Key Benefits of Implementing UPS Systems in Your Data Center

Key Benefits of Implementing UPS Systems in Your Data Center

UPS systems help minimize downtime caused by power outages. They prevent data loss, buy IT staff time to respond to a power failure, initiate backup power sources, and gracefully shut down equipment.

Determine how many watts your devices draw using the UPS manufacturer’s Web-based or downloadable sizing tools. This will help you avoid oversizing your UPS system, saving thousands in electricity costs.

Reduced Downtime

In the case of a data center power outage, UPS systems will protect equipment and ensure a seamless transition to backup power. This can prevent costly operational damage and re-work and reduce lost revenue. With the average cost of downtime now estimated to be a thousand dollars per minute, many companies prioritize UPS systems for their ability to minimize downtime and demonstrate a commitment to business continuity.

UPS systems can protect electrical equipment against electromagnetic interference, voltage sags, spikes, and power surges. They can also even out the flow of electricity so that slight variations won’t damage equipment over time. This can be an essential feature for sensitive IT devices like servers and network switches.

In addition, data center UPS systems with a high-efficiency rating can save thousands of dollars in energy costs. Look for one that offers efficiency curves to show precisely how much of the original incoming utility power is used to run IT equipment and how much is lost in the operation of the UPS system itself.

An online UPS system is ideal for data centers because it provides the most consistent and clean power. These models switch to battery power instantaneously, minimizing the impact of a power interruption. They’re more expensive than standby UPS models but can provide better protection and are often backed by service contracts that offer maintenance and replacement parts for peace of mind.

Increased Energy Efficiency

UPS systems provide clean, consistent power and prevent surges and spikes from damaging equipment or data. This can be vital to critical operations, including banks, trading platforms, and healthcare facilities.

These devices are often the key to ensuring that ATM networks and online banking remain functional during power outages, protecting customer transactions and financial data. Hospitals also depend on them to keep life-support systems running during disruptions and safeguard patient information and medical records.

UPSs come in two primary forms: rack-mounted and freestanding. Companies typically choose between the two based on their preference for power density and space limitations in the data center. Rack-mounted UPSs save space and can be mounted on the same chassis as server racks, while freestanding devices offer more power capacity. However, both types can be adapted to meet specific needs and have several features to maximize energy efficiency.

For example, the type of battery used significantly impacts the lifespan and efficiency of a UPS. Lithium-ion batteries, for instance, have a two-to-three times longer lifecycle than traditional valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) cells. Additionally, some UPSs feature ‘live swap’ technology, which allows battery modules to be removed or replaced without interrupting the load, further increasing the device’s lifespan and providing uninterrupted backup power during maintenance or upgrades.

In addition, many UPSs offer management software that helps data centers track their performance and monitor system health. UPS systems can also be configured for peak shaving, a process that slowly discharges the batteries during power peaks to reduce demand on the grid.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

UPS systems use battery banks or energy storage devices to generate AC power. These systems have a rectifier and an inverter. The rectifier converts the incoming AC power into DC, and the inverter turns it into the needed AC to power IT equipment. When energy is converted between AC and DC, there’s a slight loss of efficiency. Highly efficient UPS systems minimize this waste to deliver a lower cost of operation and ownership.

In addition, a UPS system protects IT equipment from power surges, voltage sags and spikes, and electromagnetic noise. A UPS’s ability to respond rapidly to these electrical imperfections means that it can prevent them from causing files to corrupt or hardware to fail. This can reduce the impact of an outage and mitigate any costly repairs that may be required.

It’s essential to regularly conduct load testing to determine a UPS system’s capacity. This can be done through specialized software or by using a third-party company to perform the test remotely.

This testing will help ensure that a data center can easily transition to backup power sources and avoid downtime and lost productivity. Many UPS systems can also page technicians and communicate power issues remotely via software. This allows technicians to troubleshoot the UPS and make decisions before a power outage occurs.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

While redundancy provides the best power protection, it may compromise energy efficiency in some situations. UPS systems offer several ways to improve energy efficiency without sacrificing reliability or availability.

For example, some UPSs can operate in an eco or ESS mode. These modes reduce a data center’s electricity consumption by regulating the incoming utility power. They also eliminate the time it takes for the UPS to switch from utility to battery, reducing the risk of outages caused by high-powered equipment such as motors and variable-speed drives.

UPS systems can also be deployed as Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) that can reduce the power demand on a local grid during peak hours by discharging their batteries. The process is called “peak shaving.” This helps to alleviate energy consumption during times of highest demand, reducing the risk of outages and maintaining system uptime.

While upgrading old UPS systems can help save money on energy costs, newer technologies offer even more significant savings. For example, modern UPS systems can increase efficiency by 7-10%. In addition, their modular design allows them to quickly scale up or down based on changing data center power requirements, minimizing energy waste. Furthermore, they can integrate with other data center infrastructure management (DCIM) systems to provide unified power management and control.


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