Retailers rely heavily on IT to provide services such as online shopping, EPOS systems, and data processing. This dependence on IT entails rapidly increasing energy requirements and costs. However, huge energy savings can achieved with increasingly efficient UPS systems, the author explains.
Personal relationships with customers mean that retailers have higher expectations of their environmental performance than many other industries. While stores are meeting these expectations through energy-efficient store design, green product purchases. And recycling initiatives, energy, and emissions targets are a major challenge for higher-end business segments.
The search for new technologies that reduce energy consumption and emissions has been key to the development. And deployment of advanced uninterruptible power supply (UPS) solutions that deliver significant efficiency gains and reduced carbon and physical footprints.
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Since 2003, IT power consumption has increased by 400 percent per server rack and continues to grow almost exponentially. Trying to meet future demand with traditional standalone UPS systems can lead to over-specification. Creating an unnecessary gap between installed capacity and actual critical load size, and inefficient use of expensive space. However, today’s modular rack-mounted systems can resized by installing or removing hot-swappable modules. Aallowing performance to increase as requirements increase without sacrificing floor space. A traditional standalone system with parallel redundancy is typically less than 50 percent utilized, while a modular solution typically achieves 70 percent utilization or more. This reduces power and cooling costs for the UPS.
The transformerless UPS technology has also made a major contribution to energy efficiency. The new three-phase UPS systems, for example, feature intelligent power management and are design to reduce consumption, emit less CO2 and minimize space requirements. Compared to similar stand-alone UPS systems, they reduce footprints by up to 0.41m² (up to 100kVA) and 0.64m² (up to 200kVA) and offer a best-in-class power density of up to 250kW/m². Cost savings equivalent to electricity and cooling costs can achieved over several years of operation.
Proper sizing and flexible growth are key to maximizing UPS efficiency. In addition, regular inspection and maintenance after installation play an important role. For example, Tesco has contracted with a UPS supplier to perform preventive maintenance on the high-powered UPSs that protect the data centers of its distribution network. Scheduled maintenance not only keeps these UPSs running around the clock but also helps optimize their efficiency. Over the life of the system, proper calibration and component monitoring/replacement can make a significant contribution to energy savings – an important contribution, given the challenge of balancing growing IT power requirements with cost control and environmental goals.
In addition to large-scale power protection in head offices, distribution centers, and data centers, UPS systems also provide power to individual stores. The replacement program at Waitrose has gradually replaced existing UPSs in supermarkets with new small UPS systems that provide flexible and easy-to-maintain EPOS systems. The compact modular UPS configuration provides cost-effective power expansion and redundancy in a small footprint and reduces operating costs through high efficiency and near-equal power factor.
With scalable architecture and energy-saving technologies. Advanced UPS systems of all sizes deliver the highest level of power security to critical workloads. While meeting retailers’ requirements to build and operate energy-efficient and environmentally friendly IT infrastructures.
The importance of this power protection became apparent when power to the data center was interrupt for about 18 hours. “We first became aware of it when one of our night shift workers heard the diesel generator turn on in the early morning hours,” .”Despite the power outage, all of our critical equipment and systems continued to operate as if nothing had happened. No unusual events were detected or recorded on any of our servers. When power was finally restore, the UPS provided a switchback to the grid. The generator automatically shut down, and we were fully restored to power.”
The UPS has two main functions. First, it continuously adjusts the mains or generator voltage to ensure that only high-quality power is supplied to the critical Retail Assist load. And second, it provides continuous power to the critical load from the backup battery.
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