VERTIV's Leading Again! Lithium Ion Batteries are gaining traction! They are smaller, lighter and last longer!

by Greg Stover, Vertiv on 11/12/18 3:22 PM

If you've been using or considering using Lithium Ion battery technology in your Data Center, you're likely aware the industry has faced a global shortage of Lithium Ion battery modules/cabinets for Data Center applications. With over two years of experience and success with this LIB Technology, VERTIV can help.

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Before you buy a competitive LIB technology (if you can get it), please know all Lithium Ion Battery technologies are not created equally! Our experts can help.

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Topics: Lithium-ion, facilities, Battery, batteries

Highly reliable data centers using managed PDUs

by Emerson Network Power on 10/8/15 9:09 AM

Ronny Mees | Emerson Network Power

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Today’s most innovative data centers are generally equipped with managed PDUs since their switching capabilities improve reliability. However, simply installing managed PDUs is not enough – an “unmanaged” managed PDU will actually reduce reliability.

So how do managed PDUs work? These advanced units offer a series of configurations which – if properly implemented – improve the availability of important services. The main features are Software Over Temperature Protection (SWOTP) and Software Over Current Protection (SWOCP), which are well described in the blog post “Considerations for a Highly Available Intelligent Rack PDU”.

It is also well-known, that managed PDUs can support commissioning or repairing workflows in data centers. The combination of well designed workflows and managed PDUs pushes the operational reliability to a higher level.

In high performance data centers, using clusters, another important point comes into play: clusters are complex hierarchical structures  of server farms, which are able to run high performance virtual machines and fully automated workflows.

As described here or here, such clusters are managed by centralized software together with server hardware.

Over the last couple of years cluster solutions have been developed following strong and challenging availability goals, in order to avoid any situation, which make physical servers struggle within the cluster. However, there would still be the risk of applications and processes generating  faults and errors and screwing-up the complete cluster, unless there was an automated control process – the good news is: there is.

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The process which controls those worst case scenarios is called fencing. Fencing automatically kicks out of the cluster any not working nodes or services in order to maintain the availability of the others.

Fencing has different levels, which are hopefully wisely managed. In a smooth scenario fencing will stop disturbing services, or re-organize storage access (Fibre channel switch fencing) to let the cluster proceed with its tasks.

Another power fencing option is also called “STONITH” (Shoot The Other Node In The Head) and allows the software to initiate an immediate shutdown (internal power fencing) of a node and/or a hard switch off (external power fencing).

The internal power fencing method uses IPMI and other service processer protocols, while the external power fencing uses any supported network protocol to switch of a PDU outlet.  It is recommended to use secured protocols only, such as SNMPv3. So managed PDUs as MPH2 or MPX do not only support a nice power balance, monitor power consumptions or support datacenter operations workflows – they also allow the fence software to react quickly for higher cluster reliability. So it’s not a secret that cluster solutions manufacturers – e.g. Red Hat with RHEL 6.7 and newer – openly support such managed rack PDUs.

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Topics: Data Center, PUE, robust data center, Containment, efficient data center, DVL, electrical distribution, energy, Battery, Thermal Management, energy efficiency, 7x24, PDU

Choosing Between VSDs and EC Fans. Making the right investment when upgrading fan technology.

by Emerson Network Power on 7/15/15 3:23 PM

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Fans that move air and pressurize the data center’s raised floor are significant components of cooling system energy use. After mechanical cooling, fans are the next largest energy consumer on computer room air condition (CRAC) units. One way many data center managers reduce energy usage and control their costs is by investing in variable speed fan technology. Such improvements can save fan energy consumption by as much as 76 percent.

With the different options on the market, it may not be clear which technology is best. Today, variable speed drives (VSDs)—also referred to as variable frequency drives or VFDs—and electrically commutated (EC) fansare two of the most effective fan improvement technologies available. The advantages of both options are outlined below to help data center managers determine which fan technology is best for achieving energy efficiency goals.

How do different fan technologies work? 
In general, variable speed fan technologies save energy by enabling cooling systems to adjust fan speed to meet the changing demand, which allows them to operate more efficiently. While cooling units are typically sized for peak demand, peak demand conditions are rare in most applications. VSDs and EC fans more effectively match airflow output with load requirements, adjusting speeds based on changing needs. This prevents overcooling and generates significant energy savings.

With VSDs, drives are added to the fixed speed motors that propel the centrifugal fans traditionally used in precision cooling units. The drives enable fan speed to be adjusted based on operating conditions, reducing fan speed and power draw as load decreases. Energy consumption changes dramatically as fan speed is decreased or increased due to the fan laws. For this reason, a 20 percent reduction in fan speed provides nearly 50 percent savings in fan power consumption.

EC fans are direct drive fans that are integrated into the cooling unit by replacing the centrifugal fans and motor assemblies. They are inherently more efficient than traditional centrifugal fans because of their unique design, which uses a brushless EC motor in a backward curved motorized impeller. EC fans achieve speed control by varying the DC voltage delivered to the fan. Independent testing of EC fan energy consumption versus VSDs found that EC fans mounted inside the cooling unit created an 18 percent savings. With new units, EC fans can be located under the floor, further increasing the savings.

How do VSDs and EC fans compare?

Energy Savings
One of the main differences between VSDs and EC fans is that VSDs save energy when the fan speed can be operated below full speed. VSDs do not reduce energy consumption when the airflow demands require the fans to operate at or near peak load. Conversely, EC fans typically require less energy even when the same quantity of air is flowing. This allows them to still save energy when the cooling unit is at full load. EC fans also distribute air more evenly under the floor, resulting in more balanced air distribution. Another benefit of direct-drive EC fans is the elimination of belt losses seen with centrifugal blowers. Ultimately, EC fans are the more efficient fan technology.

Cooling Unit Type
VSDs are particularly well-suited for larger systems with ducted upflow cooling units that require higher static pressures, while EC fans are better suited for downflow units.

Maintenance 
In terms of maintenance, EC fans offer an advantage. EC fans also reduce maintenance because they have no fan belts that wear and their integrated motors virtually eliminate fan dust.

Installation 
Both VSDs and EC fans can be installed on existing cooling units or specified in new units. When installing on existing units, factory-grade installation is a must.

Payback
In many cases, the choice between VSDs and EC fans comes down to payback. If rapid payback is a priority, then VSDs are likely the better choice. These devices can offer payback in fewer than 10 months when operated at 75 percent.

However, EC fans will deliver greater, long-term energy savings and a better return on investment (ROI). While EC fans can cost up to 50 percent more than VSDs, they generate greater energy savings and reduce overall maintenance costs, ultimately resulting in the lowest total cost of ownership.

Have the experts weigh in. 
Service professionals can be an asset in helping choose the best fan technology for a data center. Service professionals can calculate the ROI from both options, and they can recommend the best fan technologies for specific equipment.

Service professionals trained in optimizing precision cooling system performance can also ensure factory-grade installations, complete set point adjustment to meet room requirements, and properly maintain equipment, helping businesses achieve maximum cooling unit efficiency today and in the future.

Whether you ultimately decide to go with VSDs or EC fans, either way, you’ll be rewarded with a greener data center, more efficient cooling, and significant energy savings that translate into a better bottom line.


Original Emerson Network Power Blog Post

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Topics: data center energy, PUE, Battery, Efficiency, Thermal Management, DCIM, Uptime, the green grid, AHRI, availability, education, KVM, Data Center efficiency, preventative maintenance

Battery Monitoring with Remote Services: Right Information + Right Expertise= Right Protection

by Emerson Network Power on 7/1/15 11:20 AM

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Written By: Milind Paranjape, Emerson Network Power

IT managers and facility managers make promises to their businesses and their customers to maintain critical system availability. One key way they can keep their word and deliver on those promises is by properly monitoring and maintaining the batteries that back up the UPS. After all, a UPS is only as reliable as the batteries that support it, and all too often, battery failure is the cause of unplanned, costly downtime in data centers.

Monitoring alone may not be enough. 
Maintaining and continuously monitoring critical battery parameters to detect early signs of battery degradation can go a long way toward reducing battery failure and thus preventing downtime. However, evidence suggests that stationary battery monitoring and data collection might not be enough.

In our 2007 white paper, “The Effect of Regular, Skilled Preventive Maintenance and Remote Monitoring on Critical Power System Reliability,” Emerson Network Power demonstrated that while data centers with on-site battery monitoring systems had a reduced rate of outages due to bad batteries, outages did still happen. Such outages occur when customers do not properly monitor the system, or when they do not know how to properly analyze the data provided by the monitor. Simply put, having the right information, and knowing what to do with it, are two very different things.

Remote monitoring ensures added protection. 
Monitoring that enables remote services is a solution to address these issues. Remote services allow a third party service partner—preferably a partner with full knowledge of critical infrastructure and battery maintenance best practices—to monitor data collected by battery monitoring technology and properly maintain the system based on the data analysis.

The latest technologies, as seen with Albér battery monitoring solutions, monitor parameters such as cell voltage, overall string voltage, current, and temperature. The technology also enables automatic periodic tests of the battery’s internal resistance. Such monitoring and testing verifies the operating integrity of the battery and identifies potential problems early on.

When this technology is supplemented with remote services, skilled battery experts support battery monitoring efforts around the clock. When the monitoring technology detects issues, the remote service technicians receive alerts. They can then put into action a pre-defined escalation plan to address the alarm. As a result, the appropriate steps are taken to correct minor battery problems before they evolve into major system issues, thus protecting other batteries in the string, preventing major system damage, and improving overall system availability.

As an added benefit, remote service providers can analyze the comprehensive data collected by a battery monitoring system and provide data center managers with essential information for making battery maintenance and replacement decisions.

Outside help can improve performance within. 
battery monitoring solution that enables remote services allows data center managers to augment their staffs with around-the-clock, expert support for maintaining battery health and preventing costly downtime. This allows IT and facility staff to focus on more strategic data center infrastructure management initiatives that support core business objectives. Ultimately, battery monitoring with remote services allows IT and facility managers to do their jobs more effectively, dramatically reduce downtime risks, and ensure system availability for the businesses and the customers they serve.

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Topics: data center infrastructure, Data Center, 7x24 exchange, Battery, Uptime, monitoring, the green grid, availability, batteries

Emerson Network Power Introduces New Liebert NXL UPS models

by Marissa Donatone on 3/5/15 9:32 AM

Mission Critical Magazine, dives into the new Emerson Network Power NXL UPS model. 

“Today’s dynamic data centers require equally dynamic infrastructure solutions that are designed for continuous availability without impairing data center cost management,” said Peter Panfil, global vice president AC Power, Emerson Network Power. “The Liebert NXL 400kVA, 575-600V UPS provides data center professionals an optimized power solution that is quicker to install, highly efficient and cost-effective, while protecting their IT applications with the most reliable UPS system in the industry.”

Take a look at the article here

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Topics: Emerson Network Power, data center infrastructure, Battery, Efficiency, clean energy

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