In this front cover feature for Electrical Times magazine, we cover the conundrum of reducing data centre energy consumption.
With the continued rise of the ‘Internet of Things’ and a boom in interconnected devices, demands for data have never been higher. However, simply increasing National Grid capacity to keep up simply isn’t an option.
As the longest-running trade magazine for electrical contractors, Electrical Times asked us to explain how the latest uninterruptible power supply (UPS) technologies can help reduce data centre energy consumption.
According to the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), data centres already account for 3% of global electricity use. In addition, the sector accounts for 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In our article, we explore the concept of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) as a means to encourage energy efficiency. The metric certainly put the issue firmly on the industry’s agenda. But we highlight some of PUE’s flaws. It doesn’t take into consideration climate differences. There’s also a case the measure has been hijacked as a ‘marketing tool’, raising questions over its credibility.
One way to help data centres tackle their IT energy efficiency issues is upgrading power protection systems to modern, modular UPS units. Of course, until recently most UPS systems were large, standalone towers. These ran inefficiently at low loads, pumping out masses of heat. Energy-intensive air conditioning requirements were huge.
We describe how compact, modular UPS such as our Multi Power model can operate at efficiency levels of 96%, even when carrying low loads. Modular systems can be configured closely to the necessary power capacity and redundancy, reducing the risk of wasteful oversizing at installation. And the also offer simple scalability. When power capacity grows, operators just add in additional power modules.
Read how a modular UPS has potential to be a ‘hidden money maker’ on pages 14-15 of May’s Electrical Times