Data Centre Power Innovation of the Year
Lead-acid batteries have dominated the communications industry for decades. However, lead-acid batteries have short service life, poor reliability, low energy density, and large footprint. Therefore, the reliability, availability, and flexibility of the UPS solution are greatly reduced.
SmartLi is a smart Li-ion battery energy storage system developed for Huawei, which provides backup power for a medium- and large-power UPS. SmartLi is compatible with a UPS system with or without a neutral wire. SmartLi has the features of long lifespan, space saving and safety and reliability. The Li-ion battery cabinet supports battery management, and intelligent current management. Huawei SmartLi uses LFP (lithium iron phosphate) cell which is the safest Li-ion battery cell in Industry. When multiple battery strings are connected in parallel, the output of each battery string is balanced and reliable protection is achieved. The active current balance control technology supports the mix use of new and old batteries, which reduces Capex. Three-level BMS system realizes intelligent battery management with Huawei UPS and Network management system.
Product Features and Values:
1. Long Service Life
The service life of Li-ion batteries is over 10 years, which is three times that of lead-acid batteries under the same conditions. Li-ion batteries do not need to be replaced during the 10+ year service life of data center, but lead-acid batteries need to be replaced at least one time. This eliminates the risk of system breakdown caused by battery replacement and reduces the TCO of battery by 10% to 20%.
2. High Energy Density, Space Saving
The power density of Li-ion batteries is three times as that of lead-acid batteries. The volumetric power density of LFP battery is 200–300 Wh/L, which is much higher than that of the lead-acid battery is only 60–90 Wh/L, saving 70% footprint. A cabinet brings hundreds of thousands dollars per year, so the benefits brought by saving footprint are considerable. In addition, the weight power density of LFP battery is 100–150 Wh/kg, while that of lead-acid battery is only 30–50 Wh/kg. For Li-ion batteries, the weight requirement for the equipment room is lower than 1000 kg/m2. Therefore, no dedicated battery room is required.
3. High Safety and Reliability
The operation status of SmartLi is visible, which supports predictive maintenance. In fact, lead-acid batteries can also be intelligentized, but battery measuring instruments and monitoring systems need to be installed. The installation and test of field engineers are of different levels, which leads to high cost and is often unavailable. SmartLi has built-in three-level BMS system, which implements real-time analysis of the voltage, current, temperature, SOC, and SOH of each battery cell. In addition, SmartLi management is associated with UPS to achieve linkage protection. Comprehensive prediction and protection functions enable visualized quality and fault prediction, greatly reducing routine O&M workload.
Huawei SmartLi uses LFP battery cell and is equipped with system-level fire extinguishing to ensure Safety and reliability. The chemical structure of LFP battery is olive-like three-dimensional, so LFP battery is more stable than other Li-ion batteries. And LFP battery cell does not generate oxygen as other lithium batteries do when thermal runaway occurs. When SmartLi is in thermal runaway condition, even if it is manually ignited, the LFP battery cell will only burn out and not spread. The integrated battery system is configured with a gas fire extinguishing system and is configured with heptafluoropropane or perfluorohexanone by default. Even if a combustion event occurs, the fire can be automatically extinguished within a few seconds, keeping the accident within the battery system.
Huawei outperforms competitors in the following points:
Huawei SmartLi can still work when a single battery is faulty. There are few power failures in data centers, but batteries must be able to supply power when power failures occur. When the battery changes from the float charging state to the discharging state, the battery is prone to faults. Batteries consist of multiple batteries and are not faulty at the same time. However, batteries are connected in series. When a single battery is faulty, traditional lead-acid batteries and Li-ion batteries cannot supply power. As a result, services are interrupted due to load power outage in the data center. Huawei SmartLi battery solution design allows a single battery to be faulty. In this case, the load power supply can still be ensured, avoiding major losses.
Huawei SmartLi support hybrid combination of old and new batteries and flexible capacity expansion, which matches the service phenomenon of gradually increasing loads in most data centers. In this way, the capacity of the data center can be flexibly expanded to reduce the capital cost and investment risk, and achieve lower TCO of data center.
As the market share of lead-acid batteries decreases rapidly, Li-ion battery usage is increasing around the globe. Li-ion batteries are used in almost all 5G sites, alongside their wide use in the data centers of some large ISPs. Huawei SmartLi helps K2 build data centers in Dublin, which thanks to its safety and reliability, long lifespan, space saving and easy maintenance. And many companies, such as HUAWEI Cloud, 21Vianet, and Zhonghuan semiconductor, have adopted SmartLi solution to achieve business success.