Once upon a time, a consultant could specify a UPS for a project that would ensure the client got what they wanted and that very same equipment would arrive on site, be installed, checked and commissioned successfully, then everyone lived happily ever after. However, in today’s world, costs are being increasingly scrutinised and we are seeing more and more examples of ‘value engineering’ coming into play, sometimes to the detriment of the outcome of the project.
What I mean by ‘value engineering’ is that the contractor takes on the spec as a design and build, they then have to make a decision on a product which just about meets requirements but doesn’t always adhere to the original spec. This usually happens as a result of trying to control costs.
The challenge for most projects is that they run over budget, this is often due to the limited information provided at the design stage. This results in one or two ‘guesstimates’ in the spec which is then handed over to the contractor to piece together an installation that will work, for a budget which is usually smaller than what’s really needed.
There is more than one road to Rome, as they say, and there is always more than one solution which will ‘do the job’.
Therefore, the spec will usually name several manufacturers who are suitable to provide an ‘equal and approved alternative’. With the inevitable pressure on budgets, the contractor can be forced into selecting the cheapest option, which may end up costing the client more in running costs plus maintenance, repair and replacement later down the line.
How would it be then, if the ‘equal and approved alternative’ could outperform the spec and still be the most cost-effective way forward? It would be a win-win for client, consultant and contractor alike. To achieve this result requires some joined-up thinking at the planning stage. Why not invite manufacturers into the discussion earlier to pool knowledge resources, ideas and come up with workable options which will save client costs over the long term? Talk is cheap, making mistakes can be costly!
A typical example would be the requirement for 100kW N+1 to support a critical load. Often, we see two standalone UPS systems of say 2x100kW, however, a better solution could be modular. For example: 6x20kW modules would reduce the overall footprint and downsize the battery requirement from 200KW to 120KW. Further, the six modules would need far less switch gear than the two standalone UPS systems (which would need paralleled switch gear). Although the resilience level is the same at N+1, the speed in which redundancy is regained is more than ten times faster than the traditional approach, improving availability. In this example, a loss of redundancy (+1) in a modular system would be the case of losing 1 x 20kW module. Comparably with the standalone solution, a loss of redundancy means a loss of 100kW of UPS, which could take up to six hours of repair onsite or result in that unit being replaced.
At CENTIEL we have recently worked on a couple of interesting projects where we were able to offer an alternative solution to solve particular challenges. By working closely with the contractor and consultant we fulfilled the spec in the most cost-effective way possible.
The first project was for a London client in the financial district, where the spec was for a full 250kW modular UPS frame to support a day two load and resilience level of 200kW N+1. It was identified during the early stages of implementation that the load requirements were actually lower than the anticipated day two spec. We advised supplying 4x50kW modules providing 150kW N+1 to support the actual day one load, reducing the project budget by matching the actual load while leaving the infrastructure for future growth. The day one power requirement was only for four modules, we left the infrastructure in place including a spare bay for an additional module within the UPS frame, the full battery rack and DC isolation unit in place. As the load had increased a year later, we added the fifth module. The architecture of the modular system allowed us to install the fifth module and associated batteries while the system was still live and supporting the load. This enabled the client to reduce the CapEx until required. Right-sizing UPS systems in this way can save considerable expenditure on initial outlay and running costs.
However, it’s not always about juggling module requirements. The second project was a hospital intensive care installation where space in the UPS plant room was particularly limited. The UPS weighed only about half a tonne, but the amount of batteries needed to support the Hospital’s requirement of a 60-minute run time weighed around nine tonnes, so took up a fair proportion of the space available. We designed bespoke battery racks optimising the configuration for ease of access and maintenance of both the UPS and batteries. We maximised use of the floor to ceiling space to create a workable area, ensuring there was enough room to allow for the rest of the equipment including DC isolation, bypass panel, UPS distribution panel and building management service (BMS) which all needed to be accessed readily by our maintenance engineers.
The key to the success of these projects was the open and productive discussions between all parties involved to come up with the best long-term solution for the client, in contrast to a ‘just buy the cheapest’ approach. By working together as trusted advisors, we can help solve these common commercial challenges with solutions that can outperform the spec without compromising on performance.
Remember ‘talk is cheap’ but choosing an unsuitable UPS can work out to be very expensive in the long run!
For further information please visit www.centiel.co.uk
Reliability is often considered the key attribute when buying a UPS. Yet a system can be reliable over a period of time, but still fail on a particular occasion with far-reaching consequences. Therefore, availability must be your No. 1 priority.
In an always-on world, we depend on being connected round the clock with immediate access to information and with zero downtime. We want a system that never fails.
In recent years, modular systems have introduced a significant step-change in the industry.
When properly configured, they are designed to maximise load availability and system efficiency simultaneously. This is because modular systems have a single frame, containing a number of power modules which run together and share the load equally. If one fails it automatically isolates itself from the system and the remaining modules continue to support the critical load, preserving system availability. Furthermore, with decentralised architecture there is no single point of failure, contributing to the highest level of availability. In addition with hot swappability the load also remains protected even when any individual module is being replaced.
Another consideration is total cost of ownership (TCO). Purchasing poor quality or inferior designed products can rapidly drive up overall investment costs. Batteries and other components may need to be replaced within a short time – think fans, capacitors etc. Efficiency and lower TCO are inextricably linked. Look for a UPS with the highest online efficiency; as well as reducing energy costs they are environmentally friendly.
Purchasing directly from a manufacturer also cuts out the middle man, reducing cost and providing the peace of mind of full factory support and servicing, plus that all important factory warranty.
Consider also Li-ion. Unlike lead acid, Li-ion batteries are happy running at a temperature of high 20/low 30 degrees centigrade. Similarly, most IT systems work at >25 degrees C and the UPS technology itself can work well up to 40 degrees C. By contrast, an industry standard estimate is that for every 10 degrees above 20 C the operating life of a lead-acid (VRLA) battery is halved.
Switching to Li-ion could mean significant savings on running costs and a reduced carbon footprint. However, not all UPS are Li-ion ready. Technology needs to be compatible to “talk” to the Li-ion battery monitoring system.
Remember that no matter how sturdy and state-of-the-art, your UPS equipment can’t always be relied on to look after itself! So do have a planned maintenance programme for ongoing, reliable operation and safe upkeep.
For support when buying a UPS contact our team of experts email@example.com
The UPS industry has seen changes in topology from single standalone units to multiple redundant configurations, the establishment of the transformerless based design and the Modular concept. The driver has been to reduce energy and seek higher efficiency and at the same time increase availability by removing single points of failure. Most major manufacturers’ UPS have very high online operating efficiencies and there are now more Modular type systems in the market.
However, the term ‘modular’ can have different interpretations to different individuals. Therefore, it is important to analyse the nature of what is being described as a ‘modular system’ carefully when purchasing a UPS, to ensure the essential power of the datacentre is protected at all times. Understanding the configuration and the definition of a modular system carefully, before the deal is done, is therefore critical.
At the most basic level, a single standalone UPS unit that protects a critical load is known as an N system configuration. However, a standalone UPS lacks any resilience in the event that the unit develops a fault or is offline for preventative maintenance. Paralleling a second standalone UPS unit of the same rating, provides resilience and is known as an N+1 configuration. It would be possible to parallel several standalone units together of an individual smaller rating to give the same philospohy. At the most basic level this could be described as a modular UPS system. However, there does need to be the associated electrical infrastructure –switchgear etc – to be able to add more standalone units.
Another definition of modular is a standalone UPS designed and manufactured in a modular format. The main component parts of rectifier, inverter and static switch are modular, that is to say they can be withdrawn/inserted as a single component. If there is a problem with say the recitfier for example, it can be swapped easily. The challenge with this configuration is that if one component does fail, the whole UPS functionality goes down with it. It may be a modular system by a definition but its level of availability will not be reliable.
A better solution is what we term: a true modular UPS. This is where several individual UPS modules are contained within a frame. All the individual modules are UPSs in their own right, all containing a rectifier, inverter and static switch and all operating online in parallel with each other. For example eight 20kW UPS modules may typically be contained within a single frame offering a resilient configuration of 140KWs N+1. Various frame and module sizes are available. If required, it takes moments (around 30 seconds) to ‘hot-swap’ a module while the rest of the modules continue to protect the critical load. At no point does the system need to be transferred to maintenance bypass and hence on raw mains.
Some other modular systems include the rectifier and inverter within their modules but the static switch is a centralised and separate component. This results in a potential single point of failure. It may only take a few moments to replace a separate static switch, but, depending on location, getting to the site to replace it may take a maintance engineer several hours. During that time the system cannot transfer to static bypass. With a true modular system, where the static switch is included in each module, the rest of the modules in the UPS frame continue to protect the load until it can be replaced. This increases the level of availablity dramatically.
When selecting a UPS system, the up-front CAPEX necessarily comes into question. This can lead organisations to purchase at lesser cost but at the risk of buying a lesser product. Therefore, it is essential to check all proposals to ensure that you are being offered a modular system that really will do the job intended: protect the critical power of your datacentre with the highest level of availability. The installation of a higher CAPEX, higher quality UPS system can realise cost savings over the long-term through increased efficiency, resulting in lower running costs and a lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO), so doing a full cost analysis is usually worth calculating.
Come and meet your Trade Association The DCA at Data Centre World 2019 and find out more about how we support the industry and our members.
Meet us at stand D156 or contact us on 0845 873 4587 / firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1961 Olson Electronics Limited was founded and has remained a family run enterprise ever since. Originally producing components for radios, Olson quickly moved towards manufacturing instrument cases for the communications industry.
In 1971Olson’s first PDU was designed for their own use at an exhibition. This innovation received orders due to its high build quality and saw the launch of standard UK 13 Amp power distribution units. Production expanded and new premises were found in Shoreditch, East London.
In 1986 following market growth, Olson’s main focus became manufacturing power distribution units, which prompted another move to larger premises in Tottenham, North London. The communications industry was evolving and the 19” rack range for data cabinets was developed.
In 1990 with the success and popularity of their 13A ranges, Olson launched a new international range to meet demand outside of the UK. Exports of both standard and rack mounting options soon increased Olson’s turnover.
In 1998 Olson saw the move to the new head office in Stanmore where they are still based. This gave improved manufacturing facilities, (incorporating R&D) as well as sales and marketing alongside manufacturing. This allowed Olson to grow their bespoke service and shorten response times for design and manufacture.
In 2001 came the launch of the data centre range, incorporating cable management to 19” rack mounting PDUs for the very first time. This quickly grew in popularity within the industry and the range has continued to expand. A patent was applied for ‘sequential start’ which was then approved in 2006. This allows multi-power installations to have fast and secure start-up sequences, avoiding potentially damaging surges.
In 2017 Olson exhibited for the first time at CEF Live which was a great experience and it helped to spread the knowledge of the Olson brand throughout the Wholesale industry. Olson also launched The Retractor shortly after the show following a lot of customer request which was a huge success and still is to this day. Olson also managed to exhibit at Data Centre World for the very first time early 2018 which proved very beneficial for letting the market know they were providing high-quality Power Distribution units to Data Centres.
In 2019 Olson moved into Intelligence for the first time and designed their first range of smart PDU’s. Today Olson offer over 30 different standard catalogue product ranges catering for all types of applications. Despite their vast range of products, options and specifications are never-ending, the bespoke market growing is integral to the business and the relationship with their customers.
The DCA’s role varies from event to event however, for Data Centre World London, we have provided consultancy and advice for many aspects of the show, these include the concept and content for the 6th Generation Data Centre exhibit, supporting STEM Learning with a student’s STEM Tour, advising on content for the conference programme along with recommendations for speakers and moderators.
Traka is exhibiting at Data Centre World on 12-13 March at ExCeL London to launch an exclusive product solution, designed to ensure the highest level security of data assets.
TVR Instruments, a specialist technical distributor of low voltage instruments and power management products, will be exhibiting at the Data Centre World 2019 exhibition and conference at ExCeL London. TVR Instruments supplies and supports a range of components that can be used on either the AC or DC voltage supply in a data centre installation. Combining the ability to monitor the AC and DC voltage supplies of a power network in a facility allows additional scope and opportunity to add reliability and enhance resilience.
At its core, SmartSensor is Raritan's environmental monitoring platform. It has been strategically engineered for easy deployment, accurate data results, and heightened levels of insight into a data center's operational levels. Available as plug-and-play options for EMX rack controllers, PX Intelligent PDUs, PX inline meters, and branch circuit monitors, the SmartSensors alleviate the need for a separate controller...
Tripp Lite will present its new Euro-Series SmartRack® enclosures designed to Euro measurement standards. Key features of these new racks include: 42U and 47U sizes, available in a combination of widt ...
New research launched today by Blancco Technology Group (LON: BLTG), the industry standard in data erasure and mobile device diagnostics, outlines the staggering cost to global organizations of old, outdated IT equipment cluttering up data centers. A survey of 600 data center experts from APAC, Europe and North America reveals that two in five organizations that store their data in-house spend more than $100,000 storing useless IT hardware that could pose a security or compliance risk.
Cable and pipe seal provider Roxtec has more than doubled its fire resistance testing capacity. The new laboratory creates conditions for continuous development of safety products.
A typical UPS lifetime is generally around ten years, as manufacturers are obliged to supply replacement parts for up to ten years after cessation of manufacture. Therefore, the purchasing of equipment five years before this end date may extend the product’s apparent life to 14 years – after which, capacitors and/or batteries usually require replacing for a second or third time thereby making further investment in aging technology prohibitive.
Surprisingly, replacement batteries can cost 30 to 40% of a brand-new UPS system. The standard five or ten-year design life VRLA type battery will generally require replacing at four or eight years.
Replacing individual faulty battery blocks in strings is not recommended due to the different impedances between old and new and equalisation becomes a problem. Rapid chemical build-up within the new blocks will seriously affect their performance and within weeks they can become significantly ‘aged’; best practice is to replace all batteries at the same time.
Replacement of capacitors, AC and DC, is also a costly exercise and although prices vary depending on the UPS system, can amount to around 5-10% of the cost of a new UPS. Recommended replacement times vary between manufacturer with some advocating changing both at five years. Confirm this with your UPS supplier!
For the reasons above, if your UPS is approaching a point where both batteries and capacitors need replacing, it is worth considering the potential commercial advantages of replacement versus repair. A new system will have a 2-year warranty, advances in technology mean it will be more efficient, making significant savings on running costs on both electricity and reduced cooling requirements.
Over time, your load profile will undoubtedly have changed so it is worth investigating Modular UPS systems which can be right-sized more easily to your actual load: why pay for a large UPS when you don’t need it!? The Modular option can therefore reduce CAPEX as well as OPEX. In addition, the latest generation of Modular systems offer the highest availability and continuity of critical power delivery. For example: CENTIEL’s 4th generation modular UPS CumulusPower has 99.9999999% availability.
In some situations, a brand-new system could offer a far better technical solution at a similar cost to replacement parts. For a mid-range UPS system, say 60 to 200KVA, the remedial battery works may cost around £5-15K plus the cost of the capacitors. Suddenly, the cost of a similar sized replacement becomes attractive. Plus, a new UPS will come with that warranty and lower running costs.
However, often in business, OPEX and CAPEX lie in different cost centres. It might be easier to push through a purchase order for replacement batteries than invest in a new UPS which would offer long-term savings on running costs and provide higher availability. Here a total cost of ownership (TCO) calculation is helpful to assess the savings over the long term following a capital investment.
For example, a legacy 200kVA standalone UPS only using 100kVA of power could be replaced with a 200-kVA frame with two x 50KVA Modules. This right-sizing using UPS modules reduces CAPEX and lowers ongoing maintenance costs too.
In a recent TCO calculation: the energy saved by replacing an oversized, inefficient, UPS paid for a new Modular system within three years! The calculated savings over ten years made the decision a ‘no-brainer’.
Advances in UPS technology can also reduce the cost of future replacement parts. Legacy UPS systems have capacitors soldered on to pcb’s, where in contrast, the latest modular UPSs facilitate simple swapping capability via components mounted on screw in sub-assemblies. CENTIEL has designed CumulusPower so the DC capacitors only require replacement every ten years and AC capacitors every five-six years so can be changed separately to save costs.
When considering this repair/replacement conundrum, consider also how your business may change in the future. Will it grow? Will it always run at its current capacity? A new, truly modular configuration offers “pay as you grow” flexibility. Right-sizing the system initially, minimises CAPEX, while providing the capability to upgrade your system’s capacity with additional Modules.
CENTIEL work at the forefront of UPS technological development and are trusted advisors to some of the world’s leading institutions in this field. For more information about our 4th generation truly modular UPS CumulusPower please see: www.centiel.co.uk
The art of transformation
TMC Transformers SpA is a young company built on an impressive tradition. Formed in 2017, following the acquisition of TMC Italia SpA by Next Technology Group (NTG) owned by the Palladini family, Romana Moares spoke to CEO Cristiano Palladini about plans to re-establish the company as a global leader.
TMC has been a leading enterprise in the field of transformer design and manufacture since 1937. But a new and exciting chapter of its history started to unfold in August 2017 when the business was acquired by the Next Technology Group (NTG).
NTG’s mission for TMC is clear: to regain the position of a leading manufacturer of low and medium voltage dry-type transformers and inductors on the global stage.
“NTG has solid experience in transformer production,” said CEO Cristiano Palladini. “We owned the Swiss company Trasfor – a specialist in resin-cast transformers – for many years before selling it to ABB in 2012. With the acquisition of TMC, we are coming back into this field.
“Our mission is to enhance the high-skill, high-volume potential of one of the best and biggest cast-resin transformer companies in Europe with our technical and commercial competence and experience. The idea is to use these two components to succeed in two markets – distribution transformers and special transformers. These are the two pillars of the business.”
Mr Palladini confirmed that the company is committed to supporting customers with a wide range of products and services; from special prototype development and technical consultancy to final product delivery and a service team with 24/7 availability. The aim is to reach many diverse markets and provide a comprehensive range of products to different specialist applications such as industry, marine, offshore and power generation.
Shortlisted for this year's PCR Components Vendor Award, Ortial is a star amongst the smart solutions Techbuyer offers its customers. Server and laptop memory, solid-state-drives (SSD), high performance transceiver modules and compatible cables are available with around a 90% saving on the branded alternative without compromise on functionality or quality.
AVK will be premiering to the DCW London 2018 Audience a free to attend technical speaker session Entitled 'The Modular UPS Advantage'.
To be held within the Facilities and Critical Equipment Theatre, we will be presenting the advantages of large scale modular UPS systems for use within major Data Centre installations.
Luna Logistics collaboration with Black Box Network Services brought together over 30 years’ experience to successfully manage the complete decommissioning and recommissioning of servers for a leading London University.
In the spring of 2018, Pentair is presenting its complete portfolio supporting data center infrastructure and network technology at various events in Europe. Pentair products ensure the highest availability and uptime with minimal operating costs.
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY - FIT FOR THE DIGITAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Native digital Masterys UPS from Socomec converges with the latest smart-tech
The future of power monitoring- ground breaking technologies for greater simplicity and performance
The latest developments from Socomec are delivering smarter buildings and facilities – with sustainable and intelligent energy solutions.
Daxten presents on stand D540: the ultimate doorman for data centres
When it is necessary to protect sensitive corporate data, attention should be turned not only to external cyber-threats, but also to internal threats. In order to protect the physical integrity of the data centre a strong defense system must be implemented that allows administrators to monitor who has access to the racks, servers, and network devices. A key role in the security of data centres is ensuring that racks are only accessed by authorised users. A silver bullet to protect data from unauthorised access, manipulation, theft, and vandalism is the TZ SlideHandle; a retrofittable locking system for rack doors that is compatible with all major server cabinets. This solution will be demonstrated on the Daxten stand (D540) at Data Centre World 2018, which is being held at ExCeL London on the 21st and 22nd March.
Tripp Lite, a world-leading manufacturer of power protection and connectivity solutions, welcomes Bryn Morgan as the Vice President of International Business.
New at Data Centre World, stand D79, are the recently LPCB (Loss Prevention Certification Board) accredited Server Fortress range. Tested and approved to LPS 1175, Security Rating 2. These 19" server racks come safes have been designed and tested to protect all types of IT assets from malicious attack and theft.
As a global supplier of solutions critical to supporting data centre operations, Tripp Lite intends to highlight a number of new and innovative products in the categories of cabinets and enclosures, critical power and uninterrupted power supplies.