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Power and control over the years

As Sheffield-based Borri Ltd prepares to launch a new range of high specification single phase Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units into the UK market, Electrical Products & Applications takes a look at the company’s long history in the power industry and its recent advances in UPS technology.

Borri was established by Ernesto Borri in 1932 in the Italian town of Bibbiena, Tuscany, to meet the needs of the power control sector. After the interruption of the war years, the company continued to develop its power control equipment and, following advances in solid state rectification in the 1960s, began producing a number of different power conversion variants.

In the 1970s the business launched a range of ground-breaking DC/AC Inverters, which was followed in the 1980’s with its first UPS. It was during the IT boom of the 1990’s when the company produced its first transformerless UPS and has been present in the UK under its own name since the demerger with Eaton corporation in 2005.

During the succeeding years the company says that it has continued to enjoy significant ‘year-on-year’ growth thanks to the company’s ever expanding portfolio of high quality transformer and transformerless UPS solutions, coupled with a dedicated and highly motivated sales team.

The secret to the company’s success has always been an active, innovative on-going R&D programme, which, during the last twelve months, has enabled it to introduce a number of new products to the UK market.

Typical of these is the innovative new B9000FXS and B9600FXS series, which incorporate Smart OnLine technology (SOL). This intelligent solution monitors the quality of power supplied and chooses the most efficient operating mode, whilst achieving efficiency levels of up to 99 per cent.

SOL allows the user to select how and when it is to operate in a high-efficiency, direct line mode. The system will always revert to a conditioned line mode as default, until an operator defines the characteristics to run in high-efficiency direct line mode, giving the user total control and increased flexibility.

However, arguably the biggest announcement by the company over recent months has been the new B400 UPS series, which is based on the earlier B300 UPS but has far more features and the same affordability and multifunctional characteristics as its predecessor. These include sophisticated on-line double conversion topology, integrated smart-slot for the option of SNMP, MODBUS or relay contact interface and remote intelligent UPS management software.

The revolutionary B400 UPS 1-3kVA offers even greater levels of efficiency and comes with free downloads of intelligent, user friendly monitoring and shut-down software, which is suitable for the majority of software operating systems. Fitted with IEC retention clips, an emergency power off connection and an Eco-mode function, it can also help businesses to significantly cut energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

Borri say that they have also become one of the first UPS manufacturers to secure an official listing on the government’s Energy Technology List (ETL) for its range of high efficiency UPS Systems with output isolation transformers. This highly sought approval means that organisations and businesses needing a UPS can not only save money, thanks to the Government’s Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme (ECA), but also meet their corporate environmental obligations.

The company also has a delivery promise in place; if the company fails to deliver any three phase UPS from 10kVA to 160kVA within seven working days (terms and conditions apply) then Borri will give a five per cent money back guarantee.

The company says that it places great emphasis on after sales customer care, which forms a key part of its offering. The company has a team of highly qualified UPS engineers nationwide who work hard to ensure that new installations and maintenance visits are completed correctly and with the minimum of fuss. In fact Borri say that they are so confident in the reliability of its equipment that it now gives all of its three phase UPS a three year warranty.

After sales service visits include environmental checks, visual inspections, electrical and mechanical testing of all the UPS functions and sub-assemblies. Even the previous service history of the UPS is checked for anomalies and the bypass line and batteries are also tested. The company’s diagnostic software is connected for further in-depth assessment and applicable software updates loaded.

This level of customer care and attention to detail has enabled the company to recently secure several new installations from a cross-section of prestigious customers.

These include Major IT services provider Blue Chip, who recently ordered four of Borri’s high efficiency UPS units for its showcase data centre in Bedford, soon to be one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly data centres in Europe.

Blue Chip purchased the B9600 ECO-UPS systems to provide reliable and efficient back-up power for the recently-opened state-of-the-art facility, which can house up to 600 server racks and is claimed to be one of the greenest facilities of its kind, with a target Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of just 1.1.

Oxford University, one of the world’s top ranking universities also made the same Borri decision and ordered two UPS systems for its new data centre.

The order comprised two of Borri’s B9600 400kVA UPS systems which are now used to provide power back-up to a new shared data centre for members of Collegiate University. The newly built unit is also playing a critical role in hosting the University’s administration system as well as servicing over 50,000 active email accounts.

ZF Lemforder, the final business making up the trio of recent orders, had been looking at additional ways to save energy and subsequently upgraded its UPS system with a more efficient Borri B9000, which came with a three year warranty and maintenance package.

This new UPS unit, has been installed at the ZF Lemforder manufacturing plant in Birmingham and is being used to provide crucial power supply back-up for a sequence supply production line, which assembles suspension corner module components for the Land Rover Discovery and T5 Sport range.

Typical of Borri’s satisfied customers – the company says - is Oxford’s data centre manager David Birds who said: “We have been extremely pleased with the efficiency of installation and the Borri after-sales service. The 2 x 400 kVA Borri units we purchased are some of the most efficient on the market and I would have no hesitation in recommending Borri to others.”

Under the leadership of Borri’s recently appointed managing director Ian Tucker and sales director Mark Trolley, Borri say that they continue to ‘set the pace for cutting edge UPS technology as the company ‘continues to invest in research and development to help the company break into even more diverse markets and develop existing ones’.

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