Built Environment (bE): Why Modular Uninterruptible Power Supplies Are The Answer To Ireland’s Data Centre Dilemma

With Dublin overtaking London as Europe’s largest data centre cluster, modular uninterruptible power supplies are key to powering this processing revolution.

Ireland is one of the fastest growing data hubs in the world. Indeed, 2018 saw the country’s capital become Europe’s largest cluster – a 25% share of the market topping London’s 24%.

Tech giants Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all enjoy a significant presence. Ireland is now home to 50-plus data farms.

The Dublin Metro area alone includes three million square foot of server capacity. And that’s set to double within five years.

We speak to Built Environment (bE) magazine, a publication promoting best practice in Irish construction, about how this growth is putting pressure on Ireland’s electricity supply.

According to projections from state-owned network operator Eirgrid, data centres will consume 31% of the nation’s power by 2027.

That’s unsurprising when you consider large facilities can use 30 GWh of electricity a year (€3.5 million).

The interview with our data centre efficiency expert Chris Cutler offers a solution of sorts.

Technological developments have delivered efficiency improvements in areas such as cooling. Chris highlights another recent trend with similar energy-saving success – modular uninterruptible power supplies.

UPS are found in every data centre. They help ensure a continuous supply of electricity, promoting uptime and availability. But they obviously require electricity themselves to operate.

close up of front panel of Riello UPS Multi Power UPS system against a white wall
MAKE THE MOVE: Modular solutions such as the Multi Power (MPW) are increasingly popular in data centres

What Are The Efficiency Benefits Of Modular UPS?

Traditional UPS systems have been sizeable static towers. But modern modular configurations deliver performance with improved efficiency.

Units such as the award-winning Multi Power are transformerless. They minimise the risk of oversizing at initial installation, so reducing wasted energy. While by adding in extra power modules when required, they offer operators scalability.

Another advantage of modular power supplies is they offer higher power density, so can deliver the same power in a smaller footprint.

Operators can use the extra floor space to cram in lucrative server racks, increasing their revenues.

Or they could even add battery blocks to participate in energy storage and incentive schemes such as demand side response.