According to a report from Pike Research, as green IT becomes an important goal, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems will increasingly need to work with the existing IT infrastructures to support overall green IT objectives.
The report says that future UPS systems will combine several key features. The essential part is the built-in energy storage source, primarily batteries, flywheels or compressed air. They will also need the circuitry to supply sufficient clean power for anything from a few seconds to several hours. In addition, most leading UPS systems also have some form of surge protection or power filtering circuitry. With these features, Pike says that a UPS system can play a larger role in the overall smart energy infrastructure, part of a more holistic energy management strategy.
“UPS systems are already an important energy storage feature in cost-efficient and smart buildings,” said vice president of research Bob Gohn. “The emergence of hybrid topologies that automatically switch between different power modes can reduce energy costs over time without compromising power quality.”
There has been increasing focus on greener UPS systems in data centres in recent years, although in my experience it’s been more about just making the UPS itself greener, for instance by using a flywheel rather than batteries.
Up-time is still the single most important factor in running a data centre, though, well above any other consideration, so UPS systems are critical. Integrating the UPS with greener infrastructure management seems an obvious move, particularly as data centre power management becomes much more comprehensive. But I suspect a lot of data centre managers will be very cautious about making the UPS too complex.