Early this year, the West Brabant Datacenter Nedzone was the first commercial data center in the Netherlands to officially commission a Huawei uninterruptible power supply. A happy event that was celebrated with flowers, champagne and snacks. "Chinese innovation has landed in Steenbergen."
From 2011, Datacenter Nedzone relied on several Powerware ups systems for emergency power. When the desired maximum capacity of the old ups setup was reached, Nedzone was faced with a choice: expand the existing installation, or look at an alternative. "A logical choice would have been to add additional Powerware ups systems; you glue them to the existing ups, so to speak, so that you have more capacity," observes Nedzone director Arco van Bezooijen. "What we were missing for years, however, was modularity."
"We see that the load in our data center is growing very steadily, and then you actually want the capacity of the ups to grow very steadily with the load," Van Bezooijen explains. "That modularity is also very important for the new room we are building now. When that hall is finished, we will start from 0 and then it is important for efficiency that the capacity of the ups setup can be expanded in small steps. With traditional systems, however, it is the case that you turn on, say, 275 kVA at one time. Then you only start operating somewhat efficiently at a load of forty percent.""
DESIRE BECAME REQUIREMENT
The desire for modularity gradually became more and more of a requirement, Van Bezooijen outlines. For Nedzone, reason enough to inquire with Elinex Power Solutions, Nedzone's preferred supplier of emergency power supplies since 2007, whether there were alternatives to the standard solutions of the well-known brands. "Sometimes you shouldn't be afraid to step off the beaten path and look beyond the established order. The capabilities of a solution are more important than the brand on it."
Elinex turned out to have the alternative in the form of the Huawei 5000E. "Most people will think of the Chinese brand Huawei in terms of cell phones, but we quickly felt confident that this manufacturer also delivers good ups." Van Bezooijen with a laugh: "We have known the engineers at Elinex for years; they are critical technical guys who don't hide their opinions. If those engineers say something is good, I have every confidence in them. The opinion of an Elinex engineer weighs very heavily for us."
"Moreover, at Nedzone we all have a technical background ourselves and we really do know what is good and not good," Van Bezooijen emphasizes. "When I then look at one of Huawei's ups systems, I see a rack of modules that can be replaced piece by piece, and that live without interrupting the operation of the system because if one module is broken, the load is automatically distributed to the other modules. Everything that can break is redundant."
STEPS OF 40KW
The solution designed and supplied by Elinex and installed by A_L Support consists of four 320 kVA racks with a total connectable capacity of 640 kVA per feed (2N). Initial capacity is 200 kW per rack, made up of five 40 kW modules. Three more 40 kW modules can be added per rack. The modularity required by Nedzone has thus been realized. Van Bezooijen: "In the new room, we will set up a completely autonomous set and then start from zero and expand the capacity in increments of 40 kW each time."
Because of the modular design of the system, the Huawei 5000Es also offer a high efficiency of 97 percent. "That efficiency provides serious savings, and those savings only increase as we install more systems. To my knowledge, this is also the only online ups system covered by the Energy Investment Deduction scheme."
The modularity, energy efficiency and far-reaching redundancy are great examples of the innovative nature of Huawei's ups system, according to Van Bezooijen. "For example, the 'common battery mode' is quite unique." In this mode, the battery strings are cross-connected. If an ups 'loses' a string, the affected ups can use another feed's string. "Of course then the runtime halves, but the remaining runtime is still sufficient if you only need ten seconds to switch to generator operation," he says.
"Western companies innovate too little," argues Huub van Raamsdonk, CEO of Elinex. "Those are busy acquiring which leaves no money for product development. You can now see innovation in a company like Huawei, which combines innovation with high quality. That Chinese innovation has now landed in Steenbergen."
"We just have to get used to the silence in the technical area," Van Bezooijen concludes with a laugh. "As a layman you think that an ups is supposed to make a high squeaking sound, until the old ups are replaced by a much more innovative system. Then you notice that the air conditioners suddenly make much more noise than the ups."
The partnership between Huawei and Elinex Power Solutions was announced in June 2014 at the Huawei Enterprise Western Europe Channel Conference in Rome. Elinex thus became Huawei's first value-added partner to focus on ups'ing in Western Europe. In time, the two companies also plan to cooperate in the area of network energy and IT solutions.
"With over 25 years of experience in integrating emergency power solutions, we can appreciate the quality of the ups products Huawei has recently launched on the European market," said Huub van Raamsdonk, CEO of Elinex. "Not only do these products deliver excellent performance, but they also meet the latest standards for connectivity, efficiency and carbon footprint. These products also have excellent build quality."