Research news: Silicon anodes may help to improve lithium-ion battery capacity

Lithium ion batteries are widely used in mobile electronics and already have been deployed in data centers as part of Uninterruptible Power Supply systems as well.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland introduced new technology to Li-ion batteries by replacing graphite used in anodes by silicon. Without using nanoparticles it is possible to quadruple anode capacity, the researchers say.

But the research is still at early stage. “We now have a good understanding of the material properties required in large-scale use of silicon in Li-ion batteries. However, the silicon we’ve been using is too expensive for commercial use, and that’s why we are now looking into the possibility of manufacturing a similar material from agricultural waste, for example from barley husk ash,” Professor Vesa-Pekka Lehto explains.

Source: | Electrochemically anodized porous silicon: Towards simple and affordable anode material for Li-ion batterie

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Out now: „Power“ magazine 04/2017

In this issue you will find not only the first editorial by Lara Cortinovis, new Global Product Group Manager Power Protection.

It also offers many exciting success stories: For example, ABB has just commissioned an advanced shore-to-ship power supply for vessels in the Nansha terminal in Guangzhou Port, China.

Also in China, ABB has provided a PCS100 AVC-40 active voltage conditioner for a leading dairy company to make sure their manufacturing process keeps running as smooth as milk.

And on the island of Malta, the new building of the Central Bank houses a data center as well. This includes a „cold aisle“ – an airflow configuration that conserves energy and lowers cooling costs. To ensure a continuous flow of clean power to the data center, ABB’s partner, VSS, installed two DPA UPScale 120 UPSs, each equipped with six slide-in power modules.

Read more in our new edition of Power magazine»

Download (PDF, 12.7MB)

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Data center power trends: Demand for smart UPS systems is on the rise

The global data center power market is expected to reach USD 10.77 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research.

One of the main drivers is Uninterrupted Power Supply. UPS is the backbone of data centers and are significantly deployed for the smooth working of servers and other networking devices. As a result, the UPS product segment dominated the global data center power market in 2016.

Additionally, most data centers use the smart UPS system, battery monitoring devices, and intelligent power distribution systems in a bid to reduce the PUE ratio. The increasing penetration of these new devices is further expected to boost the demand for UPS over the forecast period.

Further key findings from the report:

  • The global data center power market is expected to witness a CAGR exceeding 6% from 2017 to 2025, owing to the increasing trend towards reducing the PUE ratio for better energy management in data centers.
  • The UPS segment accounted for the largest share in 2016, which is accredited to the increasing demand for energy in data centers along with increasing penetration of co-location data centers globally.
  • The increasing penetration of IoT connectivity and the integration of artificial intelligence are expected to favorably impact the data centers market, thereby driving the demand for data center power systems over the coming years.
  • North America accounted for over 35% of the overall revenue share in 2016 and is also expected to dominate the market over the forecast period, owing to the increasing number of data centers in the U.S.


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Pros and cons of Lithium-ion batteries in UPS

For decades now backup solutions have been powered almost exclusively by the tried-and-true veteran of the industry, valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries. But in recent years, a new player has been carving a niche in the market.

Lithium-Ion batteries, widely used in consumer electronics, including smartphones, and electric cars, have just started being adopted for energy storage in data center backup systems. But industry experts predict that this technology will take off in the coming years.

We have collected the most important facts you need to know about this technology:


  • Total cost of ownership for lithium-ion batteries is less, especially as lithium-ion pricing has dropped significantly over the last two years.
  • Lithium-ion batteries last for 12 – 15 years compared with 7 – 8 years for valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) types.
  • Lithium-ion batteries offer improved energy density, being up to 70% smaller and 60% lighter. This leads to a smaller general footprint: It is estimated that a lithium-ion battery system for a UPS will occupy 50 to 80 percent less floor space and weigh 60 to 80 percent less than a comparable lead-acid system.


  • Lithium-ion batteries have a higher purchase price. Currently, the installed cost of a Li-ion system will run roughly 1.5 to 3 times higher than a comparable VRLA solution, but experts predict this gap will narrow considerably.
  • Li-ion batteries are not typically hot-swappable in UPS systems.
  • The physical differences between lead-acid and li-ion batteries mean that li-ion batteries are not necessarily a direct replacement for lead-acid batteries.
  • Deployment in UPSs remains relatively narrow. However, this is expected to change as the batteries’ manufacturing costs continue to decrease.
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Report predicts significant growth for global transformerless UPS market

According to Stratistics MRC, the global transformerless UPS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.4% during 2017-2023. Increasing demand from various industries, raising technological advancements in transformerless UPS, and growing focus on alternate power sources are some of the major factors propelling the market growth during the forecast period.

On the other hand, high operational costs of transformerless UPS are hampering the market growth.

Among the applications segment, IT industry signifies higher growth rate during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is expected to witness fastest growth on account of rapid industrialization growth and poor power supplies.

Find out more about the report here»

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Demand for battery back-up in data centers : Lithium-ion growing, but lead-acid systems still dominate

Data centers are the major purchasers of lead-based batteries which improve the power quality and provide instantaneous back-up power. This is a rapidly growing market: demand for battery back-up in data centers across North America and Europe will quadruple between 2016 and 2025, rising from 3.5 to 14 gigawatt-hours, according to a new report by the research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

This clearly shows that lead-acid systems will likely remain the dominant and low-cost solution for UPS energy storage, at least in the short term.

Lithium-Ion batteries, widely used in consumer electronics, including smartphones, and electric cars, have just started being adopted for energy storage in data center backup systems. But the report estimates that this technology will take off in the coming years with a market share increasing from 1 to 35 percent over just a few years.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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