A UPS technology re-evaluation for scale-out data centers - why UPS market choices are no longer static

Data center IT string power ratings are rising but when evaluating UPS options decision making has become too streamlined.

The UPS market is confusing and difficult to navigate meaning the temptation is to stick with what you know. This approach is fundamentally flawed. Are there credible alternatives to paralleling dozens of static UPS modules to scale or to several MW within systems that scale to tens of MW?

When Piller’s Robert Maroney spoke at DCD New York in Sept 2020 – virtually of course - his presentation sparked a lot of debate about the future of UPS power provision at cloud scale. Here’s some of what he had to say 

High speed and reliable internet is the backbone of the modern economy with data centres and internet exchanges sitting at the core of access to the connectivity revolution. 

As capacity demand grows and latency demand shrinks larger data centres will inevitably be needed to support the ever increasing volumes of data traffic. 

This in turn can only be provided with a matching increase in reliable, secure power supply. For this new power infrastructure technology is needed

The Covid 19 pandemic has expanded consumer, business and public sector reliance on data centres as the need for remote access and the requirement of WFH has increased exponentially. 

With a greater use of client devices and cloud platforms within five years conservative estimates forecast a world where 150 zettabytes of data is being generated each year. The vast majority of this data will be stored in or pass through a data centre. 

Without efficient, reliable power infrastructure that scales operators and users could face the prospect of unnecessarily high capex and opex alongside high maintenance and more outages. 

 

Dynamic not Static - how to scale

 There are 4 aspects that data centre developers need to consider for data centre power design. 

These are the UPS selection, data centre size, cost of ownership and electrical architecture. 

A large yet sensible solution for critical infrastructure power needs to match hyper scalability and consumption capacity. 

The appropriate UPS performance, overhaul and maintenance requirements are largely determined by the method through how energy is transferred. 

To date the most common UPS type found in modern data centres are electrically coupled.  This is unlikely to change.

Electrically coupled UPSs are considered as highly reliable because semiconductors control the energy flow for both recharging and discharging.

And while electrically coupled UPS are likely to remain the dominant technology, as data centres grow it is the advances in electrically coupled rotary UPSs that are creating new efficient, reliable options for power provision and protection at multiple MW scale.

The latest UB-V UPS range from Piller uses power electronics to monitor the stored energy transferred. Unlike traditional Static UPSs it does this without power capacitors or electric fans. This aids reliability as the UB-V operates within safe temperature ranges. Large single entity modules provide cost effective reliability as the low component count leads to less downtime risk.

Other new UB-V features include a control system with self-diagnostics; Suitability  for stabilisation of renewable energy; Ability to export embedded power generation;  Low and medium voltage versions; Flexible configuration using single modules that range from 1MW to 3.24MW offer easy paralleling up to 50 MW. 

UB-V down time is 13.5% lower than other UPS technologies. It operates at 98% efficiency at 100 % load and 97.3% efficiency at 50% load. 

For longer mean time between maintenance UB-V monitoring/reporting is pro-active and remote using virtual predictive maintenance monitoring and reporting with e-VENTLOG. e-VENTLOG is Piller’s latest maintenance service that enables shutdown free annual checks without physical intervention inside the UPS and down time is not required. 

The diagnostic platform monitors data such as room conditions, internal temperatures, switching cycle operations and ventilation. The encrypted data pack that is produced can be transmitted to the Piller Service Centre via secure email or downloaded directly at the deployed UB-V UPS.

It uses secure one-way data transmission of 3 separate data loggers for self-diagnostics: UB-V environment, vibration, communication heart beats, vital signs and data. 

UB-V UPS is an elegant- highly flexible and functional solution offering scalable capacity from day one to final build. 

Not Static

The UB-V clearly has many advantages over traditional Static UPS deployments at scale. 

In terms of capital expenditure the UB-V series installation methods are simple. Fewer electrical components help reduce carbon footprint and it does not require multiple power stages. A simplified infrastructure costs less to deploy, with little switch gear, cabling and duplication providing holistic cost savings with flexible expansion. 

In total the benefits of a data centre using a UB-V UPS tick almost all the boxes for efficient reliable operation.  It can even be used to increase white space for revenue generation in commercial operations when compared with the footprint of traditional Static roll outs. Low and no touch maintenance is another key advantage. MTBF in traditional static UPS is around once every 587,450 h compared to MTBF UB-V UPS system 3,086,620 h. 

To help meet sustainability targets UB-V enables renewable power balance to be maintained and accomplished by Piller UniBlock tech with innovative stabilization as well as export power capabilities this enables system choices for voltage and architecture. 

Less complexity, higher reliability and a large single modular design mean less infrastructure to drive energy consumption savings.

Conclusion

As data centres grow in size and number the UB-V UPS offers developers key long-term benefits. 

The UB-V is the latest UPS supplied by Piller and represents the most advanced UPS technology currently available on the market. 

It is environmentally friendly and cost effective for large scale deployment in data centres. 

For more detail on Piller’s UB-V   Series visit https://www.piller.com/en-GB/4791/new-ub-v-series-ups-for-all-large-scale-data-centres and download the latest brochure.

To listen to an on-demand of Robert’s presentation including a Q+A session: visit https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/conferences/new-york/2020-virtual-2/a-ups-technology-re-evaluation-for-scale-out-data-centers---why-ups-market-choices-are-no-longer-static/#presentation

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