Highly Robust Electronic Power Switch (EPS) Module Reduces the Threat of Downtime

by Rob, Lead Engineer 3. June 2011 13:32

API's focus in creating the new EPS module for 7832 series DC PDU

Today’s network managers primary objective is to manage power utilization in the most efficient and effective means possible, and one way to achieve these objectives is to implement equipment that provides remote control and monitoring over a network. By monitoring the status of outlets, network managers get a picture of their operation and its moment by moment condition. Employing SPMS DC PDU’s with EPS modules, Network Mangers now have the capability to remotely observe the status of each outlet, as well as, remotely control individual outlets based on demand and priority.

The 7832 DC PDU capabilities work in concert to support the network manager’s utmost objective of maintaining data availability and quality of service in data centers or any other type of Power Distribution application where reliable DC power application is required. Basically, the Electronic Power Switch is an electronic circuit protection device. Being electronic, it has certain advantages over and above a mechanical circuit breaker and fuses. As an electronic device the EPS has no moving parts to wear out – an EPS can be remotely controlled to switch on and off for over a million cycles without wearing out components. Since the EPS has no internal mechanism or contacts it is not subject to arcing or contact corrosion or oxidation, and thereby, eliminates the requirement for periodic or preventive maintenance. And the EPS provides a status indication of its output state which is used by the controller to verify command state or a notification of a tripped condition.

The EPS incorporates MOSFET devices as the power switch which provide the advantages as noted above, however, if overstressed they will fail and they’re failure mode is a short. To mitigate this undesirable failure mode several measures have been taken in the new EPS card. Firstly the EPS module has enhancements to maintain the MOSFET within its safe operating area to minimize stress on the MOSFET particularly when turning on into a high bulk capacitive load. Secondly the new device has a very fast reaction time to short circuit conditions. The card’s instant trip mechanism will respond to an over current above 200% of rated current within 1msec again minimizing the stress on the MOSFET as well as protecting the load. Thirdly the EPS card incorporates Transient Voltage Suppressors to protect the MOSFET from over voltage surges. Just as a circuit breaker or fuse the EPS incorporates a trip delay (see chart) within the 120% to 200% of rated current to allow for typical transients and surges during normal operation. Once the EPS detects an over current and the condition continues beyond the delay period the EPS will declare a fault or trip condition by turning off the MOSFET and setting a status flag to indicate a fault condition as been acted on. To recover from a fault or trip condition the EPS must be commanded off. (This is handled in the 7832 PDU by way of the Retry command.)

How to apply the EPS in your application. (Reference configuration chart.)

Size the EPS to your known load. If you know the load characteristics chose the module from the chart noting the Max Bulk Capacitance. If you are not sure of the bulk capacitance rating for a given load chose a module with the desired current rating and test in your application. If the EPS trips when attempting to turn on into the load try an EPS with the next higher current rating. (Insure the wiring and equipment can accommodate the higher current rating.) If this second attempt was not successful then contact technical support for further assistance.

Download the Reference Configuration Chart Now! EPS_Module_Configurations.pdf (19.68 kb)

“K.I.S.S. – Keep It Safe and Sound” Safety Tips for Surge Protectors and Power Strips

by Jennifer, Inside Sales Associate 30. May 2011 01:55

Surge Protectors and Power Strips each have very distinct functions. Surge protectors are devices designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A power strip is a strip of electrical sockets that may be attached to the end of a flexible cable and allows multiple devices to be plugged in.

Every year thousands of injuries, fires, and deaths occur from surge protectors and power strips.
Below is a list of suggestions to help keep you safe and prevent a fire.

  1. Surge protectors and power strips are not a substitute for permanent wiring.

  2. Use care when inserting or removing a plug from an outlet. If you make contact with live prongs, it could result in electric shock

  3. Never plug a power strip or surge protector into an existing power strip or surge protector. This is also called “daisy chaining”

  4. Examine your surge protector or power strip on a regular basis to ensure that it is not hot, damaged, or has frayed wires.

  5. Never tape or staple a power strip or surge protector down.

  6. A surge protector or power strip should not be exposed to a moist environment unless it is specified by the manufacturer.

  7. When taking the plug out of the outlet, pull from the plug. Do not pull from the cord.

  8. Make a habit of unplugging it when it is not being used.

  9. Never cover a power strip or surge protector with anything that may prevent air circulation.

  10. If you have any questions regarding the proper operating procedure for a power strip or surge protector, do not hesitate to reach out to someone with experience and knowledge.
    You are always better safe than sorry

Custom Design Rack Mount Power and PDUs - SPMS Strives to Make Life Easier One Design at a Time

by BlogAdmin 18. May 2011 09:18

As experience demonstrates, not all off-the-shelf solutions are created the same.  A growing number of military, industrial, and federal IT applications now necessitate the need for precise power requirements that are not always easy to come by.

For this reason, API Power & Systems Solutions has created an interactive series of "Design Your Own Tools," aimed to make the custom design process easy and enjoyable for all users, and ensure their unique needs are met without the headache and confusion of intense product search.

The  "Design Your Own Rack Mount Power Strip," and "Design Your Own Three Phase PDU," tools were introduced to the SPMS website earlier this year and offer a quick, interactive menu of options allowing the user to select his or her preferences in a number of categories or enter a unique parameter. The tool offers helpful charts and visuals to enhance the process as it moves along, and upon completion, generates a full information table outlining the needs of the user. The table can then be printed and shared or submitted to an SPMS representative who will contact the user to initiate the design process.

SPMS is committed to customer fulfillment and strives to make their client's interactions as simple and satisfying as possible. Please contact an SPMS representative with any questions.

Will Direct Current Power Conserve Energy in Data Centers?

by BlogAdmin 10. May 2011 15:36

It is estimated that companies could save billions of dollars each year by using all DC distribution in their data centers and servers. Utilizing direct current power eliminates the conversion process of AC to DC power, ultimately, reducing electricity consumption and conserving greater energy.

API Power Systems & Solutions is proud to have been included in Project GreenLight's recent DC energy studies conducted at the University of California, San Diego. With the help of Direct Power Technologies, the 74D-160FRLGN-00 380V DC Rack Mount Power Strip was featured as an energy saving DC solution in the experiments. To read the full article and view results visit:


Project GreenLight is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative committed to helping researchers build greener IT systems and software.

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