The need to reduce data centre power consumption and carbon foot print is not to be taken lightly, however, some of the approaches being taken to eliminate UPS electrical losses are highly questionable, increasing the risk of IT service loss and equipment damage due to mains disturbances and outages.
London, United Kingdom — “The unrealistically high UPS efficiencies being quoted by a number of static UPS manufacturers can only be achieved by sacrificing the electrical power quality demanded by IT servers and by increasing the risk of unwanted source switching at a crucial moment of UPS operation,” says Shri Karve, Director of Business Development, APC by Schneider Electric.
UPS which are designed to switch between various modes of operation (i.e., topologies) in order to increase energy efficiency may compromise the protection of IT equipment. Shri Karve say “This kind of operational switching between VFD (line interactive), VI (standby) and VFI (online double conversion) can impact on system resilience due to prolonged switching periods. It can also reduce MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) causing very low availability values due to increased MTTR (Mean Time To Repair). Availability is a key metric for risk averse data centre owners and operators.”
Static UPS enjoy the lion’s share of a global UPS market forecast to grow in 2010 to $7.3b (IMS Research, Uninterruptible Power Supply Sourcebook, July 2010) and are the preferred choice for protecting mission critical facilities such as data centres. “There are a number of key criteria to consider when selecting which type of UPS system will provide optimum protection at a competitive price,” continues Karve. “These include criticality, UPS type, configuration/ availability, load rating/ battery autonomy, maintainability & installation/ structural considerations.”
Where data centres are concerned, the very first question is one of mission criticality - in other words, what are the consequences for an organisation if a mains disruption or outage crashes its computer network. Continuity of power and quality of power are essential to the reliable operation of IT equipment and the successful delivery of IT services. Shri Karve says, “In certain modes of operation, some 3-phase UPS provide no better protection than the cheapest UPS you can find in a local PC store. What’s more, they expose IT equipment to raw mains power – a situation that no serious data centre operator would countenance under normal circumstances.”
Karve, a 40-year veteran of the UPS market and evergreen data centre conference speaker concludes that a small compromise on efficiency might be called for: “Highly complex operational mode switching may only achieve 99% efficiency momentarily. By contrast, Double Conversion (VFI) UPS are proven technology and up to 97% efficient. Models such as APC Symmetra PX and Symmentra MW are modular and scalable and will protect an IT load continuously against mains variations and outages. With no switching risks, APC Symmetra provides a great deal of peace of mind where IT continuity, resilience and efficiency are vital.”
For more details please visit www.apc.com/gb or call APC by Schneider Electric on 0800 2799254.
About APC by Schneider Electric
APC by Schneider Electric, a global leader in critical power and cooling services, provides industry leading product, software and systems for home, office, data center and factory floor applications. Through its unparalleled commitment to innovation, APC provides pioneering, energy efficient solutions for critical technology and industrial applications, that are well planned, flawlessly installed and maintained throughout their lifecycle. APC solutions include uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), precision cooling units, racks, physical security and design and management software, including APC's InfraStruxure® architecture, the industry’s most comprehensive integrated power, cooling, and management solution.
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centers/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 100,000+ employees achieved sales of more than 15.8 billion euros in 2009, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy”.
For more information contact:
Field Marketing Manager UK & Ireland
APC by Schneider Electric
Tel: +44 (0) 118 903 7800
Tel: +44 (0)7900 302102
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