A range of works and 234m2 modular data centre design and build completed for Thurrock County Council, which will serve its 170,000 thousand residents.
In the UK, more than 60% of our power comes from burning fossil fuels. Therefore, anything that uses power has an environmental impact. UPS require power to run and air conditioning to cool batteries. There are also environmental implications when it comes to the delivery of new equipment, its ongoing maintenance and the disposal of used equipment containing VRLA (lead acid) batteries which current legislation classes as ‘special waste’.
Most companies have environmental policies. However, the majority still reward staff for buying the ‘cheapest’ option rather than incentivising staff to reduce environmental impact. Understandably, executives at board level are driven to improve profit margins and they have responsibility to their shareholders to grow revenues, but at what cost to our environment? Surely, they also have a responsibility to reduce carbon footprints to protect the world we all, including shareholders, live in.
The latest research paints a bleak picture of our future, if immediate action to reduce carbon footprints is not taken. For example: In October last year, the UN issued a landmark report which stated Greenhouse gas emissions must be cut almost in half by 2030 to avert global environmental catastrophe, including the total loss of every coral reef, the disappearance of Arctic ice and the destruction of island communities. Scientists stated that we need keep temperature increases below 1.5C to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Unless we see a significant move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and introduce new technology to reverse global warming by removing CO2 from the atmosphere, scientists believe this figure will be exceeded within around 20 years.
So, what can we do?
Select the Most Efficient UPS
Selecting the most efficient UPS is essential to minimise its carbon footprint. If we consider a 100kW UPS operating 24 hours per day/365 days per year, every 1% of efficiency loss wastes 1kW every hour. At only 10p/kW hour this equates to £8,760 over a ten-year period and does not include the energy wasted by additional air conditioning.
Beware, operational efficiencies are often stated by manufacturers as being ‘greater than 99%’. However, this usually relates to offline operation or ‘ecomode’. Datacentres don’t use this mode as it means they would be operating on raw mains and only transferring (with a short break in power) to full UPS operation when there is a problem. True online efficiency is the important percentage to compare UPS solutions as this indicates the real UPS operating efficiency.
Choose a Scalable, Flexible UPS
A UPS needs to operate at the optimum point on its efficiency curve. Systems which are too small will be overloaded, compromising availability while those that are too large, waste energy are costly to run and to maintain. Scalability and flexibility are therefore essential considerations to ensure the continual ‘right sizing’ of the UPS.
Today’s 4th Generation modular UPS technology has a flat efficiency curve for loads above 15%. This is why CENTIEL’s CumulusPower UPS offers >97% efficiency even at low loads and combines the benefits of increased flexibility, scalability and lowest running costs.
Cheap UPS are inevitably built with cheap components which require more maintenance and repair, all adding to the system’s total cost of ownership (TCO) and carbon footprint. A top-quality UPS such as CENTIEL’s CumulusPower, using Li-ion batteries will need one change of the capacitors in 15 years with no battery changes. An inferior solution will need three capacitor changes plus three VLRA battery changes in the same period. Consider the environmental impact of selecting a UPS which reduces the need for maintenance and replacement parts.
Naturally, increased efficiency and lower total cost of ownership for UPS are closely linked with the most environmentally friendly systems enjoying ongoing operating cost savings. However, given a choice, decision makers still purchase the lowest cost system thinking they are “saving money” for their company despite the company’s environmental and sustainability policies. While this behavior is understandable, it needs to change, and employees need to be incentivized to make the right environmental choices before it is too late.
Move to Li-ion
Most UPS systems can operate in an ambient temperature of around 40°C without de-rating, however, VLRA (lead-acid) batteries used to support the UPS start to degrade at above 20°C. VRLA batteries need to be cooled by continual air conditioning and its associated environmental cost.
An alternative is Li-ion battery technology. Li-ion has a higher initial purchase price but can safely operate at higher ambient temperatures so the need for air-conditioning is significantly reduced. In Northern European locations this means cooling could be provided by the natural air temperature, if cooling is needed at all. This would result in significant savings on both datacentre running costs and reduced carbon footprints.
Li-ion batteries also have a much longer useful working life. Five-year design life VRLA batteries are normally replaced every four years. With Li-ion this is every 15 years.
For further information visit www.centiel.co.uk
The speed at which we create this data is increasing at a bewildering rate. It has been estimated that we now create as much data in a single day as was created from the beginning of time until 2010! With the Internet of Things (IoT) any electrical/electronic machine/device will be capable of connecting to the internet and capable of creating data, so the situation is only set to escalate.
With all this data from all these devices the concept of Edge computing is to achieve lower latency and push the computing power closer to the source of that data.
Large mega datacentres will house the essential information securely. However, we also know that it makes logical and practical sense to filter and process the data as close as possible to its source. With this in mind, there will be a growing number of organisation specific micro and small datacentres operating at The Edge. Organisations today, are already starting to create their own micro datacentres, using them to store and process their data local to the organisation while the important data is moved offsite to the Cloud.
The micro or Edge datacentres of the future will attach to office and homes and their availability will need to be protected by electricity and therefore the utilisation of an Uninterruptible Power Supply system (UPS).
By defintion Edge computing facilities will be prevalent and small. The latest generation of power protection equipment is modular in design, with a range of module ratings, small in size, highly efficient and offering flexibility and redundency in a very small footprint. Nine 9’s availability is possible due to high module reliability and “hot swap” capability meaning systems do not need to be switched off, or transferred to external bypass to replace a module.
While technology improvements are always possible, when a UPS is almost 100% available and 100% efficient, there is not much further for the technology to go. However, UPS energy storage in the form of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will be a game changer. This is because Lead-Acid batteries in common use are relatively large and heavy and their use may be limited in the Edge micro datacentres of the future.
Li-ion batteries however, typically require less than half the physical space of the equivalent Lead Acid blocks and are less than 25% of the weight, they also operate at higher ambient temperatures so require less or no cooling. This means some of the environmental, floor loading and structural challenges of introducing a micro data centre into an existing SME on, say, the top floor of a London building will simply disappear.
In the future the introduction of Edge computing will see facilities managers needing to help support “local” micro and small data centres for organisations of all sizes. A well designed micro and small datacentre will last an organisation several generations of IT equipment whereas a poorly designed micro and small datacentre could cost an organisation a lot of money in terms of poor availability, wasted infrastructure and running costs.
CumulusPower CENTIEL’s scalable and flexible true modular three-phase UPS system that combines class leading availability and efficiency that makes it perfect for use in small, medium and large datacenters. However, not every application requires a modular UPS and for these applications and so we also offer our PremiumTower range. It has the same Swiss build quality and innovative technology seen in CumulusPower but comes in a lower cost, stand-alone cabinet, ranging from 10kW – 120 kW suitable for Edge applications. CENTIEL’s full range of UPS are all Li-ion ready.
Centiel supports the data centres of today and those 10-15 years into the future.
Room Alert Link software gives Room Alert users new and improved management over their environment monitoring hardware, including SSL encryption, one-click firmware updates, faster online/offline status and much more
In October last year, the UN issued a landmark report which stated Greenhouse gas emissions must be cut almost in half by 2030 to avert global environmental catastrophe, including the total loss of every coral reef, the disappearance of Arctic ice and the destruction of island communities. Scientists stated that we need keep temperature increases below 1.5°C to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Unless we see a significant move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and introduce new technology to reverse global warming by removing CO2 from the atmosphere, scientists believe this figure will be exceeded within around 20 years.
This report paints a bleak picture of our future if rapid action is not taken on an individual and corporate level. Organisations have a responsibility to shareholders to look after them both financially and from an environmental perspective so they need to start taking a long-term view and base purchasing decisions on reducing environmental impact. In this way, we can all play a part in contributing to change.
So, from an environmental perspective what needs to be considered when purchasing a UPS?
If we consider a 100kW UPS operating 24 hours per day/365 days per year, every 1% of efficiency loss wastes 1kW every hour. At only 10p/kW hour this equates to £8,760 over a 10 year period and does not include the energy wasted by additional air conditioning. Currently in the UK, more than 60% of this wasted energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels. This is why selecting the most efficient UPS is essential to minimise the carbon footprint.
Beware, operational efficiencies are often stated by manufacturers as being ‘greater than 99%’, however, this 99% efficiency is related to ‘offline’ operation or ‘ecomode’. No datacentre ever operates on this mode as they would be operating on raw mains and only transferring (with a short break in power) to full UPS operation when there is a problem. True online efficiency is the important percentage to compare UPS solutions as this indicates the real UPS operating efficiency.
From an efficiency perspective, the big challenge is that the IT power requirement in most organizations will change over time. Six-years ago a Comms Room server rack typically required 6kW, today it is likely to require 30kW. So how can the infrastructure be built to meet these dramatically changing demands?
Put simply, a UPS needs to be easily scalable and must always operate at the optimum point on its efficiency curve. A system which is too small will be overloaded, compromising availability while a system which is too large will be inefficient, waste energy and be costly to run. It will also cost more than necessary to maintain due to its size. Scalability and flexibility are therefore essential considerations when purchasing, to ensure the continual ‘right sizing’ of the UPS.
State of the art UPS technology, such as CENTIEL’s 4th Generation modular technology CumulusPower, has a flat efficiency curve for loads above 15% thereby offering the combined benefits of increased flexibility, scalability and lowest running costs.
Most UPS systems can operate in ambient temperature of 40°C without de-rating, however, VLRA (lead-acid) batteries used in UPS start to degrade at above 20°C. For every 10°C above 20°C, the useful working life of the battery is halved. So, a VRLA battery with a ten-year design life working at 20°C will last five years at 30°C and just over two years at 40°C. In addition to the battery replacement costs and/or the requirement for air conditioning there is the environmental cost of replacing many tonnes of batteries that current legislation classifies as ‘special waste’.
An alternative is Li-ion battery technology. Li-ion has a higher purchase price but because Li-ion batteries can operate at higher ambient temperatures without degrading the need for air-conditioning is very significantly reduced. In Northern European locations such as the UK this means UPS cooling could be provided by the natural air temperature resulting in significant savings on data centre running costs and, equally importantly, reducing its carbon footprint.
Li-ion batteries also have a much longer useful working life. Five-year design life VRLA batteries operated at 20°C are normally replaced every 3-4 years. With Li-ion this is 13-15 years.
When it comes to UPS purchase there are usually two budgets: one for the capital expenditure and one for maintenance. Traditionally, the employee selecting the cheapest UPS were misguidedly praised for ‘saving money’ but the cheapest UPS are invariably built with the cheapest components which have much higher repair and maintenance costs and are therefore actually ‘costing money’. A top-quality UPS such as CENTEIL’s CumulusPower, using Li-ion batteries will need only one capacitor change 15 years whereas an inferior solution will typically need three capacitor changes plus three sets of replacement VLRA batteries in 15 years.
Commercial UPS installations can learn from Industrial UPS installations where >25 years’ working life is normal for a UPS. It is true that IT technology is changing very rapidly but the same 230V / 50 Hz being used 20 years ago will be the same in 20 years.
So, by using UPS that are engineered to last, commercial organisations can contribute positively to environmental impact by reducing the need for maintenance, replacement parts and scrappage.
Correct Decision Making
The increase in UPS efficiency from 85% in the 1980s to 97% today is a 12% improvement that reduces the UPS’ carbon footprint but purchase decision makers are often still focused only on the bottom line, missing the bigger environmental picture. Of course, increased efficiency and lower total cost of ownership are closely linked and the most environmentally friendly systems enjoy ongoing operating cost savings. However, given a choice, decision makers still take an ill-informed short term view and purchase the lowest cost system thinking they are “saving money” for their company and often contrary to the company’s environmental and sustainability policies. While this behaviour is understandable it is “old school” and needs to change from the top down and employees need to be incentivized and educated help the make the right environmental choices for all our sakes.
For further information please visit www.centiel.co.uk
Hampshire, United Kingdom (September 7, 2019) - Best of Show at NAB 2019. Which is one of the largest shows for media, entertainment, and technology professionals – and where Raritan’s new, fourth-generation (The DKX4) KVM-over-IP switch was first shown. A panel of engineers and industry experts selected the Best of Show Award winners. They selected them for their innovation, feature set, cost efficiency, and performance in serving the industry.
“We are delighted that our Dominion KX IV is recognised with a NAB Best of Show award.” Richard Dominach, Director of Product Management at Raritan. “It’s another industry endorsement for Raritan’s leadership in delivering innovative solutions and technologies for managing infrastructures.”
David Bond, chairman at Centiel UK, highlights why buying cheaper will only cost you (and the environment) in the long run.
The operating efficiency of a UPS solution and its total cost of ownership are closely linked, and the most environmentally friendly systems enjoy ongoing operational cost savings. For contractors, getting the ‘best deal’ for any organisation is important. However, if we take a long-term view and add the cost of air conditioning, running costs, maintenance, repairs and spares to the initial purchase price, what is actually the ‘best deal’, both financially for the organisation and in terms of the environment is drawn into question.
Selecting the most efficient UPS is essential to minimise its running costs and its carbon footprint. Operational efficiencies are often stated by manufacturers as being ‘greater than 99%’, however, this level of efficiency is normally related to offline operation or ‘ecomode’.
This figure is therefore deceptive as no serious data centre ever runs on ecomode, as it means they would be operating on raw mains and only transferring (with a short break in power) to full UPS operation when there is a power problem. To compare the efficiency of UPS solutions, it is necessary to look at their true online efficiency, as this measure indicates the UPS’ efficiency when it is actually working.
The type of battery technology used can also add to the Total Costs of Ownership (TCO) of the system and its impact on the environment. VRLA (lead-acid) batteries are classified as ‘special waste’ and five-year design life batteries will typically be replaced every three to four years (if operated at 20°C) because it is better to replace VRLA batteries six months early rather than one day too late. Only one aged battery in a string will cause the critical load to crash.
Compare this to Li-ion battery technology which only needs replacing every 13-15 years in normal ambient temperatures. Li-ion batteries may be more expensive initially but as well as not needing to be replaced, they do not need air conditioning, further reducing their operating costs. VRLA batteries start to prematurely age at temperatures above 20°C and so require air cooling. This is expensive both financially and for the environment as currently more than 60% of the UK’s power comes from burning fossil fuels.
In Northern European locations such as the UK, using Li-ion means UPS cooling could be provided by the natural air temperature, resulting in significant savings on data centre running costs and, equally importantly, reducing its carbon footprint.
UPS maintenance costs also add to its TCO and if we take an overall view about the total financial and environmental burden of the system, then this also needs to be taken into consideration.
When it comes to UPS purchase, there are usually two budgets: one for the capital expenditure and one for maintenance. However, the cheapest UPS are invariably built with the cheapest components which have much higher repair and maintenance costs and are therefore actually ‘cost money’ over the system’s working life.
A UPS such as Centiel’s CumulusPower, using Li-ion batteries, will need just one capacitor change and no battery changes in 13-15 years. An inferior solution will need three capacitor changes and three sets of replacement VLRA batteries in the same period. This increases the TCO and the UPS user will need to dispose of many tonnes of scrap VRLA batteries which the current legislation classifies as ‘special waste’. This is why it is essential to calculate the real TCO of systems to compare the financial and environmental differences.
The next point to consider is right sizing. From an efficiency perspective, the big challenge is that the IT power requirement in most organisations will change over time and selecting a UPS that operates at the optimum point on its efficiency curve is essential.
A system which is too small will be overloaded, compromising availability, while a system which is too large will be inefficient, waste energy and be costly to run. It will also cost more than necessary to maintain due to its size. Scalability and flexibility are therefore essential considerations when ensuring the continual ‘right sizing’ of the UPS.
Today’s state of the art UPS technology offers >97% true online efficiency and a flat efficiency curve for loads above 15%, thereby offering the combined benefits of increased flexibility, scalability and lowest running costs.
It is important for organisations to recognise that purchasing the cheapest UPS system does not “save money” and certainly does not adhere to an environmentally friendly approach. The true TCO (as opposed to a cheap purchase price) for the UPS needs to be fully understood and decision makers must select the right UPS to please their boss, the company’s shareholders and the planet.
For further information please visit www.centiel.co.uk
Prime Wire & Cable, one of the leading manufacturers of extension cords and structured cabling solutions is introducing a new line of Energy Efficient Modular Data Centers at the BICSI Show in Las Veg ...
Hampshire, United Kingdom (August 22, 2019) - The award-winning 'Pro Range' Server Cabinet range is manufactured from steel for maximum structural rigidity and supports best practice cable management. The award winning patented 'Pro Range' Server Cabinet includes a unique twist and lock mechanism. It is suitable for use with virtually all hardware brands without adapting components. Cabinets fully conform with EU recommendations on Energy Efficiency.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Clarita begins testing the effectiveness of installing Room Alert environment monitors throughout the city to monitor traffic signal and crossing gate status to improve commute times and reduce repair costs.
The lifetime of a typical UPS lifetime is usually around ten years. This is because 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 fourth 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 printed circuit board, 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.
For further information visit www.centiel.co.uk
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.
Advances in UPS design are increasing efficiency and resilience, writes Centiel UK managing director Mike Elms…
In any industry, there is always innovation and advancement. In the UPS world, there have been changes in topology from single standalone units to multiple redundant configurations, the establishment of the transformerless based design and the modular concept. These changes have been driven primarily by the increasing cost of energy, hence seeking higher and higher efficiency was the goal, but also by the nirvana of eliminating single points of failure, attaining the highest availability – i.e no downtime.
Most major manufacturer’s UPS equipment have very high online operating efficiencies and there are now more modular type systems on the market. High efficiency is more or less a given, nowadays, so how do you achieve the highest availability?
One innovation is Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA), taking downtime from seconds to the milliseconds level. This technology and modular hot-swap capability provides availability of 9 nines (99.999999999). DARA is a concept introduced by Centiel into its 4th generation UPS CumulsPower True Modular UPS design. So, what exactly is DARA?
D is for Distributed
Distributed means that a decentralised architecture is utilised so that there is no single active component which can be a potential single point of failure.
There is no single control board, no single system static switch and no single parallel bus. Each module within the frame is a UPS in its own right. Each module is actually a fully independent and self-isolating intelligent module with all the building blocks of a standalone UPS unit – including rectifier, inverter, static switch, battery charger, intelligence (CPU and communication logic) and mimic panel.
Take the modules out of the frame, put them beside each other on the floor, cable them up and you have a traditional looking multi-UPS parallel redundant system.
For most modular UPS units, however, the commonly used single system, separate static switch is of most concern, as it can become a potential single point of failure.
A is for Active
A is the automated democratic decision-making process which is the real differentiator in DARA. It means the sum of the decision determines the total system action or reaction to any issues.
In a standard modular UPS, where modules share the load, if one has a problem it could signal all the modules go to static bypass.
However, a true modular UPS with DARA makes democratic decisions; when a fault is recognised in one module, but not the others, they will remain online while the problematic module is switched off automatically and isolated.
The automated process removes some of the human element which has led to data centre power failures in recent years.
R is for Redundant
From a technological point of view, building redundancy into the UPS system increases availability. Redundancy simply means adding extra modules that will support the load in the event of failure.
By utilising a true N+1 configuration, a failure in one module results in that module being isolated, leaving the remaining modules supporting the load. This results in high availability, while the rapid hot swap modular concept offers the lowest mean time to repair. It takes minutes to replace a module.
However, duplication and redundancy of UPS components must also apply to communication between modules too. The most simple communications bus is a single cable; a break could potentially compromise the entire system. A ring circuit eliminates this as the signals can simply communicate the other way around the ring.
For increased assurance, a triple mode communications bus is provided. As the name suggests, there are three paths of communication with three separate ring circuits, and three brains in each module communicating with the three brains in all the other modules.
A is for Architecture
The overall architecture in Centiel’s CumulusPower modular design is a completely decentralised one, where no common component can act as a potential single point of failure. Instead of one brain, there are multiple brains that work together to make the best decision for the whole.
The purpose of a UPS system must be to protect critical loads with the highest level of efficiency and availability. There are many different solutions to the same problem, therefore, it is important to check the configuration and the definition of a modular system carefully and seek expert advice before making an expensive purchase.
For further information please visit www.centiel.co.uk
In this article, we have touched on just a few points that need regular review. Our own network of factory trained CENTIEL engineers visiting a facility have a factory designed maintenance program which checks the condition of all essential components. Clients are made aware of the need for any replacements to ensure the continued running of the UPS. Preventive maintenance is key to maintaining the availability of the system over time.
For further information please visit www.centiel.co.uk
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) announced that its RocketRibbon™ extreme density cable has been recognized as the “Data Center Physical Connectivity Innovation of the Year” at the Data Center Solutions (DCS) Awards in London. This is the seventh consecutive year that a Corning product has won a DCS award.
AVTECH receives patent for its ability to easily and quickly determine the power status of electrical devices while also providing exact temperature readings without unplugging or modifying the device’s power cable.
The DCA is now delighted to announce a new media partnership with Lynchpin Media and the launch of Intelligent Data Centres Magazine.
AVTECH’s Room Alert monitoring platform recognized as a leading network security platform and best practices provider to help businesses prevent costly downtime.
IT and DC professionals gain significant advantage from adding fail-safe power to existing single power IT devices (switches etc) and to the complete rack IT equipment using a fully customisable PDU solution
Britain’s largest manufacturer of specialist in-building water, oil and gas leak detection systems, Andel, is set to launch the latest addition to its Floodline leak detection system - a new hybrid environmental monitoring control panel – at Data Centre World (12-13 March, ExCel London).
Andel’s team will launch Floodline 128 mk 2 panel, a multi-functional and customisable water, oil, multi-gas leak detection and environmental monitoring panel which comes packed with updated technology, enhanced installer and end-user functionality and a single connection to the BMS.
The team will also be on hand to talk to visitors about how its unique Floodline leak detection services can allow early action to prevent damage, reduce disruption and limit loss in data centres. It will also showcase its specialist fuel oil storage and care services.
Andel offers a unique combination of water, oil and gas leak detection systems, all managed via a single control panel. Crucially, for data centres, Floodline monitors concealed pipework for both water and refrigerant gas leaks from air conditioning systems as well as monitoring for humidity and temperature spikes – vital for server rooms. Andel also ensures that the fuel used to power standby generators is not leaking, is in good condition and is stored correctly within the requirements of the Oil Storage Regulations.
Commercial Director, Mark Harris, said: “Data centres face a number of leak risks which would spell disaster if not detected. We are the only service provider offering both a leak detection service and fuel oil care services, all accessible via one control panel. We look forward to meeting visitors at Data Centre World to talk about their infrastructure management needs.”
Based in Yorkshire but with nationwide and international coverage, Andel has more than 25 years’ experience.
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.
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 / email@example.com
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.