Availability of power is essential in today’s ever-increasing digital world and IT business critical environments. As well as the obvious interruption to power to the critical load, power outages can also potentially cause physical damage to equipment and essential data can become corrupted or inaccessible leading to issues keeping the business going long after the lights have come back on. Concerningly, it has been reported that power outages in the UK are on the increase.
The solution is to implement a reliable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and in today’s increasingly competitive environment maintaining operational efficiency is essential to keep running costs down.
Over the last 10-15 years the biggest driver for UPS development has been efficiency. By utilising a more efficient UPS unit, and units within larger resilient systems, minimises OPEX, reduces carbon footprint attracting Government funded tax incentives, and aids Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). So what are the main considerations when considering an efficient UPS solution?
Firstly, all manufacturers will claim very impressive efficiency figures for their UPS units, initially the marketing “glossies” focussed on a maximum efficiency value with the UPS operating at 100% capacity, although in reality a UPS unit/system never operates at such a figure. A typical single UPS unit may operate around 50-70%, although even this is generous. However, within a resilient system offering redundant parallel UPS units the individual load capacity is often much lower, 20-30% is common. Therefore, it is important to look at the efficiency figures at the range in which the UPS will be operating in. Transformerless UPS units greatly aided this drive with their flat efficiency curve down to 25% capacity but even these tailed off quite significantly below this figure. The latest generation of UPS system are now achieving 95.5% efficiency at load capacities of only 10%! An amazing success when compared with legacy systems of only a few years ago. A good source of information is the Energy Technology List, a completely independent list which continues to raise the standards of UPS efficiency, look to see if your UPS is listed.
An inefficient UPS system generates heat, increasing your UPS efficiency decreases the cooling requirement to remove this heat.
Replacing legacy UPS systems has become a powerful argument when comparing the potential OPEX saving with installing the latest more efficient UPS units. One such recent replacement was on a traditional multiple unit system, offering N+1 resilience, comprising of three 250 kVA UPS units running in parallel.
The site load averaged only 200kVA. With all UPS units sharing this load, each individual unit was supporting 67KVA and therefore operating at 27% of its capacity. As the units were some 15+ years old, and of the legacy transformer-based design, the overall electrical efficiencies were measured at only 80-85% and you have to add the heat losses which were significant. .
By calculation the savings in OPEX was an amazing £62,000 per year, a CO2 reduction over 5 years of > 850 tonnes with a carbon neutral offset of some 1,350 trees!
So, what do we need to look at when considering a UPS system with regard to operating costs. The first step is to find a system with the highest efficiency for online operation.
As systems are not run at 100% load all the time, check the UPS unit reaches peak efficiency when operating at your own sites expected load, taking into account the resilient nature of the topology, ie multiple UPS units operating in parallel. Select a technology that offers a flatter efficiency curve across the widest load range. CENTIEL’s UPS technology is 95.5% efficient even at l0% load.
So, let’s get back to our 3 x 250KVA example and it’s replacement system. With a new modular system based on CENTIEL’s Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA), with twelve 50kVA modules installed, each module would be at 33%, still quite a low figure but the solution was also dictated by the existing electrical infrastructure available.
At these values of load the Centiel system was at 96.75% efficient. Over five years, the calculated OPEX savings are >£300,000! With the Modular concept ongoing maintenance costs are also minimized further reducing the total cost of ownership and crucially there are no single points of failure. Significant savings on operating and maintenance costs, mitigation of risk, with the highest availability of power protection.
Scolmore Group’s innovative IEC Locks have been used by broadcasting giant, BSkyB, to provide vital protection for servers and IT equipment at a number of data centres throughout its UK network.
The principal activity of MPE is electrical power distribution. We are renowned for our excellence in the design, supply, installations and maintenance of high, medium and low voltage systems including cables, bus bars, switchgear, transformers, generators and all heavy industrial plant. We are also pleased to offer our services for undertaking all general electrical and mechanical installations, including small power and lighting.
Strict monitoring and appraisal of our technical capabilities and performance by Lloyds EMEA has also earned us “Independent Connection Provider” status (ICP). Lloyds EMEA operate the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) on behalf of the UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). In accordance with this registration scheme, we are authorised to carry out electrical Contestable works on all UK DNO networks, which in turn provides our customers with cost saving alternatives associated with competition in connections.
Recognising the need for greater efficiency, sustained resilience and increased flexibility, Borri Italy has released its latest three phase, transformer free UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) solution.
The new Borri Ingenio Plus 30 – 40kW UPS systems are ideal for smaller sized data centres and server room facilities.
Data centre operators that intend to extend their infrastructure “on demand” with an even smaller form factor than it was previously available using containerised data centres are invited to take a closer look at the INSTANT EDGE. This is a complete micro-modular data centre that will be shown on the Daxten stand D540. The INSTANT EDGE from Instant Data Centers can be operated as a comprehensive stand-alone data centre or as a pod with numerous units, which is modular and expandable. This is an ideal product for the rapidly expanding edge computing architecture. According to requirements the INSTANT EDGE allows for setting up or to retrofit DC architectures in compliance with Tier I to IV standards
2018-02-20 - Automatic transfer switch and finger-safe, plug-in Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB) system extend ABB’s range of digitally connected industrial equipment and systems data center technology.
Rack level access security is critically important for all data centres and server rooms. Austin Hughes has therefore increased its InfraSolution rack smart card access control range with the addition ...
Connectors that are approved in accordance with IEC 60320 are suitable for use at ambient temperatures of up to +40 °C. The average temperature over a period of 24 hours should not exceed +35 °C with a lower limit of -5 °C for the ambient air temperature. But can it go higher?
The industry is surprised - the team of the specialists founded in 2015 and experts for conception and realisation of data centers celebrates once again its victory.
After the surprise victory in 2016 at the ceremony for the coveted audience award taking place during the event of the German Data Center Award, ICT Facilities is winning once again the second time.
"Almost 3.000 votes were cast. More than 50% were given to the submission, which was prepared in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Peter Radgen of the University Stuttgart", explained Ulrike Ostler, editor in chief of the leading branch portal "Datacenter Insider" during her laudatory speech of the audience award 2017.
In both submitted technical categories 1 and 7, ICT Facilities could achieve the 3rd place with the solution "ICT Performer" (category 1) and "ICT AllInfraBox" (category 7) and came out top against their strong competitors.
In total, there have been 64 submissions (last year: 58) in 8 categories (last year: 9) which were evaluated by the expert jury formed by industry insiders. The three best submissions have been awarded.
Together with the complete team of ICT Facilities, managing directors Stephan Lang and Holger Zultner were very delighted about the won prizes and good rankings in the categories at the audience award.