UPS Short Circuit Withstand Rating
GE Digital Energy
Power Quality
UPS Short Circuit
Withstand Rating
Introduction
Equipment Design
Large UPS systems are often installed in close proximity to the
power source in a facility, and are therefore more likely to be
subjected to high fault currents than smaller UPS systems.
Examples are large data center installations that frequently
have a combination of upstream sources (transformers and/or
generators) that could provide up to 100kA of fault current
to the UPS input terminals during a short circuit event.
The UPS module (Fig. 1) is designed with an internal automatic bypass circuit, including an integral over current
protective device. The purpose of this over current protective
device is to protect the UPS internal bypass components
(semiconductors, contactors, bus work etc.), as well as external
input and output power wiring.
Purpose
The 2nd Edition of UL 1778 (standard for Uninterruptible Power
Supply unit) addresses short circuiting of the UPS output, but
does not specifically address “Short Circuit Withstand Ratings”.
UL issued a Bulletin to UL 1778 on July 5, 2000 regarding
optional short circuit withstand rating tests. This paper defines
the testing required to qualify specific UPS modules for installation in electrical systems with high available fault currents,
using the criteria defined in UL 891 and UL 924 (as described
in the July 5, 2000 Bulletin), and the results of specific testing
on large General Electric UPS equipment.
For a given UPS to qualify for installation in an electrical system
with 100kA available fault current, it must demonstrate the
following - both during and after the testing:
Both circuit breakers and fuses were investigated for use as
the over current protective device for this application. A circuit breaker takes 2-3 cycles (30-50 milliseconds) to clear a
fault, with no ability to limit peak let-through current. While
circuit breakers are good at coordinating with other circuit
breakers, this clearing time makes them almost impossible
to coordinate with the semiconductors in the static switch,
which require protection in 2-3 milliseconds. A properly selected
current limiting fuse allows coordination of both peak letthrough current and total clearing time. This allows the fuse’s
I2T rating to be accurately coordinated with the I2T rating of
the semiconductors used in the static switch. Hence, a current
limiting fuse was chosen for this application.
Selective Coordination
This testing must be conducted with a source calibrated to
provide 100kA of fault current into a bolted fault. It is understood that during a high-current fault event, the power to
the downstream load will be interrupted.
The most common location for a fault in a data center is
on the secondary side of the downstream PDU’s (power
distribution unit). This is where there are a large number of
flex conduits under the raised floor, and the likelihood of an
accidental short circuit is relatively high. For a typical PDU,
the expected secondary fault current is about 8,000 amperes.
This translates to a fault current of about 3,500 amperes
on the primary (480V) side of the PDU transformer. This low
level of fault current is easily coordinated with the current
limiting fuse inside the UPS:
Applicable Product Ratings
Single 400/500kVA UPS Module (1000A fuse) –
will support 3500A for at about 2 seconds (Fig. 2)
1.
No safety risk to personnel near the UPS
2.
Minimum damage to UPS
3.
Fast MTTR (mean time to repair) or quick restoration
of UPS to service
GE Digital Energy Power Quality has voluntarily qualified the
below large UL Listed UPS systems to high fault currents to
ensure safety and functionality during and after a fault event:
Single 750kVA UPS Module (1800A fuse) –
will support 3500A for at about 100 seconds (Fig. 3)
SG Series 400kVA, SG Series 500kVA & SG Series 750kVA
Rectifier
Inverter
Battery
DET-694 • Page 2
Load / Output
Fig. 1 –
General UPS
Configuration
Mains / Utility Input
Automatic
Bypass
Melting Time – Current Data
Time in Seconds
Time in Seconds
Melting Time – Current Data
Current in Amperes
Current in Amperes
Fig. 2 – Fuse (400/500kVA) – 1000A
Fig. 3 – Fuse (750kVA) – 1800A
This selective coordination ability is further enhanced when multiple UPS modules are paralleled (Fig 4). In this case there
are multiple fuses effectively paralleled, each one contributing to the overall short circuit capability of the system.
UPS Input Switchgear
3-phase, 3 or 4-wire
Utility
Source
UIB1
1600AF
1200AT
UIB2
1600AF
1200AT
UIB3
1600AF
1200AT
UIB4
1600AF
1200AT
750kVA UPS
750kVA UPS
750kVA UPS
750kVA UPS
MBF
4000AF
4000AT
Circuit Breaker Legend
UIB UPS Input Breaker
Rectifier
Rectifier
Rectifier
Rectifier
Inverter
Inverter
Inverter
Inverter
MBF Maintenance Bypass Feeder Breaker
MIB UPS Module Output Isolation Breaker
SIB System Isolation Breaker
MBB Maintenance Bypass Breaker
LBB Load Bank Breaker
Stored
Energy
Stored
Energy
MIB1
1600AF
1000AT
Stored
Energy
Stored
Energy
MIB3
1600AF
1000AT
MIB2
1600AF
1000AT
LBB
4000AF
4000AT
MIB4
1600AF
1000AT
SIB*
4000AF
4000AT
MBB*
4000AF
4000AT
Load Tap
(remove if Load Breakers are not used)
RPA Output/Bypass Switchgear
3-phase, 4-wire
(Supplied by UPS Manufacturer)
UPS Input switchgear and all UPS
input/output circuits must include
neutral, if load circuits use neutral.
Load Breakers
(Customer Defined)
(optional)
Fig. 4 – A Typical Large System Diagram
Page 3 • DET-694
System Operation
Test Procedures
During normal operation the UPS operates from normal input
power, with the inverter feeding the load precisely synthesized and controlled power. During an overload event the
inverter will continue to power the load up to a maximum
overload rating of 150%. Above this, the inverter will phase
back to maintain the current within safe operating levels. This
results in a drop in the inverter output voltage. As the voltage
begins to drop, this drop is sensed and used to initiate a
transfer to bypass.
Short Circuit Withstand Test (from UL 891)
The Short Circuit Withstand Test is to be conducted at the
rated voltage corresponding to the maximum short-circuit
rating of the equipment. The test circuit is to be closed on
the equipment with all switches, output-circuit protective
devices, and all the main overcurrent-protective devices or
short-circuit current limiters, integral or separate, in the fully
closed position. For magnetically operated devices, the magnet is to be held closed electrically. If the enclosure is provided with a door or cover, it is to be closed during the test
A high-level fault (or short circuit) initially appears as an
overload to the inverter. The difference is that the voltage
drop is very fast. The UPS control circuits sense the rate of
change of voltage (dv/dt) as well as the absolute voltage
drop and use this information to initiate a transfer to bypass
before the voltage drops appreciably. Once the fault has
been transferred to bypass the internal fuses will limit and
interrupt the fault current, protecting the static switch and
other automatic bypass components.
Test Source Calibration
The test source was calibrated to supply 100kA of fault
current to the test equipment configuration, including all
cables to the UPS module and the shorting breaker.
Test Connections
The UPS equipment was connected to the source and at
the load with the recommended cables as designed for
normal operation. A 30-ampere (enclosure ground fuse),
non-delay-type cartridge fuse was connected from the
UPS enclosure to Phase B of the test source. The purpose
of this fuse is to verify there has been no electrical arcing
to the UPS enclosure during the test.
Testing Scope
The short-circuit withstand tests on both SG 500kVA and
SG 750kVA UPS units were witnessed by UL.
DET-694 • Page 4
Following the Short-Circuit-Withstand Test, the equipment
shall comply with UL 1778 Paragraph 47, the Dielectric
Voltage-Withstand Test.
The Short Circuit Withstand Test is initiated by energizing
the UPS and then closing the shorting breaker on the output
of the UPS. The breaker is closed after the UPS has stabilized
in normal operation.
Short Circuit Closing Withstand Test (from UL 891)
The Short Circuit Closing Withstand Test is to be conducted
at the rated short circuit current corresponding to the maximum rated voltage of the equipment. The sample may be
a previously untested sample or the one used for the Short
Circuit Withstand Test described above. The test procedures
and conditions are to be identical to those for the Short
Circuit Withstand Test. With all circuit breakers connected
into the test circuit and with the main overcurrent-protective
device, integral or separate, in the fully closed position, each
switching device of the equipment is to be closed on the
test circuit.
Following the Short-Circuit-Closing-Withstand Test, the
equipment shall comply with UL 1778 Paragraph 47, the
Dielectric Voltage-Withstand Test.
The Short Circuit Closing Withstand Test is initiated by closing
the shorting breaker on the output of the UPS module prior
to energizing the UPS. After the breaker is closed, power is
applied to the UPS input and the UPS is allowed to powerup into the short circuit.
Qualification Requirements (from UL 891)
After the equipment has been tested under any of the short
circuit conditions described, the results are acceptable if
the equipment is effectively in the same mechanical condition
as prior to the test, and if:
a)
There is no permanent distortion or displacement of a
bus bar or strap that would reduce an electrical spacing
to less than 75 percent of its original values.
b)
A bus bar insulator or support or cable restraint has
not separated into two or more pieces. Also there shall
be no cracks appearing on opposite sides of a base
and no cracks, including surface cracks, running the
full length or width of the support. Other cracks, chips,
or the like, which are not considered to reduce the
structural integrity of the support may be used if the
resulting spacings are not reduced to less than 75
percent of it original values.
c)
The enclosure ground fuse has not opened
d)
The enclosure or part of the enclosure such as a filler plate,
door, or the like, has not been damaged nor displaced to
the extent that a live part is accessible per UL 1778
Paragraph 7 Protection of Users and/or 39 Protection
of Service Personnel.
e)
No conductor pulls out of a terminal connector, and
there is no damage to the conductor insulation or to
the conductor.
f)
Complies with the Dielectric Withstand Test
Test Results
Short Circuit Withstand Test
This test was conducted at 480VAC using a source calibrated
to provide 100kA to the test configuration (Fig. 5). The test
circuit was closed on the UPS with all switches, protective
devices and/or short-circuit current limiters, in fully closed
position. All enclosure doors and covers were closed during
the test. Immediately following the Short Circuit Withstand
Test, the UPS equipment was verified to comply with UL 1778
Paragraph 47, Dielectric Voltage-Withstand Test. The current
limiting fuses were then replaced, and the UPS was verified
to be fully functional.
Short Circuit Closing Withstand Test
This test was conducted at 480VAC using a source calibrated
to provide 100kA to the test configuration (Fig. 5). The test
UPS was previously used for the Short Circuit Withstand Test
described above. The test procedures and conditions were
identical to those for the Short Circuit Withstand Test. With
all circuit breakers connected into the test circuit and with
the main over current-protective device in the fully closed
position, each switching device of the UPS was closed on the
test circuit. Immediately following the Short Circuit Closing
Withstand Test, the UPS equipment was verified to comply
with UL 1778 Paragraph 47, Dielectric Voltage-Withstand
Test. The current limiting fuses were then replaced, and the
UPS was verified to be fully functional.
Shorting
Breaker
Fig. 5 –
Test Circuit
480V,
100kA,
Source
30A Enclosure
Ground Fuse
UPS Under Test
Page 5 • DET-694
Fig. 6 – SG500kVA UPS Withstand Test
Fig. 7 – SG500kVA Close on Test
In all cases, the tested General Electric UPS systems were
returned to operational condition by replacement of the
current limiting fuses. There was no permanent distortion,
displacement or cracking of mechanical components, and
no reduction in electrical spacing or degradation to insulation systems.
Conclusion
Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 capture the voltage and currents during
the withstand and close on tests.
While the test source supplied 100kA through the UPS, the
current was limited from 15-25kA because of the current
limiting action of the fuses.
Even though the static switch is designed to withstand a
bolted fault and is fully operational after replacement of the
current limiting fuses, it is recommended that the semiconductors in the static switch be replaced at the next planned
maintenance event. It is also advisable to inspect, clean and
(if required) replace K6 (back-feed prevention contactor).
DET-694 • Page 6
The extreme electromagnetic forces created by a highlevel fault are capable of bending/deforming metal and
destroying insulators. The only way to verify a UPS has
been properly designed to withstand these forces is
through testing. It is the user’s responsibility to demand UL
Certification that the UPS has been designed and tested to
withstand these forces without suffering undue damage
and without creating a danger to personnel.
Page 7 • DET-694
UL Label Sample
Short Circuit Current Rating
100kA RMS Symmetrical Amperes
480V maximum
Short Circuit Current Rating
65kA RMS Symmetrical Amperes
480V maximum
Definitions
Withstand Rating – The rating that defines the ability of
the unit to withstand the thermal and electromagnetic effects
of short circuit currents for a set period of time.
Peak Let-through Current – The maximum instantaneous
current through the protective device during the total
clearing time.
I2T Rating – The measure of heat energy developed within
a circuit during the fuse's clearing. It can be expressed as
“melting I2t”, “arcing I2t” or the sum of them as “clearing I2t”.
“I” stands for effective let-through current (RMS), which is
squared, and “t” stands for time of opening, in seconds.
Current Limiting Fuse – A fuse incorporating the ability to
limit the maximum current during a fault.
Total Clearing Time – The time measured from the beginning
of an overcurrent event, until the current is totally interrupted.
For a fuse, this includes both melting and arcing time.
GE Digital Energy – Power Quality
830 W 40th Street, Chicago, IL 60609 USA
800 637 1738 www.gepowerquality.com
Information subject to change without notice. Please verify all details with GE.
© 2010 General Electric Company All Rights Reserved
DET-694 (1/10)
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