Data Centre Review (DCR): Potential Of Peak Shaving

In-depth article outlines peak shaving and other applications of a smart grid-ready UPS.

With National Grid ESO issuing bleak ‘worst-case scenarios’ of potential rolling blackouts this winter, all eyes are on potential solutions to alleviate energy supply shortages.

In the final Data Centre Review magazine of the year, we explore the role smart grid-ready UPS systems could have in helping to balance supply with demand.

The piece covers the concept of demand response and how battery storage can help to deliver a stable grid frequency. This is something we’ve covered previously.

But we also go on to explain another UPS application with potential – peak shaving.

What Is Peak Shaving?

  • Static peak shaving: where the UPS has a fixed setting and peak shaves to that limit
  • User-controlled peak shaving: where the user can send commands to the UPS through either volt-free contacts or protocols such as Modbus
  • Impact load buffering: for sites with a weak power source or reliance on generators, this sees the energy in the batteries used to slow down the incomer
  • Dynamic peak shaving: works according to the real-time site conditions. Say your data centre has a 1 MW limit of mains supply, a typical load of 500-900 kW, and a critical load of 300 kW. At peak time the load could reach 1.2 MW, which is above the contractual limit. When this happens, the UPS pushes stored energy from the batteries, reducing the power it draws from the mains. During periods of low loads, the UPS recharges the batteries for future use.