Air Force surveys industry for 480-volt AC UPS to safeguard facilities from power failures

Posted by John Keller

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 19 May 2013. U.S. Air Force officials are surveying industry to find companies able to design and build a three-phase uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that provides uninterrupted 480-volt AC power to a 100 kilovolt-ampere (kVA) facility load for at least 30 minutes during a power failure.

The Air Force, Life Cycle Management Center (LCMC) Operational Contracting Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, released a sources-sought notice (FA8601-13-T-0192ss) last week for an Uninterrupted Power Supply program.

Power electronics firms responding should specify that their products meet necessary specifications and provide detailed product information to show clear technical compliance. Sales history including recent commercial companies sold to also should be included.

For voltage and phasing, the UPS should provide source input and destination output three-phase voltage at 480 volts AC, and the phase of the output voltage should match the phase of the incoming voltage.

The unit's battery back should be externally vented lead acid (flooded); have seismic zone 2 racks made of either fiberglass or metal triple; be painted with epoxy paint; have connection hardware and a acid abatement trap under rack; have at least a 20-year life expectancy; and be able to provide at least 100 kVA at the end of its 20-year life. The design calculations for the batteries should contain a design margin of 15 percent and an aging factor of 25 percent.

The UPS itself should be able to handle phase imbalance; voltage droop or current droop less than 5 percent; harmonics voltage and current less than 5 percent; float equalizer output for the batteries; solid-state transfer switch internal to switch power; external maintenance bypass to be operated manually and when the solid state transfer switch is actuated; and summary alarm outputs in the form of relay outputs.

Warranty of equipment should be at least one year, and class 1 ozone depleting substances (ODS) must not be used. Air Force officials caution that this is not a formal solicitation, and no contract will result directly from this RFI.

Companies interested should email no later than 24 May 2013 to the Air Force's Emmeline Spaulding at For questions or concerns phone Spaulding at 937-522-4565.

More information is online at CONS/FA8601-13-T-0192ss/listing.html.

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