DCNN: What Are The Benefits Of Modular UPS?

We end the year by explaining the benefits of modular UPS to Data Centre and Network News (DCNN) magazine.

The demands on data centres have never been higher. Within five years there’ll be more than 600 connected ‘Internet of Things’ devices in the UK. Superfast 5G connectivity is set for rollout too.

data centre & network news (DCNN) magazine logoBut this all requires significant storage and processing power. That’s why the UK’s data centre capacity will soon top 900,000m2. Many large-scale facilities will consume more than 30 GWh of electricity a year. That’s an annual bill in excess of £3 million.

Data Centre and Network News (DCNN) magazine, previously known as Data Centre News, is ending the year with a special focus on UPS. They asked us the question “What are the benefits of the right UPS?”. Our data centre efficiency expert Chris Cutler explains why more operators are moving to modular uninterruptible power supplies.

close up of cables plugged into the back of data centre servers
PROCESSING POWER: Increased reliance on the internet means more data centres – which in turn means Modular UPS like our Multi Power are sure to be in demand

What Is A Modular UPS?

Recent years have seen a revolution in UPS technology. Sizeable, inefficient, and heat-generating static towers are being replaced by compact, power-packed modular units.

A modular UPS is made up of several individual power modules, all paralleled together to provide the required power and redundancy. This makes sure the UPS system isn’t oversized at initial installation, so minimises energy waste. The modular principle means data centres can easily scale-up when required, just by adding extra modules.

Compared to traditional UPS, which tend to be transformer-based, modular power supplies deliver enhanced efficiency up to 96%. This is even the case when powering low loads like 20%.

Modular UPS are smaller and lighter. They generate less heat so don’t need much energy-intensive air conditioning. And because each module and battery is hot swappable, UPS maintenance is easy and doesn’t require the system to go offline.

Chris Cutler Riello UPS data centre efficiency expert quote explaining benefits of modular UPS systems
MAKE THE MOVE: Modular UPS offers economic and environmental advantages

Are There Any Other Benefits Of Modular UPS?

It’s clear modular UPS delivers economic (lower electricity bills, reduced initial investment) and environmental (cutting energy waste and carbon emissions) advantages. These benefits don’t come at the detriment of performance though. And they’re delivered in a significantly smaller footprint.

By the way, read about our DCS Awards 2018 win to find out more about the tangible reasons to upgrade to our modular Multi Power UPS.

However, there are a couple of other bonuses to bear in mind. Firstly, the free server room space can be used for revenue-generating server racks.

Alternatively, why not install sizeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery blocks and take part in energy storage? In general, a UPS is a reactive, relatively underutilised asset. It’s often only called upon when there’s a power problem.

But employing energy storage turns your UPS system into a ‘virtual power plant’. Cheap off-peak electricity saved and used at more expensive times of the day. Surplus power sold back to the National Grid through potentially lucrative demand side response (DSR) mechanisms. Smart electricity grids serving society.

Chris explains that even though data centres have been slow to the party so far, battery storage is becoming increasingly viable.

And with it becoming progressively difficult to maintain the balance between electricity demand and supply, it’s time operators stepped up to the plate and become part of the solution, rather than the problem.

Read the full article about the benefits of modular UPS from p46 in the December edition of DCNN magazine