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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Data center infrastructure: Open Compute Project is gaining traction

The cloud market is growing and growing, and on the back of this, The Open Compute Project (OCP) is gaining traction. Recently the German infrastructure manufacturing company Rittal joined the project after developing OCP-compliant racks („Open Rack“) and cabinets for several years.

The Open Compute Project was established in 2011, as Facebook was redesigning its data center in Prineville, Oregon. After the facility was complete, Facebook decided to openly share standardized infrastructure designs for components such as compute nodes, storage servers, network switches and racks. So far, the OCP has attracted many corporate-level members like Microsoft, Apple, HPE and Cisco. The general idea behind OPC is, that open standards will win out in the data center and the wider infrastructures where they are placed.

There are many reasons for evaluating what the Open Compute project has to offer for everybody who is in the data center business: Data center efficiency is a main topic for OCP. In general, the design principles oft he project can lead to important cost savings and a smaller carbon footprint.

That’s why enterprises like Goldman Sachs have a significant amount of OCP equipment in their data centers, and Rackspace – a founding member – heavily utilises OCP for its operations. Microsoft is also named as a frequent contributor, reportedly running over 90 % of their hardware as OCP.

From today’s point of view, the idea of bringing together a community from a wide range of business disciplines, with a common goal to build better hardware is convincing: When companies are not sworn to secrecy, they can work together in the open. That ignites innovation and leads to a more efficient data center infrastructure.

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New standards by the U.S. Department of Energy suggest how to improve UPS energy efficiency

At the end of December the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has issued the first-ever energy efficiency standards for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). According to the DOE, the new UPS standards will mean 87 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity saved over the next three decades. This represents an energy savings of 15 percent relative to the electricity consumption of these products in the absence of an efficiency standard.

The department‘s analysis lists variety of technology options that manufacturers can use to improve the efficiency of their products.

„DOE identified three technology options for UPSs that would be expected to improve the efficiency of UPSs. The technologies options are: semiconductor improvements, digital signal processing and space vector modulation, and transformer-less UPS topologies.“

And further:

„Transformer-less UPS designs offer some of the highest efficiencies in the industry with lowered weight, wider input voltage tolerances, near unity input power factor, reduced harmonic distortion and need for components that mitigate electromagnetic interference (EMI) generated by the device.“

For the sake of completeness one must also say, that the DEO did not evaluate transformer-less UPS design because „interviews with manufacturers have shown this to be a limited access technology with select manufacturers holding the intellectual property required for effective implementation.“

However, the DOE does not prescribe how manufacturers should make their products more efficient. The standards are being set in a performance-based manner, allowing manufacturers the flexibility to innovate. Thus, the document can also be interpreted in such a way that transformer-less UPS design is always a future-proof choice in terms of efficiency.

Chris Granda, blogger at Appliance Standards Awareness Project, comments:

„Had DOE included transformer-less design in their analysis, we believe even stronger UPS efficiency standards would have been justified.“

U.S. Department of Energy: ISSUANCE: 2016-12-28 Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Uninterruptible Power Supplies; Final Rule»

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Report predicts strong growth in global UPS market, names ABB as one oft he dominating key players

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Global Industrial Uninterruptible Power Supply Market 2017-2021″ report to their offering. The report covering the Americas, APAC and EMEA forecasts the global industrial uninterruptible power supply market market to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the period 2017-2021.

According to  the report, the growing market highly relies on the battery dynamics. Li-ion batteries have higher energy densities than lead-acid batteries or nickel-metal hydride batteries. Having high energy density means that the battery can store more electricity in the same size cell and with reduced UPS footprint. This is what makes the Li-ion batteries ideal for use in industrial UPS.

Aeorospace and railways play a pivotal role in the global industrial UPS market. The railway industry in the developing countries is expected to grow rapidly because of infrastructure development, rising industrialization, growing population, development of tourism, and modernization of railway infrastructure. There is a lot of emphasis on safety, increasing the length of fast tracks or corridors that has led to the requirement of wagons and high-speed passenger coaches, along with the expansion of metro train network to several cities. This augurs well for the UPS industry.

Further, the report states that the global industrial UPS market is dependent on the manufacturing and industrial businesses for its sustenance. The industrial business, on the other hand, is based on the global economy for its existence. In the times of strong macroeconomic numbers, the global appetite for the consumption of goods increase, thereby increasing the demand for manufactured products.

The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market, naming ABB as one oft he key players.

Find out more»

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