over the year are probably only about $4,000, but I don't know if that is per unit or for the room where we did the study. It provides us a moderate amount of electrical savings throughout the lifetime of the unit.

We also like the modular system and the easy-to-read display. 

The touch-screen functionality is easy to read. There are tabs at the top and there are statuses at the top, graphics that give you a quick glance. We use the touch-screen for metering, to make sure the input and output meters are good. We also check alarm events and system history. Those are the things we usually check the most.

In addition to the display, there's a color methodology to the front display on the front cabinet. There are green, red, or amber. They provide quick graphics to understand if we have a real problem or a minor problem. The Eaton UPSs are user-friendly.

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David Cantrell
Director of Engineering at Children's of Alabama

We have been able to get the data logs from them, which has helped us in dispelling some rumors (or accusations) that we have bad power by different vendors throughout the hospital. This has occurred several times for us. The logs have helped us a lot. 

The product is reliable. We previously used individual UPSs in every telecom room. By moving to Centralized UPSs, it is lower maintenance. We have just one guy (one of our supervisors) who oversees all the UPSs. He is the system supervisor. Through our Cellwatch system, which is connected to all of them, he is able to see what the status of all those UPSs are. Then, he is able to monitor the battery conditions. Because they are all the same, it limits the training and everything that you have to know between the different systems. This has helped us on the manpower side of things by lowering the manpower needed to maintain them.

We like the touch screen functionality. I have not personally had a lot of experience with it, though my supervisor has. He likes to be able to navigate through it, while our older GE system does not have this functionality. The GE system is very plain with just a few buttons, and it's very difficult to get information out of it. Eaton's touch screen functionality was something that was very quick to impress everybody with its ability to get to everything.

We use the touch screen functionality to monitor for battery life, the amount of usage that the UPS is being supplied, and how much energy is being supplied through it for our backup time period. We even look at the incoming power to see what the condition of our incoming power is. Therefore, we are using it more as a tool to monitor feeding power, not just the power that of what it's feeding. We use it to see how we're balancing our loads across circuits, because we're using 240 UPSs. Thus, we are trying to balance the loads when splitting the power down to 120 volt circuits, keeping it balanced across the legs of the power.

We run dual battery bank systems. Therefore, if we are doing maintenance on one side, then we can maintain the other side and still have the battery backed up. In our data center, we have redundancy in all of our racks. When UPS feeds one half of the rack, the other feeds the other half of the rack. We have dual power supplies to everything. We have a lot of redundancies because of that. Luckily, with Eaton dual Battery Cabinets, we can maintain the systems at all times (short of a transformer issue), even while we're doing the maintenance on them. Our IT department loves this, because we don't shut them down at all.

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Manager of Engineering and Reliability at a retailer with 10,001+ employees

The most valuable feature is that they work. They've been really reliable for us. They come as advertised. There is also a nice network feature that allows us to monitor them.

It's also very important that it's a rack-mountable, three-phase UPS. Some of the equipment we run requires a three-phase, such as HPE BladeSystems and some of the Cisco core devices.

I like the footprint because it's 12U and then you put the other module into it, so it's about 15U. That's so much better than what we were looking at before. We were looking at almost a full rack of UPS's. The power density in relation to its footprint is fine. I looked at things that were a little larger, and they took up a whole rack. I looked at things that were smaller but they wouldn't have supported our needs because we needed 12 kVA. It's a nice footprint.

We also have their remote monitoring installed. It's very easy to use.

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Robby Vann
Facility Manager at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees

The most valuable feature is that they don't go down. We haven't had any other UPSs in this location, but we've had Chloride UPSs at other places and they didn't do so well.

The touchscreen functionality, being able to go to the UPS and look at readings, etc., is pretty intuitive. It's user-friendly. It's useful to know where you're at.

In terms of the unit's footprint, it fits well, considering its functions.

We also use the UPS Service Plan. We have a contract with them for that. It's very good. We use it all the time. We have to do PMs (preventive maintenance) on the UPSs throughout the year, as well as on the batteries. We've got enough units that they'll bring an extra tech in. I, myself, don't do anything with them, other than monitor them onsite. They are pretty much a fixture, like a piece of the building. They're in, they run, they do their thing. And if we get an alarm we call a tech and he comes out and he takes care of it.

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VP Computer Operations at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

It lets us know about any issues with the power. It is very sensitive to any surges or sags in power. We receive those messages and know when they are happening.

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Keith Collom
Smart Infrastructure Consultant BAS at Kaiser Permanente

The monthly reporting is one of the most valuable features. It gives us an overview of the last month of its operation and we can see trends that are showing improvements or where availability and performance are decreasing. 

The visibility the PredictPulse service provides into our UPS equipment through the reporting is very good. It gives us very high visibility. We can go into the card and look at every parameter, all the settings, all the values. There are several tabs we can look at. We get a very good understanding of what the unit is doing, all remotely. It's very good.

I like the UPS touch-screen functionality as well. It's good.

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Learn what your peers think about Eaton UPS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
502,499 professionals have used our research since 2012.