Eaton at a new level

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Level 3 Communications Inc. is an international communications and information services company, which operates one of the worlds largest Internet backbones. The company has recently selected Eaton Power Quality Ltd to enhance the resilience of the power supply systems at its London headquarters.

When looking to add further security, redundancy and flexibility to their mission critical, central London collocation hub, Level 3 looked for the very highest quality in both products and project management. They needed an organisation with high quality products and a well-proven turnkey project management capability, and the diversity of skills and specialist knowledge required to complete a complex installation.

Working closely with the client and consultant at the project design stage enabled the Eaton team to fully understand the project requirements. Using their wide range of product and applications knowledge, they were able to find practical solutions to all the design and integration concerns involved in installing a new UPS system into a fully functional building. This was vital as the company runs 24/7 mission critical systems for some of the worlds largest organisations.

The tender process offered Eaton and its long-standing partner Modular Solutions Ltd. the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of their experience, technical know-how and practical approach to dealing with complex installations. Their innovative approach, competitive and cost effective quality package placed them well ahead of Level 3s traditional UPS manufacturer of choice.

Having won the competitive tender Level 3 were so impressed by the way in which Eaton and Modular Solutions had gone about their task that they were asked to become the main contractor for the project. This involved taking full CDM responsibility for the site, for coordinating the activities of the client nominated suppliers and sub contractors as well as all of their own specialist suppliers.

Managing the deliveries and handling of large amounts of heavy equipment through an operational building, especially in central London, can be quite a challenge, said Simon White, Eatons project manager. Simon has had quite a coordination task on his hands managing more than 20 specialist contractors from a diverse range of trades in a confined working environment.

The three-month site programme has seen more than 75 tons of UPS and batteries installed on the 1st floor of the building. Additionally Eaton was responsible for the completion of the entire electrical installation which included supplying and installing many metres of 5000A and 3200A of busbar, all the cabling to the UPSs, LV switch gear and air conditioning plant. Although the client free issued the air-conditioning plant and main LV switchgear to the project the Eaton team took full responsibility for the mechanical and electrical installation of this plant along with all associated building and structural work.

The site itself has an electrical input capacity of 20MVA, enough energy to power a good-sized town. With all of this energy being converted into heat by the IT equipment, keeping the building cool is a huge task. To do this the internal air conditioning plant is fed with a continuous stream of pressurised ice-cold water. Any interruption in either the flow or pressure would result in a very rapid rise of temperature in the building. Connecting up, filling and commissioning the new air conditioning plant whilst maintaining the flow of cold water to the rest of the building could have caused operational problems. Meticulous planning and thorough preparation ensured that this, as with all other aspects of the project, went without a hitch.

The UPS, which Eaton selected for this application, was the Powerware 9370 500kVA module. The 9370 UPS is a full double conversion, on line topology that ensures the load is completely isolated from incoming mains or generator supplies. With a 12 pulse rectifier and harmonic filters fitted as standard the UPS generates less than 8% THD. With this level of performance, the design team could be confident that there would be no problems integrating the new system into the existing building power supply network. The compact dimensions of this 500kVA module, combined with specially designed battery stands, ensured that all of the equipment could be comfortably fitted into an existing plant room whilst ensuring those all important access clearances are maintained.

With the five 500kVA modules operating in parallel redundant mode the high mid-load efficiency characteristics of the 9370 - combined with Eatons cost effective after-sales service arrangement - were an important consideration for the client when looking at the through life costs of the installation. This project was all about adding extra resilience and robustness into an already reliable system. Features of the Powerware 9370 such as wire free paralleling and load sharing between modules, combined with high overload capabilities were important factors in the supplier selection process.

The UPS design also included a wrap around system bypass built into the main switchgear as well as facilities for switching in an on site load bank for UPS load and battery discharge testing.

Before the UPS system was delivered to site representatives from the client and consultant witnessed a comprehensive series of tests at Eatons European manufacturing facility. Stuart Farmer, BDM at Eaton, said, Seeing how we go about manufacturing and testing our products just adds to customer confidence.

Such is the level of client and consultant confidence in the capabilities of the Eaton team that they have entrusted the entire system integration testing process to them. This will involve a comprehensive UPS system load test, integration of the UPS system into the building switchgear, and site generator plant. Testing of the cooling and building monitoring equipment interfaces (BMS) will also be included.

High-level technical interaction with the client and project consultant, quality products and the ability project manage complex installations were major factors in Level 3 choosing Eaton for this project. This superior level of client support is available through out the extensive Eaton worldwide sales and service organisation.

Powerware-branded products include a full line of AC and DC power systems, power management software, remote monitoring, turnkey integration services and site support, providing a seamless solution for high availability in local and wide area networking, data and voice over IP, co-location facilities, fixed-line and wireless communication networks, and industrial manufacturing.

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