Network Communications News (NCN) October 2017 - Page 38

UPS PRODUCTS Industry first: UPS-as-a-Reserve Service to support the power grid Power management company, Eaton has embarked on a project to build an energy service for data centers. Set to enable organisations to participate in grid level frequency regulation by using UPS back-up power, the service has been dubbed UPS-as-a-Reserve (UPSaaR). This data center industry first has been launched in response to increased demands such as maximisation of investments and an opportunity to assist energy providers balance sustainable energy demands. O nce compl ete, the s e r v ic e h o p e s to e na b l e d ata c e nte r ope rators to immediate l y re s p o nd to gr id - l eve l p owe r d e mands to keep frequ e nc ie s wit h in a l l owe d b o u nd a r i e s, t here by avoiding grid-wid e p owe r o u ta ge s . Aim e d at l a rge d ata center o perato rs , s u c h a s co l o c at io n o r c l o u d s er v i c e provi ders , UP Sa a R a ims to b e l a u nc h e d a c ro s s E u ro p ea n mar ket s by l ate 2017. Working in close collaboration with Fortum, a leading energy provider in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Eaton identified that as the energy market moves from fuel-based towards renewable energy, production has the potential to become volatile and harder to both predict and balance electrical supply. Energy providers are looking at the Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) market to maintain grid frequency. Acco rding to Eato n’s research there is a growing appet i te a mo ng s t data c e nte r profession a l s to con s ide r s e l l ing spare en ergy from their p owe r syste ms ba ck to the m a r ket – to be exact, 55% of res pond e nt s wou ld con s ider this a p p ro a c h . “This turns supply and demand on its head. Instead of just demanding power, data centers can support the grid and be compensated for it,” says Janne Paananen, technology manager for Power Quality, Eaton EMEA. “The data center industry has been moving away from focusing solely on energy and cost savings over the last five years, and it is now more about making investments pay for themselves. Data center professionals can create a revenue generation strategy around assets that they already have, such as the UPS. There’s free money lying on the floor, just waiting to be picked up.” Extensive testing between Eaton and Fortum has proven that the UPS can work as part of a virtual power plant to enable data centers to take part in the high-value FCR and demand- side market. The UPS, which uses stored power in the event of a power failure, can be used to regulate demand from the grid, as well as for up and down stream charging, essentially to discharge the battery back to the grid. Data center operators then have the option to support the grid in frequency regulation, generating additional revenue to offset the total cost of ownership of the UPS or as part of making the data center more com