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Schneider Electric makes green play with super-efficient UPS

News Analysis
Jun 24, 20213 mins
Green IT

The APC Smart-UPS Ultra from Schneider Electric is designed to deliver greater power density and longer life.

A heart-shaped leaf lies on a circuit board. [Green IT / environmental impact / climate change]
Credit: Weerapatkiatdumrong / Getty Images

Data-center operators, perhaps stung by accusations that they’re power hogs, are making a major push to be green. Both Microsoft and Google have promised their data centers will be carbon neutral by 2030, while AWS is targeting 2040.

I’m sure this is driven by good intentions, even as the cynic in me remembers that every dollar saved in the power bill goes right to the bottom line. So every effort helps, even if some are more creative than others.

For its part, Schneider Electric is making a green pitch with a new line of uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) from its American Power Conversion subsidiary. The company has introduced the APC Smart-UPS Ultra, which it says is the smallest, lightest single-phase 3kW UPS on the market.

Schneider bases its green claim on the UPS on its power efficiency and long life. The APC Smart-UPS Ultra’s design is up to 50% smaller and lighter than comparable UPS solutions on the market today, meaning more power in a smaller space.

The lithium-ion battery is said to last up to three times longer than a traditional valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) powered UPS and will not need to be replaced under normal operating conditions, another facet of Schneider’s green push. The APC Smart-UPS Ultra can save up to 15% on TCO over 10 years, Schneider Electric says, and it comes with a 5-year warranty. 

The battery has a flexible mounting option for installation in a rack, tower, wall or ceiling, both enabling it to be placed out of the way to allow more space for IT equipment and also making it edge-friendly for space-constrained deployments.

“The first of its kind, APC Smart-UPS Ultra is redefining the single-phase UPS, making it lighter and more powerful with the next generation semiconductor technology. In addition, it uses lithium-ion technology to power distributed IT and edge computing sites to ensure our digital life is on,” said Tarunjeet Sarao, senior vice president, transactional and edge line of business at Schneider Electric, in a statement.

In addition to power efficiency and long life, APC Smart-UPS Ultra is manageable remotely by EcoStruxure, Schneider Electric’s open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and platform for monitoring equipment and performing analytics and cybersecurity.

Schneider Electric also announced updates to the EcoStruxure IT software to improve remote management capabilities and environmental monitoring and to add remote capacity modeling and planning.

The APC Smart-UPS Ultra will be available in North America starting in September 2021. Availability for additional global markets will be announced later in the year.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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