Virtualisation makes data centers a growth hotspot for modular UPS systems

The accelerating shift toward digitisation, Internet of Things (IoT), software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing is giving a huge boost to the adoption of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems across different applications. With greater virtualisation, data centers have risen in importance and numbers, creating a vast market for UPS systems. The United States alone has more than 12 million servers in 3 million data centers. As loss of power could disrupt data centers’ globally connected data processors and result in significant losses, high-power UPS systems are enjoying enthusiastic uptake among these end users.

“While data centers propel the above-200 kVA UPS segment, the popularity of modular UPS systems has made the up-to-300 kVA systems the biggest growth segment,” said Frost & Sullivan Energy Research Manager Suba Arunkumar. “Modular UPS’ scalability makes it ideal for backup power in key industrial applications.”

This analysis is based on recent resarch by Frost & Sullivan, that discusses the demand for and usage patterns of UPS across wide power ranges, from below 1 kVA to above 500 kVA. According to the findings, more than 60 percent of the UPS demand is from North America and Asia-Pacific, with the United States, China and India being prominent markets.

The size and potential of the market has attracted numerous players offering small power-range UPS at fiercely competitive prices. This market fragmentation is slowing down the overall revenue and market growth, compelling UPS suppliers to innovate as well as implement expansion strategies.

“Developing countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, India and China are proving to be high-growth markets due to their power deficits, ageing transmission infrastructure, blackouts and brown-outs,” says Arunkumar. “Significantly, emerging economies adopt UPS of less than 20 kVA, whereas developed countries largely depend on the above-20 kVA range to combat low power quality issues in industrial, healthcare and data center applications.”

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ABB introduces PCS120 MV UPS for mega data centers

ABB’s next generation of medium voltage UPS is intended for multi megawatt power protection. Based on the revolutionary ZISC architecture, the PCS120 MV UPS introduces a flexible solution for higher reliability and higher efficiency in critical power facilities.

Why medium voltage?

The transition from low voltage (LV) to medium voltage (MV) level is a natural progression of power protection for large critical power facilities. The approach offers two main benefits. It increases reliability and reduces costs of the critical power facility build and operation.

Increased reliability is derived from the MV design approach with larger protected load blocks, lower switchgear count and the operating culture of medium voltage systems.

Installing the power protection at the MV level provides the most energy efficient configuration as the lower currents at this voltage result in smaller cables and lower losses.

A PCS120 MV UPS can be installed into the electrical supply to protect the complete supply to the data center or alternatively just server or mechanical loads. Installing the UPS protection at medium voltage provides the most energy efficient configuration and allows the possibility of installation outside the main data center building

What is ZISC?

ABB’s Impedance (Z) Isolated Static Converter ZISC is a revolutionary high performance, high efficiency power conditioning and uninterruptible power supply architecture. It provides protection from a broad spectrum of utility voltage events and supplies continuous clean power.

ZISC architecture is based on an isolating line reactor coupled with the high performance ABB power converters. This simple approach, backed up with advanced control, provides unmatched reliability and performance, with class leading efficiency.

Decoupled from the utility via the isolating line reactor, the power converters continuously condition and filter utility disturbances, such as harmonics and voltage imbalance, without cycling the energy storage. Load related events, such as downstream faults and other dynamic reactive current demands, are managed with ZISCs high overload capability.

The isolating line reactor and the coupling transformer are applied at medium voltage, whereas the power converters and energy storage are at low voltage, thus simplifying maintenance.

Combined with a wide range of the modern energy storage ABB’s ZISC provides autonomies from few seconds to many minutes.

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ABB expands its modular UPS product offering for data centers in North America

ABB has expanded the Conceptpower DPA 500 480V UL offering to include an optimized modular 300kW UPS solution for mid-sized and large data centers, server rooms and other IT infrastructure applications.

Building on the true online, double conversion UPS design of the Conceptpower DPA 500, this compact 300kW system allows for three 100kW module sets within each UPS cabinet, up to four cabinets can be configured in parallel for up to 1.2MW of clean reliable power, adding more flexibility to the specific needs of the installation. Easy to deploy UPS module sets can be added to the system as power requirements grow, thus avoiding the need to over specify the initial design configuration.

“Market trends validate the modular approach to data center design and construction, enabling the right-sizing of infrastructure and reducing the initial capital investment towards meeting future needs,” said Laura Ortiz, UPS Product Manager in ABB’s Power Protection product group. “Conceptpower DPA UPS systems enable data centers to add capacity only when needed, allowing companies to operate in smaller footprints, hence saving on both capital and operational expenses.”

The Conceptpower DPA 500 boasts the lowest total cost of ownership compared to other UPS systems by offering high energy efficiency, scalability and an optimized modular design to enable easy front access only serviceability. A class-leading energy efficiency, with up to 96.5 percent, significantly reduces system running costs and cooling expenses. More importantly, the efficiency is optimized and significant savings are achievable under every working condition. The straightforward nature of the Conceptpower DPA simplifies every step of the deployment process, from planning through installation and commissioning to full use. Flexible setup, with top or bottom cable entry frames and fast maintenance mean lower operating and maintenance costs.

The Conceptpower DPA 500 is part of ABB’s broad range of products and integrated solutions that ensure data centers operate with optimum reliability and efficiency. From power distribution systems to enterprise management and grid connections, ABB provides savings in installation, energy, space and maintenance.

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Read & download: First 2017 edition of ABB’s „power“-magazine out now!

The first issue of “power” in 2017 follows up on two projects in Myanmar where ABB replaced mechanical voltage stabilizers by PCS100 AVC’s. The statistics and cost bene ts supplied from the Chatrium hotel after 10 months of operation are very impressive.

Also some new product innovations from ABB’s power protection group are introduced. There are updates on the Conceptpower DPA500 480V UL UPS and the next generation of static transfer switches Cyberex® SuperSwitch®4 DSTS was launched with much improved performance features.

And finally, the magazine offers a look at transformer- free versus transformer-based commercial UPS designs.

Download (PDF, 8.17MB)

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Modular data center infrastructure market: growth will continue, Asia Pacific will lead

The analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has published the results of its Global Data Center Infrastructure Solutions Market report, which shows that growth will progress, despite data center consolidation, high capital expenditure and end-user scepticism towards unfamiliar solutions. The growth is coming from demand in data storage, security and speed, resulting in large data traffic growth and supporting infrastructure.

Leading the way is the Asia Pacific region, with much of the focus on China. “While North America accounts for the highest revenues, emerging markets will grow at a faster rate, and China will lead the Asia-Pacific region,” says Gautham Gnanajothi, energy research analyst.

Gnanajothi says that edge computing and disaster recovery are potential growth areas, “indicating a shift toward bringing data centers closer to end users. This, too, will drive modularity in data centers in the Asia-Pacific region”.

The report It highlights the growth opportunities and trends in the data center infrastructure solutions arena and provides a five-year forecast on the market metrics, covering data center cooling, genset, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and rack segments.

However modular solutions are being underestimated in the market as users remain focused on traditional technologies. Gnanajothi says this presents challenges for vendors.

“Further, the user base is contracting as data center owners turn to site consolidation to get the best value from IT investments; reducing the number of physical data center locations means fewer management issues and higher cost savings in terms of cooling and power needs,” Gnanajothi continues.

“High user focus on traditional technologies and their tendency to underestimate the potential of modular solutions pose a severe challenge for the vendors,” he notes.

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Be prepared: How to select your UPS power protection appropriate to your ICT installation’s criticality

Power outages seem very unusual in West European countries. We are always on, the infrastructure is running, we do not expect any power cuts.

But still, the risk remains. And if a company experiences a blackout, not only the ICT hardware may be damaged; the loss of data and service continuity, and consequential the harm to reputation, will likely be far more serious.

The colleagues at Kohler UPS are also convinced by this. They have compiled an insightful article on “The reality of power cuts” and look at the options available to secure a level of UPS power protection appropriate to your ICT installation’s criticality:

“The off-line UPS system’s advantages are its lower capital and operating costs, but it subjects its load to poor regulation and any power aberrations arriving from the mains supply during normal operation. The load also suffers a typical 2 – 10 ms power interruption during transfers between the inverter and bypass line. If your load can tolerate these interruptions, and the transient filtering provided by the off-line UPS system is considered sufficient, it may be a viable choice. However, most users with critical loads select on-line UPS solutions, to benefit from the continuous and truly uninterrupted power protection they provide.

Finally, the availability of the UPS itself must also be factored in; fortunately, with most modern UPS architectures, this can be very high. The best approach is to use a modular UPS system with “hot-swap” capabilities. Modules can be incrementally added to build scalable UPS systems with efficient redundancy, while hot swappability means that MTTR times are minimised. Both these factors contribute to today’s high UPS availability figures.”

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