Scalable UPS remove a data center’s roadblock to expansion

When it came time to grow, Volico turned to Conceptpower DPA 500 UPS which provided the easy scalability and reliability needed to support his growth.

We typically  try to buy only as much of something as is currently needed. Why spend more than you need to, when you could use that money for other, more-urgent requirements? Newlyweds, for example, may eventually need a minivan but they have many other, more-pressing expenses to cover now.

The other major reason to buy only what you need now is that you can seldom be sure of your future needs. How soon and how fast will your requirements grow? Those same newlyweds can’t be sure how big their family will get or how quickly it will start to grow, so that minivan could really be years in the future.

Many data centers are built with the idea of expanding their infrastructure as they add customers or capacity. That was Volico Data Centers’ pay-as-you-grow strategy. Unfortunately, when they were ready to grow, they discovered their UPS lacked the needed scalability and flexibility. Faced with a major roadblock to expansion, Volico reached out to ABB for help.

The solution was ABB’s Conceptpower DPA 500 UPS, which is suitable for large and mid-sized data centers, server rooms, and other IT infrastructure. It’s only recently been available in the US, but the technology has been successfully proven in other markets globally. It offers true, total redundancy across UPS modules, ensuring the highest level of both reliability and availability.

Reliable, Scalable and Efficient

DPA stands for decentralized parallel architecture. Every power module is its own fully independent entity, with its own control and all needed hardware. As long as there are more modules than needed to supply the load, one or more modules can be lost with no power interruption. Competitors’ modular products contain shared components that present single points of failure.

The initial Volico installation consisted of two frames containing 10 module sets delivering 1MW. Adding more power will be as easy as inserting another module. The system is based on unique slide-in UPS module sets, each rated at 100 kW. Modules can be inserted or removed from the frame while the system is running securely in double conversion.

This online-swap modularity combined with the system’s full redundancy helps data centers achieve six-nines availability (99.9999 percent). The DPA 500 provides that reliability with >96% energy efficiency, something competitor systems can’t claim.

The Conceptpower DPA 500 can scale vertically, up to 500 kW in a single frame, and horizontally by adding up to six parallel frames, to a total of 3 MW of power.

Cost of ownership

Volico expects lower operating costs because the Conceptpower DPA 500 provides low total cost of ownership compared to other UPS systems. The savings began with speed and ease of installation thanks to the front-access-only design and true three-wire-plus ground system.

The cost of routine maintenance and service-related downtime are reduced by the online-swap modularity.

And of course the pay-as-you-grow capability means Volico can invest in additional capacity in 100 kW increments as needed.


For Volico, the Conceptpower DPA 500 perfectly resolved the short-term need to replace a system that was a barrier to expansion, and that lays the foundation for future growth. The ABB modular UPS gave the data center owner exactly what he needed to meet his current and future needs, and keep the data center always online.

Explore more benefits to the Conceptpower DPA 500.

Data Center Solutions ABB

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About the author

Laura Ortiz

Laura Ortiz is ABB's Power Solutions’ product manager for commercial and industrial UPS, based in Richmond, VA. She received her B.S in Industrial Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez in 2007. Prior to ABB, Laura led several process improvements, cost reductions and lean manufacturing projects. She is a cross-departmental collaborator, interested in bringing together expertise from multiple areas and disciplines in the search for innovative products to better meet the needs of customers.
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