Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Eaton UPS.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
If they could reduce the footprint even more, that would be great. And they could always make heat dissipation better. But as long as they're reliable and they work, I don't think there is much room for improvement for them.
One issue is we have a sort of U-shaped configuration. That does become a problem where you have hot and cold aisles. Therefore, you potentially could have hot air blowing out the back of one and into the intake of another system. That's always an issue. However, it's not an issue for us because we have all those batteries in a separate, safe environment. We don't need to have them in our data center. The industry is going to a smaller footprint, but that does come at a cost, specifically for battery reserve time, size and density of the system, and BTU generation. Those three areas contribute to the heat generation factor. I think that they've done a really good job. But, when you look across our infrastructure, it's the UPS system that takes up the most space of any of our products.
We do not use Eaton's remote monitoring, we use StruxureWare. We do use all of Eaton's web interface cards and their SNMP polling, but it's actually going to a Schneider product. Eaton makes something similar, it just wasn't as intuitive.
I do like the ESS mode which I operate with the 9395s. However, I've got an issue with one of my UPS strings here in Denver: That ESS mode is too sensitive to utility noise. The utility shows no outages but I've got the UPS switching it in and out of ESS mode. That's a little bit aggravating and it's a concern that Eaton hasn't been able to remedy that yet. I don't know if that's Eaton or my manager who is dragging their feet. I like the touch screen. I don't like the fact that they've decreased the size of the touch screen. I'm actively installing a new 9395 system right now. It's operating, but the commission is in two weeks. These new modules came in, and I found that they had moved from a larger ten-inch screen to a seven-inch screen, which is a big reduction in size. I didn't like the fact that they said, "Well, we can give you the larger screen, but it's going to cost you more money because these are being phased out." This was at the time that a company was saying, "Let's partner," and we had been partnered together for four or five years. There were two issues: Number one is that I don't like that we found it out once the piece of equipment was delivered to us, that we weren't told beforehand that that change had taken place. And number two is that they then wanted to charge me $27,000 to go to the screen that's on all my other UPSs. I voiced my frustration about that and their response was, "Yeah, they're being phased out." Regarding the integration between the UPS and the batteries, I would say the same thing about any UPS manufacturer right now. I'm not sure if Eaton has started using lithium-ion, but it's almost like you have a UPS sitting there which feeds a string of UPS batteries, and then you get a battery monitoring system, which is another item. Although right now it doesn't hamper our operation, I would like for Eaton to figure out a way to integrate the batteries more seamlessly into a UPS system. I definitely selected the Eaton UPS based on the features and their capabilities. They're continuing down the road with that. They produced a Unity system and there's no power factor within the system, so that's a plus. I know they've gone to a one-megawatt system. I would like for them to get a larger system in the future and I know they're working on that. I would like the system to be able to support maybe 1.5 to 1.8 megawatts per UPS string. I don't know what interval they're working on. They've moved up, I think, to a 1.1 meg from the 750s. There's a very small market for that, but we've got facilities where we used to operate at one or two megawatts and now they're operating at five or ten megawatts. The power requirements for the new IT systems are a lot higher.
The biggest improvement I would like to see is the remote monitoring and management. All the interfaces should match. The unit touch screen, Web interface, and other remote options should provide the same information and it can never be enough! Presently the touch screens and web based interfaces look and function differently. I want to know what this unit is doing. I want to be able to track and trend the data. . The only other features I would like to see are technology improvements, which they're doing anyway. At what point do you go to transformerless? At what point do you have better caps? UPS operate in a simple matter. improvements in software, contactors, coupled with transformerless and Lithium-Ion are disruptive technologies. All the vendors are doing it and making it available. From an improvement perspective, they're on the right path. There isn't anything major that I can jump up and say, "I wish you would do this better." On the single-phase units, I'd like to see ESS and Lithium-Ion through the produce line down to the 50k units. These are coming!
I would like to see there is a little more clarity on what the issue is on the notifications that we receive. This would make it easier for us. What we have to do now is sometimes go to the UPS to figure out exactly what the issue is, because it's not always clear.
The battery life of the older batteries is the only thing that has been our issue up to this point. Luckily, the Cellwatch system that is on there identifies it and notifies us ahead of time when we should get them changed pretty quickly. This may be addressed with the lithium-ion batteries, but it is too early in our ownership of a UPS with a lithium-ion battery to know.
From a functional standpoint, I don't have any issues. From a communication standpoint, I don't have any issues. Outside of a full-service contract, my only concern is technician availability for repairs. Where we don't have a full-service contract with them, which unfortunately is the larger portion of our equipment from them, we're just like anybody else, waiting for a slot for a technician to arrive. It is a risk, but when you're a big client like we are, they move other people around to get us serviced. If I was a smaller client, I would be at the bottom of the barrel and that would probably be annoying.