Video: Solving a data center’s need for rightsizing and simple scalability

In the following video Gadi Has, Director of Operations at Volico Data Centers, takes time out at the 2017 ABB Customer World US event to share how they replaced an aging UPS system with ABB’s Conceptpower DPA 500 to add capacity and high availability. Volico uses ABB Service and preventative maintenance to support their entire infrastructure including using ABB’s Advanced Digital Services to automate the control, monitoring and response of their data centers.

Find out more about this use case in the recent issue of our e-magazin power.
Power is available for download here»


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Increase in adoption of modular UPS systems drives global data center UPS market

Market research analysts at Technavio predict that the global data center UPS market will grow steadily during the next four years at a CAGR of more than 9% by 2021.

According to the new report “Global Data Center UPS Market 2017-2021“, one key driver in the market is increase in adoption of modular UPS systems. Modern data center designs comprise of UPS systems of both higher and lower capacity, which can be categorized into centralized, zone, and rack-mount systems.

These systems vary in both capacity and size based on the installed locations and need of an enterprise data center facility. UPS systems of lower capacity (i.e. 20 kVA modular systems) are being adopted alongside data center racks, which might support one or more racks depending on the IT load of the rack due to the increasing concerns over power fluctuations and outages.

Another trend in the market is use of lithium-ion UPS systems. Today, lead-acid batteries are the most preferred batteries for UPS systems in data centers for providing backup power during outages. The maintenance of lead-acid batteries is considered to be a major challenge for data center operators in recent times because of the requirement of regular monitoring and replacement.

Technavio: Global Data Center UPS Market 2017-2021

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Recommended Reading: Top Considerations for Addressing Data Center Facilities Management Risks

Stephen Burgess, a consultant with Uptime Institute Professional Services Uptime Institute, has created the “Top Considerations for Addressing Data Center Facilities Management Risks” guide to help world-class IT organizations better understand and address the risks associated with data center facilities management in today’s high stakes technology landscape.

This publication containing 14 top considerations around designing and running an enterprise-grade data center facilities management program is available for download.

It discusses the topics:

  • Monitoring and Managing Staff Overtime
  • Managing a Critical Spares Inventory
  • essential for mission critical facilities such as data centers.
  • Maintaining a Reliable Diesel Fuel Supply
  • Developing Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs)
  • Regular Execution of Site Drills
  • Executing Against a Procedure-Based Control Methodology
  • Establishing a NFPA 70E Compliant Safety Program
  • Completing Short-Circuit Coordination Studies & Arc Flash Assessments
  • Implementing Battery Monitoring Systems
  • Preparing a Formalized Training Curriculum
  • Invoking Maintenance Program Best Practices
  • Enforcing Access Control & Vendor Supervision
  • Performing Regular Integrated and Key Systems Testing & Validation
  • Building & Integrating Robust Change Management Protocols

The guide is available for download here.

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UPS system prevents loss of several millions at Novo Nordisk

One production standstill at Novo Nordisk in Gentofte, Denmark can result in a loss in production of several millions in Danish kroner. Since August 2014, an UPS system from ABB has prevented 30 probable production breakdowns due to voltage dips in the power supply.

Jesper Agertoft Pihl, electrical engineer and plant owner, is responsible for the electrical installations at Novo Nordisk in Gentofte.

Novo Nordisk in Gentofte, produce medicine for the bleeding disorder hemophilia. During the manufacturing process, the ventilation systems contribute to keeping the environment sterile by generating pressure, which prevents impurities from penetrating from the outside. However, Novo Nordisk had problems with voltage drops in the power supply, where the sensitive ventilation system cut out resulting in large production losses.

“In case of missing pressure above the atmosphere, all medicine must be discarded and production premises as well as equipment shall undergo an extensive cleaning that takes three days”, says Jesper Agertoft Pihl, electrical engineer and plant owner at Novo Nordisk in Gentofte.

A standstill may cost several millions Danish kroner and in the worst case, the pharmaceutical manufacturer will not be able to supply the market. Novo Nordisk in Gentofte is in production 24 hours a day throughout the year, which means that it is not possible to make up for a production loss and this could affect the supply security of the consumers. That is why the factory chose to install two offline PSC100 UPS-I systems from ABB in 2014, which keeps the voltage stable and prevents shutdowns.“

An offline UPS system is connected in parallel with the supply. It monitors the network, and if it detects a fluctuation in voltage or a failure in the supply, it will take over the load”, explains Rasmus Theill, product marketing director of Power Protection & EV Infrastructure at ABB in Denmark.

Increase in voltage dips

Previously, the pharmaceutical company typically had four to six shutdowns a year, which had been increasing. From the installation of the UPS facility in August 2014 to mid-December 2016, they had registered 59 voltage dips. From this, 30 would probably have caused downtime because the voltage dips fell below 30 per cent where the ventilation systems cut out.

“Only three weeks after installation, it prevented a breakdown due to voltage dips it had then paid for itself”, says Jesper Agertoft Pihl.

The voltage dips occur at switching of the mains voltage between power plants (wind energy and solar energy). The number of these disconnections had been increasing during the last few years as more and more of the power supply comes from alternative energy sources. The voltage drops will not affect a normal production, but it is problematic in highly sensitive facilities.

Best security in the market

The function of the UPS system is not only to prevent breakdowns due to voltage fluctuations, but also to act as a general emergency supply and here every precaution is taken. The construction of the system is redundant with eight modules per plant, each having five battery strings. Even if one module drops out, the remaining modules ensure that there is supply. The plant has no less than ten minutes of battery backup.

The uniqueness of the UPS-I is that the transfer time the time it takes for the system to connect, is less than 1.4 milliseconds. Additionally, it does not have the same power loss as an online UPS solution, but achieves an efficiency better than 99 per cent, which is the highest in the market, emphasizes Rasmus Theill.

At the factory, they had previously problems with harmonic currents, which caused unintended tripping and affected the lifetime of the components. For each UPS system, they have consequently installed two 100 amp active filters from ABB that solve this problem.

The UPS-I facilities had a payback period of only three weeks.

The touch screen visualizes the status of the plant and supply conditions.

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Video: Maximum UPS efficiency in all loading conditions

When an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is operating at significantly under capacity, its energy efficiency can be negatively impacted. Xtra VFI mode is a smart way to minimize losses and improve efficiency when running in double conversion mode by dynamically adjusting the number of active modules to match the load.

Modules that are not needed are switched to standby but remain in state of readiness if the load increases. The efficiency improvements achieved by this mode of operation are especially significant when the load is less than 25 percent of full UPS system capacity.

Watch the video below to find out more:

More about Xtra VFI operating mode»

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ABB opens comprehensive UPS test center

With a well-attended official opening on June 8, 2017, ABB opened its brand-new test facility for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems at the UPS factory in Switzerland. With this new facility, ABB has taken a significant step forward in strengthening its position in the global power protection market.

On June 8, 2017, Remo Lütolf, Managing Director of ABB Switzerland, welcomed international guests from the data center and critical power industry to ABB’s UPS factory in Quartino, Switzerland for the official opening of a state-of-the-art UPS test facility.

The inauguration of the new amenity opens up a new chapter in ABB’s power protection capabilities: Now, even the largest UPS configurations can be tested as one system so that when they are delivered to the customer, they can be quickly and smoothly integrated into the power infrastructure. The test center is designed with ample capacity to accommodate large UPS sizes and turn key critical power solutions. The test area is laid out such that testing with extended UPS systems – including, for example, energy storage, input and output switchgear, power distribution units (PDUs) and static transfer switches (STSs) – can be accommodated. This new capability will enhance ABB’s ability to address trends toward bigger, more power-hungry data centers and industrial plants that require ever-larger UPS systems.

As part of the opening event, guests were given a live demonstration of the test facility’s capabilities. The demonstration was viewed from the comfort of the attached conference room, which has large windows that overlook the test bays so that customers and engineers can monitor the entire test process. The proximity to the FAT (factory acceptance test) area, and teleconference and video sharing facilities, allows remote FATs to be performed.

The guests at the inauguration ceremony were also made aware of the environmental advantages of the test bays: The use of a power-loop principle implemented into the test infrastructure tremendously reduces the power consumption from the public electrical network and allows approximately 90 percent of the electrical energy to be re-used. Test stations are equipped with highly flexible infrastructures that allow customized testing with a nonlinear load or an external generator. In addition to accomodating needs for testing at 400 VAC, standard voltages for Europe and other IEC markets, the facility can be adapted to perform tests at 208 VAC and 480 V, typical for the North America area and other UL markets.

UPS system power specifications are increasing year-by-year as applications grow ever more power-hungry and complex. As one of the few major players in the UPS market, ABB has, with the opening of the new test facility, acquired a tool to reinforce the ability of the company to successfully design, build and test UPS systems for applications involving the highest power applications.

Find out more


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