Data usage is only set to increase as the world transitions to 5G. To process all this data, we need a lot of data center, so it’s important to run them as efficiently and sustainably as possible. A reliable power supply is a great start, but we also need optimized equipment. This is where the 50kW module at the centre of Delta’s DPH Series UPS system is changing the game. We had a chat with Ross Peringuey, Product Manager MCIS at Delta Electronics EMEA region, to find out how such a small unit is saving a whole lot of power and money.
Clean, constant power
Data centers can’t afford to lose power, not even for a second. Data processing is about more than social media and home entertainment; it’s a necessity in every field. It enables life-saving medical technologies in hospitals, and scientific breakthroughs. It’s used in manufacturing, transportation, and construction. And it plays a big role in business, banking, and education. In many circumstances, the results of a data center going offline could be disastrous. To make sure they never go dark, data centers need uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to ensure its continuous operations.
Delta’s DPH Series UPS offers a total power conditioning system and back-up power supply. ‘The system is designed in such a way that if some sort of failure with the power supply occurs, the UPS will step in,’ explains Ross. ‘Typically a power grid/utility supply can have a variety of power quality problems that manifest in the supply feed to a facility. There are inconsistencies in the waveform and slight changes in the frequencies, for example, and then there are actual power outages, which pose a major risk to a DC facility.’
With the DPH Series UPS, the data center is never affected by anomalies on the grid. Instead, it continuously receives a clean, pure sinewave at exactly the right voltage, and exactly the right frequency. On top of that, the UPS system is redundant in nature; it’s connected to multiple power supplies and able to seamlessly switch between them, so the power output stays constant at all times. If mains power is lost, battery power seamlessly takes over without a break in supply.
The benefits of being modular
Modular UPS systems come with a few big advantages. Firstly, redundancy is built in. If one module fails for any reason, the others will take over. Delta’s DPH Series UPS system offers redundancy on multiple levels—it ensures a back-up power supply and prevents a single module failure from becoming a system failure.
The second benefit is scalability. You only need enough 50kW modules to cater for the current situation and redundancy requirement. As the business grows, the UPS is easily expanded by adding more modules. And in the meantime, the data center doesn’t waste extra space with more equipment than is initially necessary and reducing capital expenditure up front.
To complete the benefit trifecta: a modular UPS system makes maintenance easy. With a traditional UPS system, performing maintenance and repairs is a big job. The whole system needs to be taken offline, then a technician has to locate the problem and remove and replace the malfunctioning part. It can take a long time. In contrast, Delta’s UPS modules are hot-swappable. The technician can simply flick a switch on the affected module, pull it out and have it fixed or replaced in a couple of minutes. This lowers the MTTR (mean time to repair) significantly, which is a huge win for data center operators.
Compact modules with serious power density
Physical space is a cherished and expensive thing in a data center. ‘Data center operators would prefer to fill their space with the servers that generate their revenue,’ Ross explains. ‘But a UPS system is a necessity for them. They have to have it; it’s like insurance. So, they don’t just want it to be efficient, they want it to take up as little space as possible.’
Their small size gives Delta’s high-power-density modules a huge advantage compared to other UPS systems. Equipment in data centers is stored in racks, and rack space is measured in rack units (U). Delta’s modules only take up 3U, and yet offer 50kW of reliable power. This enables data center operators to pack more power into less space—it’s possible to deliver up to 500 kVA in a 600mm, 42U rack, so they’re able to house more servers and increase their profits without needing to relocate or renovate.
In addition to being compact and having a high power density, the efficiency of the module is still market leading for its size, which makes a big difference when you consider the equipment is always online. ‘These modules are designed to waste as little power as possible,’ says Ross. ‘The more energy you waste, the bigger your heat load. For example, if there is a 4% power wastage, there’s also a 4% increase in heat load in the data center, and that must be removed. Cooling is a necessity for data centers, but it’s also power-hungry and expensive, so the less cooling they need, the better.’
All set for a data-filled future
We’re moving closer and closer to a 5G future filled with more smart appliances, smart technologies and even smart cities. The need for data is only going to keep growing. The 50kW module from Delta’s DPH Series UPS system might be very compact, but it’s greatly improving the sustainability of data centers in terms of space utilization and energy efficiency. And as data centers continue to expand to meet the ever-growing demand, their increased efficiency is not just good for data center operators, it’s also good for the planet and everyone living on it.