Schneider Electric has launched its Galaxy VX three-phase uninterruptible power supply to Europe. The system is based around lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries and includes the ECOnversion mode which Schneider promises will combine reliability with efficiency. 

The UPS, designed for large data centers, has been launched in Europe at DatacenterDynamics’ Zettastructure event in London this week, It is available from 750kW to 1.5MW ratings and can be paralleled to support larger power requirements. The model has already convinced US customers that lithium ion batteries are now a cost-effective option, says Schneider. and it also includes the ECOnversion mode, which is claimed to deliver 99 percent efficiency, presenting a compromise between eco-mode which prioritizes efficiency and dual-conversion mode, which provides higher reliability reduces efficiency for maximum reliability.

schneider galaxy vx
Schneider Electric Galaxy VX UPS – Schneider Electric

Li-ion works out cheaper

“With Li-ion batteries you can have more accurate monitoring,” Gael Souchet, senior product  manager at Schneider Electric told DCD. Lead-acid batteries fail unpredictably, he said and, while Li-ion has a higher capital cost it provides long term savings giving a lower total cost of ownership. 

“Customers don’t want 100MW of lead acid batteries,” said Souchet. “Our Li-ion system is between 1.5 and two times the capital cost of lead-acid, but you get two to three times the lifetime, so the TCO is better.”

Since its US launch in June, the VX model has encouraged users to adopt Li-ion, said Souchet: “We were surprised at the acceptance level by customers.” While lead acid and flywheels are still an option but the VX is optimized for Li-ion, said Souchet.

“UPS systems have had a trade off between reliability and efficiency,” said Souchet. “ECOnversion is a mix between eco-mode and double conversion, which provides 99 percent efficiency in a very safe mode, equivalent to double conversion for reliability.”

Within the UPS standard, EN 62040, double conversion is class 1 (high reliability), said Souchet, but eco-mode is class 3. ECOnversion passes as class 1, he said.