Archive for the White Paper Library Category

Power Distribution – Follow the Leader or Lower OPEX for Your Organization

Posted by on February 16, 2015  |  No Comments

Waite Ave

Waite Ave

Historically, our US based standards have gone against the rest of the world.  Take the metric system and the US resistance to adapt to a system the rest of world uses. Sure we know a football field is measured in yards, engine power is measured in horsepower, air conditioners are measured in tonnage but, is our reluctance to adapt to a world-wide standard so valid to waste enormous amounts of money with outdated, poorly designed electrical distribution.  I will make the case for the 415/240 method of electrical distribution in the following white paper. The paper is designed to get those who design electrical distribution, specifically in the data center world, thinking “Can we do it better?”.

Click Here to Download White Paper “Power Distribution Architectures”

Deploying and Using Containerized/Modular Data Center Facilities

Posted by on March 8, 2013  |  No Comments

Over the past several years, the data center facilities industry has started toward a significant transformation.  In this transformation, traditional perceptions of data center facilities as multi-year, site-constructed, low-density buildings are shifting toward viewing them as conceived and constructed form a modular, flexible, and certainly more rapidly deployable set of solutions.  Within this latter view are solutions that include not only containerized platforms, but also modular, pre-engineered, and pre-fabricated building blocks.  When deployed and integrated with the required mechanical, electrical, and related services, these buidling blocks come together and enable the end user to realize a complete data center facility.

In contrast to traditional site-construction methods, the new containerized/modular approach to the construction and deployment of a data center can result in a faster deployment, lower operating and capital costs, and the potential to be equipped with higher density and energy-savings targets.  Furthermore, this new approach enables organizations to adjust their data center facilities’ capacity up and down in smaller, prescribed steps rather than in large jumps.  Many organizations also will look at the containerized/modular approach to help them cycle new IT and facility technologies into production, while cycling out older and less cost-effective solutions. That said, there are particular considerations that need to be accounted for as part of the planning, design, deployment, operations, and decommissioning phases of the facility lifecycle.

The Green Grid (TGG)-an international, non-profit consortium working to enhance data center resource efficiency-produced this white paper to introduce the audience to some of the more critical of these considerations.  It offers a framework of understanding that, when coupled with the right qualified expertise, may enable potential end users of containerized/modular data center facility (CMDF) platforms to be more prepared and successful in their proposed projects.  The white paper explores the traditional facility construction approach, with a deep discussion of the containerized/modular facility approach in Chapter III.  Chapters IV, V, VI explore particular considerations, limitations, and advantages of the containerized/modular facility architecture and contrasts those factors with the traditional construction approach.

Executive Summary:

The rapidly maturing containerized and/modular data center facility (CMDF) platforms offered within the industry today can enable organizations to realize significant and demonstrated technical and business value when properly applied.  This value comes from the repeatable, pre-engineered, prefabricated, and quality-assured set of building blocks that together bring online the necessary amount of IT capacity.

This new containerized/modular approach to the construction and deployment of a data center can be expected to be rapidly deployed, have lower operating and capital costs, and be equipped with higher density and energy-savings targets.  CMDF architecture has become an increasingly viable and robust alternative when considering a data center build, with multiple implementation approaches from various suppliers in the industry.

Deploying and Using Containerized/Modular Data Center Facilities-Click Here to Download White Paper #42

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Defining Traditional Data Center Facilities
  • Defining Containerized/Modular Data Center Facilities
  • Business Flexibility Considerations
  • Financial and Planning Considerations
  • Additional Considerations
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • About the Green Grid
  • Appendix A. Understanding Reliability and Resiliency

Conclusion:

The CMDF approach can enable organizations to deploy IT equipment, capacity, and services in less time, for less cost, and under new and more business-appropriate delivery and costing models.  The prefabricated and pre-engineered nature of a module can significantly reduce the potential quality and time risks typically found in traditional fixed-facility, site-constructed approaches.  The CMDF archetecture has become an increasingly viable and robust alternative when considering a data center build, as long as organizations take into account a CMDF’s particular needs and engage proper expertise and capabilities from trusted partners.  Organizations should carefully weigh their need against the advantages, risks and challenges that a CMDF deployment may present.

 

White Paper # 42 Credits:

 

EDITORS:

Christopher Kelley, Cisco Systems

Jud Cooley, Oracle

 

CONTRIBUTORS:

Ron Bednar, Emerson

Buster Long, Cisco Systems

Suzen Shaw, Microsoft

 

Universal Networking Services is proud to be the North America Authorized Agent for Datapod™ .  Our partnership with Datapod™ allows us to deliver a unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. We can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. Datapod has extended the concept of modular data center design to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to email us at info@datapodnorthamerica.com or contact us to learn more.

Comparing Data Center Batteries, Flywheels, and Ultracapacitors

Posted by on August 16, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 65

Data centers require energy storage devices to address the risk of interruptions to the main power supply. Energy storage applications can be divided into three major functional categories:

  1. Power stability – When the power supply coming into the data center is unstable (e.g., power surges and sags), stored energy can be used as needed to balance out disturbances and assure a clean power supply to the load.

  1. Power bridging – When switching from one source of power to another (e.g., utility power to generator power), stored energy can be used (from seconds to hours) to assure consistent power.

  1. Energy management – This is the cost-optimizing strategy of charging stored energy when energy cost is low, and using stored energy when energy cost is high. This energy storage application is not discussed in this paper.

Although many varieties of energy storage technologies are available today, this paper will limit its analysis to those that are most applicable to data centers. Although some storage technologies can function across a range of applications, most are limited in their specific application because of economic considerations. The three technologies that qualify for practical use in data centers—batteries, flywheels, and ultracapacitors—are the subject of this paper (see Figure 1).

The intention of this paper is neither to provide detailed technical descriptions nor to compare in-depth TCO scenarios of energy storage alternatives. This paper attempts to simplify the analysis of energy storage alternatives by providing a relative comparison of mainstream and emerging energy storage technologies.

“Comparing Data Center Batteries, Flywheels, and Ultracapacitors” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

Most data center professionals choose lead-acid batteries as their preferred method of energy storage. However, alternatives to lead-acid batteries are attracting more attention as raw material and energy costs continue to increase and as governments become more vigilant regarding environmental and waste disposal issues. This paper compares several popular classes of batteries, compares batteries to both flywheels and ultracapacitors, and briefly discusses fuel cells.

Contents:

  • Energy storage and energy generation defined
  • Energy storage efficiency
  • Energy storage cost
  • Factors that influence the business decision
  • Data center storage technologies
  • Additional considerations

Conclusion:

The landscape of alternative energy storage is gaining more recognition. When selecting an energy storage solution, the first step is to determine the criticality of the data center operation; i.e., what would be the consequence of an unplanned IT equipment shutdown? A less critical operation may be able to tolerate an occasional shutdown as long as it can “ride through” the momentary power interruptions that make up the majority of power outages. A more critical operation may require a longer stored energy reserve.

As new energy storage technologies emerge, a fundamental question should be posed: What is the benefit of instituting a longer runtime (e.g., 15 minutes) as opposed to a short runtime (30 seconds)? If no benefit exists, flywheels, ultracapacitors, and smaller battery systems can represent a huge savings.

Why, then, aren’t data center professionals abandoning their batteries in droves and replacing them with flywheels, ultracapacitors, and smaller battery systems? In some cases, buyers of energy storage solutions cite issues such as cost, mechanical moving parts with lower reliability, or the inability to meet length of life goals. However, additional reflection leads to the conclusion that it is people, human beings, and not just pieces of equipment, that are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the data center.

As computer operations become more and more critical, the majority of data centers today require longer UPS runtimes, and, as a result, batteries continue to outperform flywheels and ultracapacitors in terms of cost, reliability and availability. Despite the growth of alternative technologies, the view over the next few years is that batteries will still remain the principle resource for energy storage in the data center.

For most data center professionals, time to react and respond to a problem or emergency is perceived to be at a premium during a crisis situation. Extra time during an emergency might allow a human to correct the problem such as discovering that an auto switch was erroneously left in a manual position. In addition, since most data centers are equipped with monitoring software, when a fault occurs, an automatic data center backup copy is launched. After the backup copy, the remaining battery time is used to launch a safe server shutdown. The servers are stopped cleanly and restarted immediately when power returns. From a data center operator’s point of view, the more time to resolve an issue, the better. Since batteries currently provide people with more time to react, they are favored and take on the role as the primary energy storage mechanism in the data center.

As power generation and storage technologies combine (e.g., fuel cells combining with ultracapacitors) and manufacturers strive to introduce cost effective and cleaner hybrid solutions to the marketplace, choices for viable data center energy storage technologies will increase.

White Paper Written By:

Stephen McCluer is a Senior Manager for external codes and standards at Schneider Electric. He has 30 years of experience in the power protection industry, and is a member of NFPA, ICC, IAEI, ASHRAE, The Green Grid, BICSI, and the IEEE Standards Council. He serves on a number of committees within those organizations, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and authors technical papers and articles on power quality topics. He served on a task group to rewrite the requirements for information technology equipment in the 2011 National Electrical Code.

Jean-Francois Christin is Business Development Manager for APC-MGE’s Secure Power Solutions organization.  His 17 years of experience in the power systems industry includes management of technical support in APC-MGE’s South Asia and Pacific region, and management of technical communication and business development in the EMEA/LAM region.  He is member of LPQI, actively participates in international power and energy conferences, and trains subject matter experts on topics related to power quality.

Universal Networking Services’s partnership with Universal Power Group, Inc. has enabled us to build a strong distribution network of battery and related power components that meet consumer needs for accessibility, portability, security and mobility, coupled with value added offerings such as battery pack assembly and battery replacement/recycling programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

Data Center VRLA Battery End-of-Life Recycling Procedures

Posted by on July 20, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 36

Data center professionals rely on lead-acid batteries as a reliable and cost effective energy storage resource. However, some of the basic components of these batteries (e.g., lead, sulfuric acid) are potentially toxic if mishandled. Data center owners risk stiff penalties if these batteries are improperly disposed of. Fortunately, battery manufacturers, vendors, and recyclers recognize that spent lead-acid batteries hold financial value and have greatly facilitated their safe disposal.

“Data Center VRLA Battery End-of-Life Recycling Procedures” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

Contrary to popular belief, the recycling of lead-acid batteries, which are the most common batteries found in data centers, is one of the most successful recycling systems that the world has ever seen. Reputable battery manufacturers, suppliers, and recycling companies have teamed up to establish a mature and highly efficient lead-acid battery recycling process. This paper reviews battery end-of-life options and describes how a reputable vendor can greatly facilitate the safe disposal and recycling of VRLA lead-acid batteries.

Contents:

  • Enlist a reputable battery disposal partner
  • End-of-life options
  • The role of the UPS supplier
  • The battery recycling process

Conclusion:

The lead-acid battery recycling system is almost an ecological closed loop. Polypropylene is recycled into more battery plastic. The sulfuric acid is collected and resold as commodity acid. The lead is smelted and returned back to batteries or applied to other uses of lead.

The recycling of batteries is highly regulated at the local, state, national, and international levels. Fortunately, data center owners are not required to be familiar with the large volume of regulations involved. By partnering with a reputable UPS supplier or battery manufacturer, most battery owners can safely dispose of their spent batteries free of charge.

White Paper Written By:

Raymond Lizotte is a Senior Environmental Engineer within the APC Environmental Stewardship Office.  He directs the company’s efforts to develop products that conform to emerging product focused rules, such as the European Restrictions on Hazardous Substances in Electronics (RoHS) directive.  He has been involved in environmental product design for the past 20 years.  Ray studied environmental engineering at MIT where he graduated with a BS in 1985.

Universal Networking Services’s partnership with Universal Power Group, Inc. has enabled us to build a strong distribution network of battery and related power components that meet consumer needs for accessibility, portability, security and mobility, coupled with value added offerings such as battery pack assembly and battery replacement/recycling programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

Battery Technology for Data Centers and Network Rooms: Ventilation

Posted by on July 9, 2012  |  1 Comment

White Paper 34

The main objectives of any ventilation system are management of environmental air temperature, humidity and air quality. In a data center, or any facility in which electrical equipment and battery systems are installed, the ventilation system must address:

  • Health safety – the air must be free of pollutants that could be toxic, corrosive,poisonous, or carcinogenic
  • Fire safety – the system must prevent and safely remove the accumulation of gasses or aerosols that could be flammable or explosive.
  • Equipment reliability and safety – the system must provide an environment that optimizes the performance of equipment (including both batteries and electronic equipment) and maximizes their life expectancy
  • Human comfort

“Battery Technology for Data Centers and Network Rooms: Ventilation” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Stationary lead-acid batteries are the most widely used method of energy reserve for information technology rooms (data centers, network rooms). Selecting and sizing ventilation for battery systems must balance and trade off many variables. These could include different battery technologies, installation methods, operating modes, and failure modes.

Executive Summary:

Lead-acid batteries are the most widely used method of energy reserve. Ventilation systems must address health and safety as well as performance of the battery and other equipment in a room. Valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries and modular battery cartridges (MBC) do not require special battery rooms and are suitable for use in an office environment. Air changes designed for human occupancy normally exceed the requirements for VRLA and MBC ventilation. Vented (flooded) batteries, which release hydrogen gas continuously, require a dedicated battery room with ventilation separate from the rest of the building. This paper summarizes some of the factors and codes to consider when selecting and sizing a ventilation system for a facility in which stationary batteries are installed.

Contents:

  • Terminology
  • Environmental design considerations

Conclusion:

Ventilation systems for stationary batteries must address human health and safety, fire safety, equipment reliability/ safety, and human comfort. Vented (flooded) batteries should be installed in dedicated battery rooms, but may share the same room as the equipment they support (such as a UPS system). VRLA batteries and modular battery cartridges can be used in an office environment. The amount of heat generated by a battery system is insignificant compared to the total IT system. However, batteries need cool, clean air for optimum performance and long life. Vented batteries must have a dedicated ventilation system that exhausts to the outside and prevents circulation of air in other parts of the building. For VRLA and MBC systems, the ventilation required for human occupancy is normally sufficient to remove heat and gases that might be generated. A minimum of two room air changes per hour and a temperature in the range of 20 – 24° C (68 – 75° F) are recommended. The ventilation system must prevent the accumulation of hydrogen pockets in greater than 1 – 2% concentration.

For vented batteries, it is recommended to enlist the services of an engineering firm experienced in battery room design, including ventilation, fire protection, hazardous material reporting and disposal, and spill control.

For VLRA and MBC battery systems, the ventilation requirements for human occupancy and electronic equipment operation in a data center or network room well exceed the requirements for the batteries. No additional engineering should be necessary for VRLA battery ventilation.

White Paper Written By:

Stephen McCluer is a Senior Manager for external codes and standards at Schneider Electric. He has 30 years of experience in the power protection industry, and is a member of NFPA, ICC, IAEI, ASHRAE, The Green Grid, BICSI, and the IEEE Standards Council. He serves on a number of committees within those organizations, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and authors technical papers and articles on power quality topics. He served on a task group to rewrite the requirements for information technology equipment in the 2011 National Electrical Code.

Universal Networking Services’s partnership with Universal Power Group, Inc. has enabled us to build a strong distribution network of battery and related power components that meet consumer needs for accessibility, portability, security and mobility, coupled with value added offerings such as battery pack assembly and battery replacement/recycling programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

Battery Technologies for Data Centers and Network Rooms: Environmental Regulations

Posted by on June 27, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 32

Approximately 90% of stationary batteries deployed in US data centers are of the lead-acid type. Lead and electrolyte must be reported in different ways to regulatory agencies depending upon the jurisdictional circumstances. This paper attempts to cut through the maze of regulations and focuses specifically on lead-acid battery requirements in terms that most data center professionals can understand. In general, the rules apply only to very large battery installations, and generally concern planning (reporting the presence of batteries at a site) and accidents (reporting spills or “releases”).

Environmental regulatory compliance is focused on the amount of electrolyte / sulfuric acid and lead in a particular location. Of the three popular technologies, vented (flooded or wet cells), valve regulated (VRLA or sealed) and modular battery cartridges (MBC), flooded batteries contain the highest levels of electrolyte / sulfuric acid and lead. The smaller amounts of electrolyte / sulfuric acid and lead in VRLA and MBC batteries allow for larger battery systems to be installed without the regulatory compliance required of comparable vented batteries.

Common questions that need to be addressed when installing a UPS battery system include the following:

  • Will I have to report my batteries as hazardous material (hazmat)?
  • Where do I find the rules?
  • What are EPCRA,SARA, SERC, CERCLA, LEPC, etc. and why do I care?
  • What do I have to declare?
  • When do I have to declare it?
  • To whom do I have to declare it?
  • What forms do I have to use?
  • What if I don’t do it?

Most commercial battery back-up systems fall below government-required reporting levels, but large UPS and DC plant batteries may have to comply. Failure to comply can result in costly penalties. Wading through the Code of Federal Regulations can be a complex and time-consuming task.

The following scenario illustrates the common concern about batteries and compliance: An IT manager is responsible for a building into which he will be installing (or maybe already has installed) a large, lead-acid battery system to back up critical operations. He is nervous enough about all these batteries and stored electricity under his roof, and now somebody says that he may have a compliance issue. He’s already been down the road with the electrical inspectors and fire marshals, and now he hears that the Federal Government may have a disturbing interest in his facility as well. Who are these people and what do they want?

“Battery Technologies for Data Centers and Network Rooms: Environmental Regulations” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

Some lead-acid batteries located in data centers are subject to government environmental compliance regulations. While most commercial battery back-up systems fall below required reporting levels, very large UPS and DC plant batteries may have to comply. Failure to comply can result in costly penalties. Environmental compliance regulations focus on the amount of sulfuric acid and lead in a given location. This paper offers a high level summary of the regulations and provides a list of environmental compliance information resources.

Contents:

  • Getting started
  • What are the rules
  • Emergency planning and response plans
  • Summary of inventory reporting steps

Conclusion:

Most commercial applications of stationary lead-acid batteries will fall well below the reporting quantities required by the EPA. Flooded batteries are more likely than VRLA batteries to require reporting, whether for reporting inventory or for the release of hazardous materials. Large battery systems can add significantly to a company’s compliance work. Although spills or releases of hazardous material (hazmat) for batteries at the reporting threshold are quite rare, one must nevertheless report the presence of battery inventories in the building to local and state authorities, and one must have an emergency preparedness plan in place.

White Paper Written By:

Stephen McCluer is a Senior Manager for external codes and standards at Schneider Electric. He has 30 years of experience in the power protection industry, and is a member of NFPA, ICC, IAEI, ASHRAE, The Green Grid, BICSI, and the IEEE Standards Council. He serves on a number of committees within those organizations, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and authors technical papers and articles on power quality topics. He served on a task group to rewrite the requirements for information technology equipment in the 2011 National Electrical Code.

Universal Networking Services’s partnership with Universal Power Group, Inc. has enabled us to build a strong distribution network of battery and related power components that meet consumer needs for accessibility, portability, security and mobility, coupled with value added offerings such as battery pack assembly and battery replacement/recycling programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

Can Your Electrical Infrastructure Weather a Natural Disaster?

Posted by on June 20, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper

Businesses are under increasing pressure to maximize profits and minimize downtime.  Therefore, it is extremely important to have a contingency plan for continued operations in the event of a natural disaster or emergency.  Actions taken during the first 24 to 48 hours of a disaster are critical in determining whether or not a business fully recovers.  As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster according to the latest research.

While natural disasters cannot be prevented, having a detailed emergency recovery plan can limit the financial and person havoc they can cause.  A good starting point is to address the following key areas:

  • Ensure electrical equipment is properly maintained
  • Identify the electrical equipment that is critical to operations
  • Be aware of the most current natural disaster recovery codes and standards
  • Know the effects of water damage to electrical equipment
  • Develop a safety plan to incorporate emergency procedures
  • Develop an electrical action plan

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) provide guidelines to develop disaster recovery emergency response, and safety plans.  This paper will incorporate those guidelines to help in the creation of both short-term and long-term restoration plans.  The number one priority for both plans is to safely restore power.

“Can Your Electrical Infrastructure Weather a Natural Disaster?” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Summary:

Contingency planning for continued business operations is a multi-faceted risk management function.  While natural disasters cannot be avoided, their impact may be somewhat lessened if businesses are better prepared.  This paper identifies pre-planning exercises companies can complete to help restore electrical distribution and control equipment efficiently and safely.

Contents:

  • Natural Disaster Definition & Statistics
  • Three Steps to Electrical Disaster Recovery Planning
    • Step 1:  Knowledge of the Electrical System
    • Step 2: Develop (or Update) an Electrical Safe Work Practices Policy
    • Step 3: Electrical Emergency Action Plan
  • Developing an Electrical Emergency Action Plan

Conclusion:

When a natural disaster strikes, its impact on individuals, communities and businesses can be devastating.  Restoring electrical power is a crucial part of the recovery process.  Regardless of the industry or facility type, having a detailed Electrical Safe Work Practices (ESWP) policy and an Electrical Emergency Action Plan (EEAP) can help recovery efforts.  Multiple standards exist from OSHA, NFPA and NEMA to serve as guidelines for businesses to help them understand and develop a contingency plan in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

White Paper Written By:

Ke Qin, Senior Marketing Specialist

Chad Kennedy, Industry Standards Manager, Power Equipment

Battery Technology for Data Centers and Network Rooms: VRLA Reliability and Safety

Posted by on June 20, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 39

Valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries have been used in UPS systems for almost 20 years. Compared to traditional flooded cell solutions, VRLA batteries allow higher power density and lower capital costs. VRLA batteries are typically deployed within power systems smaller than 500 kVA. Features of a VRLA battery include:

  • Container is sealed; liquid cannot be added or removed
  • Contains lead plates in a solution of sulfuric acid diluted in water (electrolyte)
  • Electrolyte is immobilized (not allowed to flow)
  • Operates at high currents
  • Safety vents allow escape of gas only under fault or excess charging conditions
  • Oxygen & hydrogen are recombined internally to form water
  • Installed in open frames or large cabinets (or embedded inside small power systems)

This paper will explore in greater detail some of the operating considerations of the VRLA battery. Concerns about VRLA batteries generally center on two issues: reliability and safety. Because of their wide usage (deployed at an estimated rate of 10 million units per year), many people have had experience – both good and bad – with VRLA technology. To better understand both the extent as well as the limitations of VRLA technology, we first need to understand the variations in VRLA design and the theory of operation. We can then look at the application and misapplication of this technology. All products eventually come to an end of useful life. We will explore when that should be in a VRLA battery and how that life could be lengthened or shortened according to its application and care. Although catastrophic failures are rare, we will look at what safety hazards are possible when VRLA batteries are misapplied or misused.

“Battery Technology for Data Centers and Network Rooms: VRLA Reliability and Safety” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

The valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery is the predominant choice for small and medium sized uninterruptible power supply (UPS) energy storage. This white paper explores how the technology affects overall battery life and system reliability. It will examine the expected performance, life cycle factors, and failure mechanisms of VRLA batteries.

Contents:

  • VRLA types
  • VRLA theory of operations
  • VRLA life expectancy
  • Failure modes
  • Safety
  • Handling and environmental safety

Conclusion:

When properly applied and maintained, VRLA batteries and cartridges such as those used in small and medium-sized UPS systems can give reliable performance for three to five years or longer (depending upon battery selection). Battery dry-out is a major cause of VRLA battery end of life. Continuous monitoring and control systems can detect and respond to conditions that could cause premature cell failure. Temperature compensated and current limited charging can help prevent thermal runaway. Use of redundant, parallel strings can reduce the consequences of a cell failure and increase the life of a battery system.

VRLA batteries are safe to use in data centers and network rooms when properly applied and maintained. Neglect, abuse, or improper application can create conditions that could push a battery into failure mode. In extreme cases, catastrophic failure can cause fire and/or release of hazardous gases. Proper cooling and ventilation, regular monitoring, use of parallel strings, and temperature compensated charging can all contribute to long battery life and safety.

White Paper Written By:

Stephen McCluer is a Senior Manager for external codes and standards at Schneider Electric. He has 30 years of experience in the power protection industry, and is a member of NFPA, ICC, IAEI, ASHRAE, The Green Grid, BICSI, and the IEEE Standards Council. He serves on a number of committees within those organizations, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and authors technical papers and articles on power quality topics. He served on a task group to rewrite the requirements for information technology equipment in the 2011 National Electrical Code.

Universal Networking Services’s partnership with Universal Power Group, Inc. has enabled us to build a strong distribution network of battery and related power components that meet consumer needs for accessibility, portability, security and mobility, coupled with value added offerings such as battery pack assembly and battery replacement/recycling programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

Guide for Reducing Data Center Physical Infrastructure Energy Consumption in Federal Data Centers

Posted by on June 20, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 250

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), along with the more recent Executive Order 13514, ask Federal government agencies to improve their environmental, energy and economic performance.  The typical data center consumes 50x the amount of energy of the average office space and is an obvious target for action  In fact, Federal Chief Information Officer Kundra cites an EPA report stating that Federal servers and data centers consumed 6 billion kWh of electricity in 2006.  If the current trend in energy consumption is allowed to continue, that consumption could exceed 12 billion kWh by 2012.  One of Kundra’s goals is to “promote the use of Green IT by reducing the overall energy and real estate foot print of government data centers.”  The federal government is looking for “game-changing approaches” to deal with the problematic growth in data centers rather than “brute force consolidation.”

So what do these high level mandates mean for Federal facility managers, IT managers and energy managers? Federal data center stakeholders will have to assess the energy situation within their own particular data centers and then formulate short-term and long-term plans for changes to their existing practices and existing infrastructure.  This paper will focus on energy efficiency gains that can be realized through optimization of physical infrastructure (i.e., power and cooling equipment).  Physical infrastructure accounts for more than half of the total energy consumption of a typical data center.  Approaches for improving IT equipment efficiency (i.e., servers, storage, telecommunications devices) are NOT within the scope of this paper.

“Guide for Reducing Data Center Physical Infrastructure Energy Consumption in Federal Data Centers” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

In an effort to create a clean energy economy, recent US presidents and congress have issued a series of legislation and executive orders requiring federal agencies to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in government facilities.  Vivek  Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer, is supporting that effort by establishing a Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative to help reduce energy consumption in over 1,100 Federal data centers.  US Federal data center managers are on a timeline to respond with their final consolidation plan.  This paper analyzes the implication of these mandates and offers recommendations for how to improve energy efficiency in Federal data centers.  This paper is written for a US-only audience.

Contents:

  • The challenge of energy efficiency
  • How an efficiency assessment can help
  • Understanding the language of data center efficiency
  • Factors impacting data center efficiency measurement
  • Measuring & modeling
  • Integration of a mathematical model
  • Data center efficiency best practices

Conclusion:

Energy efficiency initiatives in Federal data centers can begin with assessments that can easily reveal the “low hanging fruit” when it becomes to energy conversation.  Techniques, such as blanking panels and hot aisle/cold aisle orientation for racks, can begin the process of improved energy efficiency.

However, the essence of improvement is accurate measurement of energy being consumed so that a baseline for improvement can be established.  Data center energy efficiency models can be utilized, at a reasonable cost, to measure consumption to a surprisingly accurate degree.

Once consumption is measured, management techniques and new technologies can then be deployed which significantly reduce energy costs throughout the electrical room, mechanical room and IT room of the data center.

White Paper Written By:

Ellen Kotzbauer, BEP, is a 19-year veteran of Schneider Electric and has held numerous engineering, manufacturing and marketing positions in the company. She is currently the Government segment manager and is responsible for defining and executing marketing strategy and campaigns for Schneider Electric government customers in the U.S. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and is a certified Business Energy Professional.

Dennis Bouley, is a Senior Research Analyst at Schneider Electric’s Data Center Science Center.  He holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and French from the University of Rhode Island and holds the Certificat Annuel from the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  He has published multiple articles in global journals focused on data center IT and physical infrastructure environments and has authored several white papers for The Green Grid.

Additional References:

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007)

Executive Order 13514


Battery Technology for Data Centers and Network Rooms: Site Planning

Posted by on June 18, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 33

Batteries for uninterruptible power systems (UPS) are almost universally of the lead-acid type and are of one of the following three technologies:

  1. Vented (flooded or wet cells
  2. Valve regulated (VRLA)
  3. Modular battery cartridges (MB)

Please refer to White Paper 30, Battery Technology for the Data Centers and Network Rooms: Lead-Acid Battery Options , for more details.

“Battery Technology for Data Centers and Network Rooms: Site Planning” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

The site requirements and costs for protecting information technology and network environments are impacted by the choice of uninterrupted power supply (UPS) battery technology. This paper will discuss how battery technologies impact site requirements.

Contents:

  • Adaptability
  • Planning issues

Conclusion:

IT systems present a rapidly changing requirement for data center infrastructure. Fast response to this change can be difficult but can be facilitated by the appropriate selection of UPS battery technology.

The different battery technologies now available vary considerably in their site planning requirements and in their ability to create battery systems that can adapt to changing requirements.

A typical data center design process focuses on power and runtime as the drivers in battery selection and cost. An alternative approach is to focus on how adaptable the battery system needs to be to changing requirements. This approach can give rise to dramatic savings over the life of the system.

White Paper Written By:

Stephen McCluer is a Senior Manager for external codes and standards at Schneider Electric. He has 30 years of experience in the power protection industry, and is a member of NFPA, ICC, IAEI, ASHRAE, The Green Grid, BICSI, and the IEEE Standards Council. He serves on a number of committees within those organizations, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and authors technical papers and articles on power quality topics. He served on a task group to rewrite the requirements for information technology equipment in the 2011 National Electrical Code.

Universal Networking Services’s partnership with Universal Power Group, Inc. has enabled us to build a strong distribution network of battery and related power components that meet consumer needs for accessibility, portability, security and mobility, coupled with value added offerings such as battery pack assembly and battery replacement/recycling programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

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