Swiss biomedical institute protects critical power supply with ABB PowerWave UPS technology

Swiss biomedical institute protects critical power supply with ABB PowerWave UPS technology

Highly efficient PowerWave 33 devices will ensure power continuity for sensitive research equipment to support the study of human immunology.

A major biomedical research organization in Switzerland has chosen ABB’s PowerWave 33 (PW33) uninterruptible power supply (UPS) as the perfect high-efficiency technology to ensure continuous power availability in its new facility in Bellinzona, at the foot of the Swiss Alps.

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) works to advance the study of human immunology, as well as DNA repair, rare diseases and cell biology. The IRB, funded in 2000, is affiliated with USI (Università della Svizzera italiana). For the construction of its new headquarters, designed by the Swiss architect Aurelio Galfetti, which will also house the Oncological Research Institute and the research laboratories of the Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, the IRB will invest around 45 million Swiss francs (excluding equipment), building 25 standard research units, common facilities and laboratory infrastructures,  meeting rooms, a multi-purpose auditorium, refreshments and technical rooms.

The growth and success of research activities at the IRB in recent years has required its expansion into the new building, which will host all researchers at a single location for the first time.

After a public competition among suppliers, IRB chose ABB to ensure that research equipment, materials and structures are protected from damage that could result from a sudden power loss. The IRB called on ABB to install a range of PW33 UPS devices. Together, they form a decentralized UPS system that defines priorities according to risk, allowing defined selectivity in the event of a power failure. Three levels of PowerWave technology will ensure power continuity for everything from network equipment to lab instruments, emergency lighting and electrical outlets.

PW33 is especially appropriate for saving energy costs in research facilities because it offers up to 96 percent efficiency across a wide range of electrical loads and up to 99 percent efficiency when operating in eco-mode.

PW33 can be configured to operate as a single standalone UPS or as a multi-cabinet UPS system with up to 10 UPS cabinets connected in parallel for a total power capacity of up to 5 megawatts. UPS system capacity can be sized to match the load requirements, with the ability to add capacity later, when power needs change.

At the IRB facility, ABB installed a 160kVA power range of PW33 to protect the most sensitive sector, powering active network equipment and electrical sockets for IT continuity. A PW33 60kW device in CPSS version, will ensure operation of security systems, including emergency lighting. This device incorporates a central power supply system that is designed for use with emergency systems. Finally, a number of single-phase PowerValue 3 and 6kVA power ranges UPS devices were set in place to maintain power to laboratory instruments.

“We are very proud to be able to contribute, even indirectly, to business continuity to support the study of human immunology,” said Renzo Salmina, UPS sales manager in the Ticino canton. “With our UPS, we have provided a Swiss-made solution tailored to the requirements of the customer. Our relationship with IRB will continue over the coming years through our after-sales services, guaranteeing quality, reliability and proximity service from supply to technical support.”

Installation work has proceeded very smoothly at the new IRB building, according to IRB’s architect Franco Ranzoni, who noted, “The excellent cooperation and professionalism of all the workers minimized any potential problems of introducing, installing and commissioning the system.”

In autumn 2021, the new architecturally and technologically sophisticated and functional research facility will be operational and house approximately 250 researchers, who are currently spread across several sites.


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