Electrical monitoring solutions for data centers: 24/7 availability with constant power and fault current monitoring
ELECTRICAL MONITORING SOLUTIONS FOR DATA CENTERS
Availability in data centers
The reliability of stored data in data centers depends on many different conditions, e.g. the use of energy and security of power. These conditions must be constantly monitored to achieve level of Tier 1 - 4. To support this, the most significant is to monitor combined power quality, energy and fault current detection.
Various studies have shown that mains power quality problems generate costs that run into the billions each year. Already in 2007, the Pan-European LPQI Power Quality Survey estimated that the damage was equivalent to 150 billion Dollars annually. Meanwhile, the challenges for everyone have continued to grow. And this is especially true for data centers.
When planning the energy supply of a data center, many requirements have to be taken into account:
- Secure site location in terms of energy supply and environmental conditions
- High energy efficiency in order to minimize operating costs
- Maximum availability through the use of redundancies (UPS, generators)
- Highly secure (fire protection, access, defence against cyber attacks)
- System stability and reliability of the equipment used
- Possibility for later expansion
- Following standard such as DIN EN 50600, etc.
INVESTMENT SECURITY BY POWER QUALITY
Figure 1: Power quality simplified (Source: Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG)
The headache is caused by:
- A significant increase in sources of interference inthe electricity grid, e.g. LED, computers, frequency converters, etc.
- A decentralized feed that makes the network unstable
- UPS under low load condition (whistling of the UPS)
Possible effect of the malfunctions:
- The modern resources or equipment are often more sensitive
- The used measuring devices do not recognize interferences fast enough
The correction and prevention
- Determing the current situation by measuring
- Detect the change over time
- Identify sources of interference before damage occurs
- Set up an early warning system
- Take corrective measures
- Monitor the effects of the measures
Goal: Avoid downtimes, expensive production losses and unnecessary redundancies
lt is important to avoid malfunctions
Using investment intensive redundancies in data centers actually should avoid these malfunctions but because of adverse conditions caused from other users and asymmetrical loads, limit levels are regularly exceeded. That is why a permanent power quality monitoring is becoming more and more essential. Depending on the size of a data center it makes sense to monitor on the feed from the power company (point of common coupling or PCC), in all protected supply areas or at the feed of stand by power systems.
ASSET PROTECTION BY RESIDUAL CURRENT MONITORING (RCM)
Figure 2: Residual Current Monitoring (Source: Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG)
- Residual currents in low-voltage networks (e.g. data centers) that are not recognized or too late, constitute a fundamental security risk
- Fault currents and deterioration in insulation are generated by defective / bad components (e.g. switching power supplies, LED, server systems, PV, etc.)
- In the data centers, you should / must not switch off in the event of an error!
- Overheating cabeling compositions cause risk of fire!
- Time-consuming manual checks are no longer necessary (switch off topic)
- Continuous monitoring instead of status quo
- Legal certainty with respect to the law, sponsors, accountants (asset protection) and insurance companies
MAXIMIZING PROFIT WITH DECARBONIZATION
What is it about
Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is a technical key figure that has become an industry standard for reporting the energy efficiency of a data center. The PUE value determines the relationship between the total electrical energy consumed (total energy consumption) and the electrical energy consumed with regard to the IT infrastructure (server, storage, switches and more). This means that the PUE value is used to determine the efficiency of energy use within a certain period.
So, the PUE value puts the total energy expenditure of the data centers in relation to the energy consumption of the computer infrastructure, then with a theoretical PUE value of 1 the total power flows into it. In practice, values up to 1.2 are judged to be very efficient. That means 20 percent of the energy used is used ineffficiently. Besides the power usage effectiveness (PUE) there are standards which are getting more and more in focus, like the EN DIN 50600 and the TIA-942. Also the EU is now actively promoting Europe’s transition into a low-carbon society, and is updating its rules in order to facilitate the necessary private and public investment into the clean energy transition. Even during the World Economic Form Annual Meeting (2020) a Swiss Data Center Efficiency Label was announced with the initial goal to decarbonize data centers in Switzerland and significantly reduce their overall energy consumption.
Figure 3: Data Center (Source: Camille Bauer Metrawatt AG)
Monitoring of the following in e.g. the main distribution frame, the sub distribution frame, etc. up to the server rack of:
- The energy usage long time
- The mean values of active, reactive and apparent power
- The load profile
- The trend of the used energy
- Accurate metrological certified energy values and power quality monitor to save energy
The ultimate purpose of this monitoring is to increase the efficiency of the use of energy.
Goal: Your data center becomes more "green"