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RELIABILITY

OF
UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY
&
BATTERY CHARGERS




































OVERVIEW

An uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, UPS or battery backup is
an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source,
typically mains power, fails. The Primary objective in the implementation of a UPS system is
to improve the reliability to the limits of technical capability, the ultimate aim being to totally
eliminate the possibility of any disturbance or downtime.

In the 50s, when the first static UPS systems appeared, they were composed of a rectifier,
battery and inverter and were used to stabilize the output power and to continue to supply the
load for a short period of time (autonomy of battery) in the event of a rectifier failure. The
reliability of this simple UPS chain depends dominantly on the inverter reliability. An inverter
failure meant an immediate load crash. Furthermore, the downtime (no supply to the load)
would last as long as the inverters repair.

In the early 60s the static bypass switch was introduced to enable an interruption-free load
transfer to the stand-by mains in the event of inverter failures or overloads. The stand-by mains
although far not as reliable as the UPS, serves as a reserve power supply in case of an inverter
failure to enable the continuation of the power supply to the load while the inverter is being
repaired. This new architecture had substantially improved the overall reliability which did not
depend dominantly on the inverter reliability anymore. The reliability of the new UPS with
static bypass depended on the quality of the mains (MTBFM), the time to repair of the UPS
(MTTRUPS) and on the reliability of the static switch.


For each observation, downtime is the instantaneous time it went down, which is after (i.e.
greater than) the moment it went up, uptime. The difference (downtime minus uptime) is the
amount of time it was operating between these two events.


RELIABILITY, MTBF AND FAILURE RATE


The reliability of a UPS system is often expressed in terms of Mean Time Between Failures or
MTBF, stated in years or hours. MTBF equals the average time that elapses between the moment
that the system is set in operation and the first occasion on which the system fails. Another
measure of reliability is the failure rate () which expresses the number of failures per unit of
time. The failure rate is not constant, but a function of time as shown in the graph (the so-called
bath-tub curve).




During the first period (A) failures occur due to bad components and manufacturing faults. These
early failures are likely to occur during the testing and burn-in period. During the normal lifetime
(B) the failure rate is low and stable. At the end of the normal lifetime (C) ageing causes an
increasing number of failures and the system has to be replaced. During the normal lifetime
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) is inversely proportional to the failure rate (),
i.e. MTBF = 1/.



The most obvious way to determine the reliability of a UPS system is to observe the number of
failures of installed systems over a certain period of time. From the collected data the average
failure rate () and the MTBF can be calculated. However, this method only reveals statistically
valid figures if a large number of identical systems have been sold and have been working for a
considerable time under similar working conditions. For UPS systems therefore the reliability is
often calculated from known MTBF figures of components and sub-assemblies. The failure rate
depends on the complexity of the system, the number of components and the failure rate of its
parts. With this method the reliability of different types of UPS system can be predicted and
compared.
SINGLE UPS WITH STATIC BYPASS SWITCH
Description of the variables that are used in the equations:
MTBFUPS+SBS: Mean Time Between Failures of Single Unit with static bypass switch (SBS)
MTBFM : Mean Time Between Failures of MAINS
UPS : Failure Rate of Single Unit without static bypass switch
RECT : Failure Rate Rectifier
BATT : Failure Rate Battery
INV : Failure Rate Inverter
UPS+SBS : Failure Rate of Single Unit with static bypass switch
SBS : Failure Rate of Static Bypass Switch with control circuit
PBUS : Failure Rate of Parallel Bus (only for parallel systems)
M : Failure Rate of MAINS
SU : Repair Rate of Static Bypass Switch (SU = 1 / MTTRUPS)
M : Repair Rate of MAINS (M = 1 / MTTRM)
MTTRSBS : Mean Time To Repair of Static Bypass Switch
MTTRM : Mean Time To Repair of MAINS



MTBFUPS = 1 / UPS
UPS = RECT+ BATT + INV .................................... (E.1)
The figures from statistical failure-analysis RECT =20x10
-6
/h, BATT =10x10
-6
/h, INV. = 20X10
-6
[h
-1
]
applying Values in equation (E.1), the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBFUPS) for a UPS system
without static bypass switch will be:
UPS = 50x10
-6

MTBFUPS = 20'000 h









Please note that all calculations are performed by using the following constants:

MTBFM =50 [h], this figure represents a good quality of mains.
MTTRUPS = 5 [h]
MTTRM = 0.1 [h]


From statistical failure-analysis we have the following figures for the failure rates of the static
bypass switch for the power part and the control electronic part: SBS =2x10
-6
[h
-1
]


CALCULATION OF MTBF FOR UPS WITH STATIC BYPASS SWITCH

MTBFUPS+SBS = 1 / UPS+SBS
UPS+SBS = UPS//M+SBS ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (E.2)
UPS // M = UPS M (UPS + M +UPS+M) = UPS M (UPS+M) = 5x10
-6
[h
-1
]
UPS M +UPS M +(UPS+M) (UPS+M)+(
2
UPS)(
2
M) UPS M

UPS+SBS = UPS // M + SBS = 6 10
-6
[h
-1
] + 2 10
-6
[h
-1
] = 7x10
-6
[h
-1
]



MTBFUPS+SBS = 142,857 h





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Electrical Block Diagram
Reliability Block Diagram
RECT
SBS
BATT
INV
M
A
I
N
S

M
A
I
N
S

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&
RECTIFIER INVERTER STATIC BYEPASS SWITCH
BATTERY




NOTE:
In the above formula it can be seen that the reliability of the UPS with static bypass switch (MTBFUPS+SBS)
depends largely on three parameters: reliability of the mains, the MTTR of the UPS and the reliability of the static
bypass switch.



PARALLEL REDUNDANT UPS WITH STATIC BYPASS SWITCH























Electrical and Reliability Block Diagram of Parallel Redundant UPS Configuration.

The reliability of a single UPS can be increased significantly by introducing a redundant
configuration.
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RECT
SBS
BATT
INV
U
P
S

2

U
P
S

1

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RECTIFIER INVERTER STATIC BYEPASS SWITCH
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RECT
SBS
BATT
INV
U
P
S

1

U
P
S

2

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RECTIFIER INVERTER STATIC BYEPASS SWITCH
BATTERY
BATTERY
P
A
R
A
L
L
E
L

B
U
S

P
A
R
A
L
L
E
L

B
U
S








Calculation of MTBF for a REDUNDANT PARALLEL UPS System (MTBF(1+1)UPS+SBS):

We will start by the equations used for the calculation of the failure rate:

(1+1)UPS+SBS = (UPS1//UPS2.//UPS(1+1)) + (1+1) PBUS + (SBS1//SBS2..//SBS(1+1))-------------- (E.3)

Failure Rate: (1+1)UPS+SBS ~ (1+1) PBUS (E.4)

Reliability: MTBF(1+1)UPS+SBS = 1 / (1+1)UPS+SBS (E.5)

Availability: A (1+1)UPS+SBS = MTBF(1+1)UPS+SBS / MTBF(1+1)UPS+SBS + MTTR UPS (E.6)


The reliability of a (1+1) parallel redundant system depends largely on the reliability of the
failure rate of the PARALLEL BUS which is the only single point failure.

The UPS parallel redundant chain, the static bypass switches and their control electronics as
well as the mains power lines are all redundant and have therefore minor or even neglecting
impact on the overall reliability.

We will perform some calculations for parallel redundant systems, by using the following
constants:

MTBFM = 50 [h], this figure represents a good quality mains.

PBUS = 0.4 10 -6 [h-1]



Redundant Parallel Configuration Reliability (MTBF) Failure Rate () (1+1) redundant
configuration 1,428,570 [h] ~ 0.8 10-6 [h-1]



BATTERY CHARGERS













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RECT
BATT
M
A
I
N
S

M
A
I
N
S

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RECTIFIER
BATTERY
Electrical Block Diagram
Reliability Block Diagram &




PARALLEL REDUNDANT BATTERY CHARGERS




















CALCULATION OF MTBF FOR BATTERY CHARGER
MTBFBATTCHARG = 1 / BATTCHARG
BATTCHARG = RECT + BATT .................................. (E.7)
The figures from statistical failure-analysis RECT =20x10
-6
/h, BATT =10x10
-6
/h, applying Values in equation
(E.7), the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBFBATTCHARG) for a Battery Charger will be
MTBFBATTCHARG=1 / 30x10
-6

MTBFBATTCHARG = 33,333 h
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RECT
BATT
M
A
I
N
S

M
A
I
N
S

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RECTIFIER
BATTERY
Electrical Block Diagram
Reliability Block Diagram &
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RECT
BATT
M
A
I
N
S

M
A
I
N
S

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RECTIFIER
BATTERY