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AN AGILE APPROACH to UPS installation can offer datacentres a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), increased flexibility and increased availability and here’s how.

I often see UPS installations designed and configured for a much greater load than is actually required.  However, a system which is too large wastes energy, is inefficient and costly to run.  It will also cost more than necessary to maintain due to its size.  Therefore, adopting constant right-sizing and a pay-as-you-grow approach, means you only pay for what you need. 

Installing a true modular UPS where you have the ability to use a fully rated frame or empty carcass, provides the option to add the required number of modules to suit the actual load, plus more only when needed.  All the individual modules are a UPS in their own right, all containing a rectifier, inverter, and static switch and all operating online in parallel with each other. 

In this way, ‘a modular approach” helps minimise the need for a large initial investment in a stand-alone solution: and datacentres can scale as they sell space.  It also offers a more flexible approach.

It means datacentres have the opportunity to re-allocate resources rapidly.  A colocation datacentre selling decompartmentalised space or rows or racks or kW/Sq. foot may shrink with one client and grow with another.  Standard frames which can accept the same physical size and power rating of UPS modules can ensure that if one client decides to reduce their rack space or moves on, the over and above hardware can be reutilised elsewhere.

This approach also allows the modules to be redeployed between areas or facilities based on priority, to ensure load protection and redundancy is kept at the most critical locations.  It also means, if a system needs to be maintained modules can be ‘hot swapped’ avoiding any risk to the load (zero downtime!).  This is how an agile critical power solution can support an agile infrastructure environment.  Availability is maximised while at the same time costs are minimised. However, this agile modular concept relies on true modular UPS systems that are robust and of high enough quality to withstand being shipped and moved around regularly.   Other brands of modular UPS are available, however, please keep in mind that not all modular UPS systems are designed to be hot swappable, with the flexibility to relocate and reutilise.  As well as needing standardised frames and a robust, quality modular system, it is also necessary to manage the whole network closely too. 

Implementing infrastructures that offer the ability to pay-as-you-grow and to re-deploy modules according to load requirements will require some intelligent analysis.   However, with expert advice from trusted advisors who have decades of experience implementing the most efficient solutions such as our engineers at CENTIEL, it is possible to have the highest level of power protection in the most cost effective way. 

Originally featured in DCS Magazine July 2020.

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