Energy Efficiency

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 993–1013 | Cite as

Energy savings potential of uninterruptible power supplies in European Union

  • Pedro MouraEmail author
  • Chris Nuttall
  • Bob Harrison
  • Christoph Jehle
  • Aníbal de Almeida
Original Article


Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are key components of information and communications technologies (ICT) systems, ensuring reliability by maintaining the continuity and quality of the systems’ power supply. The energy consumption of UPS should be an important consideration due to its high impact on the lifecycle costs, but in most applications of UPS, energy efficiency is not the most important issue, since the operational reliability of the ICT systems and the related security of data processing and storage are the major concerns. However, the conversion efficiency of UPS systems has been improving in recent years and high energy savings can be achieved with the adoption of new technologies without a reduction of the reliability levels. The Ecodesign Preparatory Study for UPS (Lot 27) aimed to identify and recommend ways to improve, at their design phase, the environmental performance of UPS in the European Union throughout their lifetime. This paper presents the work developed during the Preparatory Study for UPS focused on the technical analysis of the best available and not yet available technologies, as well as the potential energy savings that can be achieved. Several technologies were considered at component and product level. The main design options were then modelled, and the potential energy savings achievable with policy options focused on minimum efficiency performance standards and energy labelling were assessed, showing a potential for energy savings in European Union in 2025 of 11.4 TWh (65 % energy saving relative to predicted energy requirement of EU ICT system UPS based on current practice).


Uninterruptible power supply Directive on ecodesign Energy saving potential Minimum energy efficiency standards Energy labelling Information and communication technologies 



The research leading to the results presented in this paper received funding from the European Commission under contract SI2.611335, covering EuP Study Lot 27 Uninterruptible Power Supply. The sole responsibility for the content of this paper lies with the authors, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission.


  1. APC, “APC Smart-UPS XL 1500VA”, Accessed 11–02-2015.
  2. Ashrafi B., Niroomand M., Nia B., “Novel reduced parts on-line uninterruptible power supply”, 2012 I.E. International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOC02012), June 2012.Google Scholar
  3. Baggini A., Granziero M., “Performances comparison of delta-conversion and double-conversion UPS”, Socomec UPS, 2011Google Scholar
  4. Bayne S., Pushpakaran B., “Silicon carbide technology overview”, Journal of Electrical Engineering & Electronic Technology, 1:1, August 2012.Google Scholar
  5. Blue Angel, “Our Label for the Environment”. Accessed 21–08-2015.
  6. Boulos S., Nuttall C., Harrison B., Moura P., Jehle C., “ErP Lot 27—uninterruptible power supplies: preparatory study—final report”, Ricardo-AEA, Intertek, ISR – University of Coimbra, June 2014.Google Scholar
  7. CEMEP, “Environmental considerations, focus on UPS”, European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics, July 2009.Google Scholar
  8. CEMEP, “Uninterruptible power supplies, European guide”, European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics,February 2008.Google Scholar
  9. Díaz-Gonzáleza, F., Sumpera, A., Gomis-Bellmunta, O., & Villafáfila-Roblesb, R. (2012). A review of energy storage technologies for wind power applications. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(4), 2154–2171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eaton, “The large UPS battery handbook”, Eaton Corporation, October 2012Google Scholar
  11. EC, “Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products (recast)” Official Journal of the European Union, Brussels, 31.10.2009.Google Scholar
  12. EC, “Ecodesign Methodology”, Accessed 11–02-2015.
  13. EC, “Establishment of the working plan for 2009–2011 under the Ecodesign Directive” Communication from the Commission to Council and the European Parliament COM (2008) 660, Brussels, 21.10.2008.Google Scholar
  14. Emerson, “Comparing transformer-free to transformer-based UPS designs”, Emerson Network Power, 2012Google Scholar
  15. Emerson, “High power modular scalable UPS with three dynamic functioning modes”, Emerson Network Power 2013.Google Scholar
  16. ENERGY STAR, “Program requirements for uninterruptible power supplies”, July 2012.Google Scholar
  17. ENERGY STAR, “Uninterruptible power supplies product list”, Accessed 15–09-2013.
  18. Giuntini L., “Harmonics reduction in high-efficiency operation of double-conversion UPS,” Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications (EPE 2011), pp. 1–10, Aug. 30 2011-Sept. 1 2011Google Scholar
  19. IEC, “Uninterruptible power systems (UPS) –. Part 1: General and safety requirements for UPS”, International Electrotechnical Commission, Reference number. IEC 62040-1, 2013.Google Scholar
  20. IEC, “Uninterruptible power systems (UPS) –. Part 3: Method of specifying the performance and test requirements”, International Electrotechnical Commission, Reference number. IEC 62040-3, 2011.Google Scholar
  21. ISR-UC, “Impact assessment implementing directive 2009/125/EC of the European parliament and of the council: ecodesign requirements for power, distribution and small transformers”, Institute of Systems and Robotics - University of Coimbra and Ricardo-AEA, 2013.Google Scholar
  22. JRC, “Code of conduct on energy efficiency and quality of AC uninterruptible power systems”, Version 1, European Commission Joint Research Centre, December 2006.Google Scholar
  23. JRC, “Code of conduct on energy efficiency and quality of AC uninterruptible power systems”, Version 2, European Commission Joint Research Centre, March 2011.Google Scholar
  24. JRC, “Code of conduct on energy efficiency and quality of AC uninterruptible power systems—list of participants”, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Accessed 11–02-2015.
  25. Karve S., Markiewicz H., Klajn H., “Introduction paper—improving reliability of power supply”, European Copper Institute, January 2012.Google Scholar
  26. Kim E., Kwon J., Kwon B., “Transformerless three-phase on-line UPS with high performance”, IET Power Electronics, Volume:2, Issue: 2, 2009.Google Scholar
  27. Lahyani A., Venet P., Guermazi A., Troudi A., “Battery/supercapacitors combination in uninterruptible power supply (UPS)”, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Volume 28, Issue 4, April 2013.Google Scholar
  28. Lahyani A., Venet P., Troudi A., “Design of power sharing system between supercapacitors and battery in an uninterruptible power supply”, 33rd IEEE International Telecommunications Energy Conference (INTELEC), 2011.Google Scholar
  29. Leadbetter, J., & Swan, L. (2012). Selection of battery technology to support grid-integrated renewable electricity. Journal of Power Sources, 216, 376–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lee T., Oshita M., Sanada K., “High-efficiency large-capacity uninterruptible power supply using bidirectional-switch-based NPC multilevel converter”, 8th International Conference on Power Electronics (ECCE), 2011.Google Scholar
  31. Moreno-Munoz, A., Rosa, J., Pallarés-Lopez, V., Real-Calvo, R., & Gil-de-Castro, A. (2011). Distributed DC-UPS for energy smart buildings. Energy and Buildings, 43(1), 93–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Navigant Consulting, Inc. “Energy savings potential and RD&D opportunities for commercial building appliances.” Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Building Technologies Program, December 2009.Google Scholar
  33. Parthasarathya, S., Loganthuraib, P., Selvakumaranc, S., & Rajasekaran, V. (2012). Harmonic mitigation in UPS system using PLL. Energy Procedia, 14, 876–879.Google Scholar
  34. PIER, “Uninterruptible power supplies, a data centre efficiency opportunity.” Technical brief. California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program, 2008.Google Scholar
  35. Rodriguez P., Candela I., Bogarra S., Teodorescu R., Blaabjerg F., “Cancellation of neutral current harmonics by using a four-branch star hybrid filter”, Proceedings of the 2008 Power Electronics Specialists Conf., pp. 1041–1047, Jun. 2008.Google Scholar
  36. Sato E., Kinoshita M., Yamamoto Y., Amboh T., “Redundant high-density high-efficiency double-conversion uninterruptible power system”, IEEE Transaction on Industry Applications, Volume 46, Issue 4, July/August 2010.Google Scholar
  37. Sauer, I., Tatizawa, H., & Salotti, F. (2012). Power quality and energy efficiency assessment and the need for labelling and minimum performance standard of uninterruptible power systems (UPS) in Brazil. Energy Policy, 41, 885–892 ISSN 0301-4215, Scholar
  38. Sawyer R., “Making large UPS systems more efficient”, APC, 2006.Google Scholar
  39. Stepanov A., Galkin I., “Concept of modular uninterruptible power supply system with alternative energy storages and sources”, 7th International Conference-Workshop Compatibility and Power Electronics (CPE), 2011.Google Scholar
  40. Sullivan J., Gaines L., “A review of battery life-cycle analysis: state of knowledge and critical needs”, Argonne National Laboratory, 2010Google Scholar
  41. Vasallo, M., Bravo, J., & Andújar, J. (2013). Optimal sizing for UPS systems based on batteries and/or fuel cell. Applied Energy, 105, 170–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhan Y., Wang H., Shao Z., Zhu J., Guo Y., “Modeling and control of power converters in UPS applications with PEM fuel cell”, 2009 I.E. International Conference on Applied Superconductivity and Electromagnetic Devices, 2009.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systems and Robotics, Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Ricardo Energy & EnvironmentWarringtonUK
  3. 3.IntertekMilton KeynesUK

Personalised recommendations