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  • A range of works and ModCel Containerised Data Centre delivered to bolster the IT infrastructure and supply chain of one of the nation’s best-known retailers

     

  • Li-ion Has Arrived

    01 Feb 2019

    The potential introduction of Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries for UPS systems has been much debated in recent times.  However, the fact is that advances in technology have now reached the point where Li-ion is a safe and commercially viable option, to protect the power for critical installations.  Ahead of Data Centre World London, CENTIEL’s design team; who were originally at the forefront of the industry to develop the first three–phase transformerless UPS and now the fourth generation of the technology, has announced the launch of our Li-ion UPS solution.  In this article, we aim to address some of the misconceptions surrounding Li-ion and by putting the record straight, explaining why Li-ion may well be the battery technology of the future for many years to come.  

    CENTIEL’s Li-ion solution is already being installed by our most forward-thinking clients, who are looking to capitalise on the advantages that Li-ion has over lead-acid batteries, namely:   smaller, lighter, high power density, have a longer life and operate at higher temperatures.    

    We anticipate that a significant industry changeover to Li-ion will most likely be over the next five years, but unlike CENTIEL’s technology, not all UPS systems on the market are compatible.   Not all systems are Li-ion ready, but they need to be.   

     

    Cost 

    One of the main drawbacks of switching to Li-ion up until now has been the cost.  However, prices are being increasingly driven down by the automotive industry and have reduced significantly over the past ten years. Increasingly we are being asked to provide comparative quotes for Lead Acid versus Li-ion batteries for UPS installations.  Depending on the project, we are generally finding the initial CAPEX cost of buying Li-ion compared with Lead Acid batteries works out at around twice as expensive.  However, Li-ion lasts twice as long and so considerations relating to total cost of ownership (TCO) have now started outweighing concerns about the initial investment. 

     

    Fire Risk 

    Li-ion batteries had their origins in the early 70s. Continued growth and development has been driven by laptops, then mobile phones because we all want our electronics to be smaller, cheaper, more powerful and operate for longer periods.  These days, progression is such, Li-ion is being used to power our electric cars.   There are some publicised stories about the fire risk of Li-ion technology over the years.   However, any technology which is not managed correctly is potentially hazardous.   If the proper procedures are not followed it is dangerous to drive a vehicle, fly a plane or even just cross the road!    

    Li-ion batteries are more sensitive to how they are charged and discharged and therefore need to be linked to a monitoring and control device.  CENTIEL’s Li-ion battery monitoring system collects and reports data in real time. This system provides early warning alarms ahead of any issues and automatically shuts down faulty cells if necessary.    With Lead Acid, you may only know there is a battery problem when you need to use it and if it doesn’t work then it’s too late! 

    In addition, the more modern Li-ion batteries have been developed with a ‘belt and braces’ approach and can include numerous further safety features such as: steel containers, internal separators that melt at high temperatures to shutdown conductivity, current collects from opposite end of its pack ensuring there are no hotspots at high current density areas ,and improvements to cathode material which is more stable during overcharge. 

    Every battery including Lead-acid batteries are a potential hazard but managed correctly, Li-ion technology has now been developed to be safe to use in Data Centres and other facilities requiring critical power protection. 

     

    Size 

    Li-ion batteries typically require less than half the physical space of the equivalent Lead Acid blocks and less than 25% of the weight.  Commonly, above ground-floor installations can require structural strengthening of the building simply to house the required battery systems.  Logistically, moving many tonnes of equipment in and out of an upstairs comms room, when batteries need replacing, can also present challenges.  For data-centres looking to increase their power density within the same foot print Li-ion promises a practical solution.  

       

    Length of Life 

    One of the main benefits of Li-ion is length of life.   Ten-year design life Lead Acid batteries are normally replaced every seven or eight years.  With Li-ion this is 13-15 years.  

     

    Efficiency 

    Switching to Li-ion could also improve the overall efficiency of the comms room.  This is because a further advantage of Li-ion is that it can work at a higher temperature, therefore requiring less cooling, reducing the amount of overall energy consumed.  Most IT systems work at >250C and the UPS technology itself can work well up to 400C.   By contrast: an industry standard estimate is that for every 10 degrees above 200C the operating life of a VRLA battery is halved.   With growing concerns about reducing the carbon footprints of datacentres, being able to decrease and remove the electricity requirement for cooling could become an increasingly attractive and important consideration.   

     

    Roll Out 

    The up-take and roll-out of Li-ion across the datacentre industry will not happen overnight.  Not all systems are Li-ion ready, manufacturers of UPS equipment need to ensure their technology is compatible and can ‘talk’ to the Li-ion battery monitoring system.   

    Interestingly, the adoption of Li-ion within UPS systems so far, has been greater in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, where the main power grid is less reliable than in the UK and frequent power problems are more commonplace.  In these instances, the UPS and battery systems are required to be cycled several times per day.  This greater adoption is primarily due to the higher cycling life of Li-ion: typically, 2,500 power-up and down cycles compared with around 300 for VRLA technology. 

    Over time, we believe, there will be an inevitable shift towards Li-ion batteries as further cost reductions driven by developments in the automotive industry, flow through to the standby power sectors.  Incorporating Li-ion will inevitably reduce the size and weight of UPS systems overall and the longer useful working life of Li-ion will mean fewer costly replacements.  All of which will benefit customers with reductions in both CAPEX and OPEX and make Li-ion batteries a winning solution for UPS applications requiring compact, innovative protection.   

    In our ever-evolving world, future-proofing systems is one of the greatest challenges faced by system designers.  The good news is that CENTIEL’s technology is already Li-ion Ready, so existing lead acid battery installations will have the option to upgrade to Li-ion in the future without needing to replace the UPS.  

    This article was originally featured in Mission Critical Magazine 

  • Light pipes for status display

    20 Dec 2018 SCHURTER

    SCHURTER improves upon a classic product: the new 6600-5 series IEC outlets are available with integrated light pipes. An intelligent, space and cost-saving solution for PDUs used in data centers and other multi-distributed power applications.

  • The lead-acid battery systems used to power UPS systems have been proven over many years.  The Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) blocks we used three decades ago are the same as those used today!  However, in the next few years, Lithium ion (Li0ion) is set to revolutionise how we back-up our power protection systems.  How fast the take up will be, will depend on how rapidly prices reduce to loevels that make the investment in Li-ion a practical alternative.

    Prices are being driving down by the automotive industry and have reduced ten-fold over the past ten years.  Perceptions are also changing.  In the past, there has been some reticence about small Li-ion applications, however, now with the inclusion of battery monitoring systems they are now regarded as a safe and viable option and are in use in a variety of industries.  It is only a matter of time before Li-ion becomes mainstream within datacentres across the world.

    Increasingly we are being asked to provide comparative quotes for Lead Acid versus Li-ion batteries for UPS installations.  Depending on the customer’s project, we are generally finding the initial cost of buying Li-ion compared with Lead Acid batteries works out at around 2.5 times more expensive.  When prices can be reduced to around 1.8 to twice the initial purchase price of Lead Acid, we believe the various benefits and considerations relating to total cost of ownership (TCO) will start outweighing concerns about the initial investment.

    One of the main benefits of Li-ion is length of life.   Lead Acid batteries last around ten years but are normally replaced every seven or eight years.  Li-ion lasts twice that and has a built-in battery monitoring system which regulates the charge and measures impedance in real-time.  If a fault occurs, the battery monitoring system alerts your UPS maintenance provider, raising awareness of an issue before the block fails.  With Lead Acid you only know there is a battery problem when you need to use it and if it doesn’t work then it’s too late!

    As well as lasting much longer, Li-ion batteries require less than half the physical space of the equivalent Lead Acid blocks and are less than 25% of the weight.  Commonly, above ground-floor installations can require structural strengthening of the building simply to house the required Lead Acid batteries.  Logistically, moving many tonnes of equipment in and out of an upstairs comms room, when batteries need replacing, can also present challenges.  For data-centres looking to increase their power density within the same foot print Li-ion promises a practical solution.

    Switching to Li-ion could also improve the overall efficiency of the comms room.  This is because a further advantage of Li-ion is that it can work at a higher temperature, therefore requiring less-expensive cooling, reducing the amount of overall energy consumed.  Most IT systems work better at >25 oC and the UPS technology itself can work well up to 40 oC.   By contrast: an industry standard estimate is that for every 10 degrees above 20 oC the operating life of a VRLA battery is halved.   With growing concerns about reducing the carbon footprints of datacentres, being able to decrease or even remove the electricity requirement for cooling could become an increasingly attractive and important consideration.

     

     

    However, the up-take and roll-out of Li-ion across the datacentre industry will not happen overnight.  Not all systems are Li-ion ready, but they need to be.  Manufacturers of UPS equipment need to ensure their technology is compatible and can ‘talk’ to the Li-ion battery monitoring system.  Currently CENTIEL and only a handful of other manufactures offer Li-ion ready UPS.

    In addition, understandably, the critical power protection industry tends to be particularly risk averse.  The early adopters will be the sector’s innovators.  Then how rapidly we see Li-ion in mainstream will likely depend on the experience of these first small installations.

    Interestingly, the adoption of Li-ion within UPS systems so far has been greater in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, where the main power grid is less reliable than in the UK and frequent power problems are more commonplace.  In these instances, the UPS and battery systems are required to be cycled several times per day.  This greater adoption is primarily due to the higher cycling life of Li-ion: typically, 2,500 power-up and down cycles compared with around 300 for VRLA technology.

     

     

    Over time we believe, there will be an inevitable shift towards Lithium ion batteries as cost reductions, driven by developments in the automotive industry, flow through to the standby power sectors.  Incorporating Li-ion will inevitably reduce the size and weight of UPS systems overall and the longer useful working life of Li-ion will mean fewer costly replacements.  All of which will benefit customers with reductions in both CAPEX and OPEX and make Li-ion batteries a winning solution for UPS applications requiring compact, innovative protection.

    For further information about CENTIEL UK Ltd please come and talk to us at Data Centre World 2010 on booth:  D1035.

     

    This artile was origonally feature in Electrical Engineering Magazine

  • Luna Logistics

    06 Apr 2018
    Thank you for visiting DCW, it was great to meet so many of you at the Luna Logistics stand
  • Luna Logistics are proud sponsors of Classic Formula Ford who race at all major circuits throughout the year including Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Donington.   Come and meet Luna’s Managing Director, Briege Leahy, and her knowledgeable team to experience this classic car in all its glory and enter our competition to win VIP tickets to Brands Hatch for two.

  • Landsvirkjun provides power to secure the continued growth of Advania Data Centers

    28 Feb 2018 Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland

    REYKJAVIK, Iceland-

    Landsvirkjun and the technology company Advania Data Centers have signed a power contract for the supply of 30 MW to the data center at Fitjar in Reykjanesbær. Efforts are being made to expand the data center and the IT provider expects to triple its operations. Fifty employees are expected to work at the data centers and the estimated turnover for the year is approximately six billion ISK.

    The agreement allows Advania Data Centers to meet the ever-increasing demand for high performance computing and specialist services in blockchain technology.

    .

  • Luna is pleased to annoounce its investment in an additional three air-ride and GBS tracked vehicles operating 365 days a year 24/7 acroos the UK with our Harlow HQ being an ideal location to support the London market.

  • Luna Logistics is pleased to be supporting Riello ups with their critical response SLA’s ensuring all data centre clients are kept operational 24/7 across 365 days a year.   

  • CNet has expanded its program delivery methods to include a new Live Virtual Classroom – the next generation technical education environment.

  • Light pipe for status indication

    07 Nov 2017 Schurter

    More intelligence is the watchword for power supply. Terms such as "Smart Grid" and "Intelligent Power Grid" are on everyone's lips. This development will permeate our everyday life. Especially when there are solutions that make this intelligence efficient and easy to use.

  • "Lionweld Kennedy Launches its new product range"

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