Latest power publications
A UPS battery’s ability to store energy reliably and efficiently during normal operation, making it immediately available to the load during a mains failure, is critical to data centre security. Mark Coughlin, Applications Manager for Reserve Power at EnerSys reviews the key battery technologies currently available, to inform commercial and technical specifiers responsible for battery selection.
As innovative applications such as big data and IoT increasingly become the bedrock of global business operations, the need for data centre power protection has never been more critical. Although the effects of downtime vary from industry to industry, in extreme cases, a single outage can translate to millions of dollars of lost revenue.
There are a number of devices that today’s data centres rely on for power protection, but chief among them are uninterruptable power supplies (UPS). UPS’ serve two essential functions. First, to help protect ICT equipment from power abnormalities on the main supply, and if the mains supply fails, to step in and support the critical load until the mains is restored or replaced by an alternative supply such as a generator. By ensuring continuous power supply, UPS’ help eliminate the danger of costly power outages.
Given their many advantages over alternative technologies, lithium-ion batteries are gaining in popularity as a power backup option for data centre Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. A 2018 Bloomberg New Energy Finance report forecasted that Li-ion technology will comprise 40 percent of all data centre backup batteries by 2025, and that in the hyperscale sector, Li-ion will become the predominant battery technology, accounting for 55 percent of UPS batteries.
Compared with traditional valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) alternatives, Li-ion batteries offer greater power density, smaller size, less weight and longer operating life. They can also withstand many more charge/recharge cycles, typically more than 1,000 compared with 200-400, before losing their ability to provide effective backup power.
As a result, they occupy less space, incur lower maintenance costs and require less frequent replacement than VRLA batteries offering the user a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over the lifecycle. This helps to offset their chief disadvantage, an initial cost premium, but even that is steadily diminishing thanks to ongoing technology development and increased manufacturing volumes.
Additionally, recent studies conducted by Schneider Electric’s Data Centre Science Centre, detailed in White Paper #229: ‘Battery Technology for Data Centers’, found that over a 10-year period, Li-ion delivered a TCO that is between 10 percent and 40 percent lower than equivalent UPS systems based on VRLA batteries.
A new report has urged UK data centres to reevaluate their power contingency plans amid increasing energy outages.
The report, commissioned by temporary power generation equipment supplier Aggreko, said data centres risk costly downtime if contingency plans are not urgently addressed and that power irregularity and ageing equipment are increasing the risk of outages.
Riello UPS’s Leo Craig on why data centre operators should use the increasing popularity of smart grids to rethink the role of their uninterruptible power supplies, transforming an underutilised asset into a valuable money-maker In the next five years, the number of connected devices in the UK will more than double from 270 million at… Read More