Power Control boosts energy efficiency of Tier III/ Tier IV Data Centre, Blue Chip
Power Control
Category
Data Centre Power Innovation of the Year
Entry Description
As data centre operators endeavour to push the boundaries of energy efficiency levels to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve a PUE ratio as near to 1.0 as possible, focus has turned to upgrading their most power-hungry equipment in the facility. After cooling equipment, old UPS systems using outdated technology are major contributors to compromising the optimum levels of efficiency. It is important to note that the current industry average PUE is 1.6, and older facilities are finding it more challenging to achieve this than new ones.

Despite these challenges, Bluechip, a well-established Tier III and Tier IV data centre formed in 1987, prides itself on its green credentials and PUE ratio. By using suppliers who value their carbon reduction goal for their data centre equipment, Bluechip has been able to build and operate one of the most efficient data centres in the UK.

Power Control has played an instrumental part in helping Bluechip achieve significant energy efficiency gains by presenting a high efficiency, transformerless UPS (uninterruptible power supply) solution to replace its 10-year-old transformer-based UPS systems which required a major service and battery replacement.

Transformer based UPS have their place, but due to their component structure are less efficient than transformer free and modular technologies, therefore, maximising their efficiency is more challenging. Transformer based UPS can also limit scalability and inherently lead to inefficiencies, in particular in 2N+1 configuration where the load is often not large enough. Loads within data centres fluctuate and this needs to be accounted for within any power protection strategy.

With UPS systems being a major contributor to PUE ratings, upgrading to new, more efficient technologies must be considered. Advances in transformerless, monolithic UPS technology not only give data centre operators greater max KW output, thanks to their unity power factor, but they have also proven their resilience.

Following a site survey and operational assessment, Power Control confidently presented the Borri Ingenio Max solution as a direct swap out for the legacy transformer based units.

In total three 400kVA transformer based UPS systems in a 2N+1 configuration, which were providing a maximum 640kW load due to their 89% efficiency have been replaced with three high efficiency 400kVA Borri Ingenio Max units in a 2N+1 configuration (the same as the previous) which provides up to 800kW maximum load due to the UPS unity power factor. Not only does this mean they are more efficient, but it also ensures optimal sizing.

Power Control also presented the Borri Ingenio Max UPS system as the best solution because of Borri’s Green Conversion technology, providing continuous savings, high efficiency and UPS component life extension for the customer.

The direct swap out and upgrade has contributed to reducing the data centres PUE ratio to 1.1. Which is believed to be the lowest in the UK and contributes to their overall goals of running one of the most energy efficient data centres in the UK.

Thanks to Power Control’s expertise, all preparation was done in the week leading up to the swap out. Meaning that each parallel set of UPS, commission and changeover, was completed in a single day. Minimising any disruption for the customer.

The new UPS installation also means Bluechip benefit from an ROI of under 5 years and at current load levels, the efficiency savings for Bluechip is approximately £20,000 per annum. The maximum efficiency of the Borri Ingenio Max is 96% so as the data centre grows, and the load increases so will Bluechip’s annual savings.

Bluechip has also benefited from the space saving and lightweight advantages presented by transformerless technology, meaning their critical infrastructure takes up a smaller footprint in the facility.