Mission Critical Power: Is Data Centre Efficiency Mission Impossible?

Riello UPS research from nearly 2,300 UPS units shows more than half run on loads less than 50%. How can the industry do more to encourage data centre efficiency?

It’s an age-old question. And as demand for data increases to keep up with the explosion in interconnected devices, the drive for data centre efficiency is only going to become more pressing.

Mission Critical Power logoWe studied data from 2,268 UPS systems ranging from 10-800 kVA and the results were stark. More than half run at less than 50% load. Nearly a quarter operate at 20% load or less.

Riello UPS General Manager Leo Craig spoke to Mission Critical Power magazine about the issue of data centre efficiency. He argues that the UPS load levels (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) for inclusion on the Energy Technology Product List to qualify for government tax relief are flawed. At present, inefficiently performing UPS systems are actually eligible for rebates.

“Efficiency at 100% load is simply meaningless.

“Using the analogy of a car, it is the equivalent of saying that you are most efficient driving at 120mph when the speed limit is only 70mph and realistically most people only drive at an average of 45mph.”

– Leo Craig, Riello UPS General Manager

Subsequently, the in-depth interview highlights how the rise of modular UPS has potential to deliver significant efficiency improvements. Leo explains how modular units such as the Multi Power minimise the risk of oversizing power protection systems at installation. It also gives data centre managers the flexibility to increase capacity as demand requires.

Moves to modular uninterruptible power supplies help data centres strike that a tricky balance between resilience and efficiency.

“Normally, if you increase your resilience, your efficiency goes down, because energy costs money. If you are wasting energy, you are throwing your profit margin away.

“Data centres need a resilient solution that is also efficient, and this is where a modular solution can help, as it meets both requirements.”

– Leo Craig

Read the full interview between Leo and Mission Critical Power editor Louise Frampton here