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Why Li-ion Battery UPS Becomes a New Choice for Data Centers?

2020-04-08 18293
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The data center technologies and market requirements bring changes to the power supply, cooling technology, and equipment room space. Currently, lead-acid batteries are mainly used in data centers to satisfy power supply requirements. In the future, lithium batteries will become an opportunity for growth. For example, the lithium battery and uninterruptible power system (UPS) can build an energy storage system to better coordinate with the power grid and reduce power consumption costs.

So, why does the lithium battery UPS become the development trend of power supply and distribution for data centers? How does Huawei respond to the development trend of lithium battery UPS? How does Huawei ensure the safety of lithium batteries?

He Bo, President of Huawei Data Center Energy Product Line, now answers these questions.

Q1: Why does the lithium battery UPS become the development trend of power supply and distribution for data centers?

First, the lithium battery greatly reduces the footprint. As we know, a data center occupies a large area. In cities where land is highly priced, such as London, Singapore, and Hong Kong, storage batteries that occupy large areas affect the economic benefits. Therefore, from the perspective of return on investment (ROI), the reduction of the footprint is necessary.

Second, storage batteries can be charged and discharged for many times. This feature can produce economic benefits through actions such as peak load shaving with peak-valley electricity prices.

Third, the coordinated power supply mode works. If the power grid has insufficient capability when the load is at peak hours, the lithium battery can perform coordinated power supply, which reduces the initial mains investment.

Last but not least, lithium batteries have a longer lifespan. Throughout the lifecycle, lithium batteries cost less than storage batteries because of less replacement. In the future, the price of lithium batteries will keep decreasing, while the cost of lead-acid batteries is increasing. Therefore, we are very optimistic about the application of lithium batteries.

Q2: How does Huawei respond to the development trend of lithium battery UPS?

To respond to market changes and customer requirements, Huawei launched the FusionPower series, which is a power supply and distribution solution for large data centers. The input and output cabinets are integrated with the UPS to reduce power distribution complexity and save 30% footprint and 60% installation time. The battery energy storage system supports lithium batteries. The Huawei intelligent lithium battery system SmartLi has the unique active current-sharing technology in the industry and supports the mixed use of old and new batteries. The circulating current of parallel lithium battery cabinets can be controlled below 2%, significantly reducing the capital expenditure (CAPEX). In addition, the all-in-one design integrates the input and output cabinets and UPS, which reduces the footprint, installation time, and O&M workload.

Q3: How does Huawei ensure the safety of lithium batteries?

First, Huawei chooses the most reliable lithium battery material—LFP—for both communication base stations and data centers. This material is also more stable than other materials.

Second, Huawei developed a lithium battery system with Huawei's intelligent battery management system applied to it. Each lithium battery module is managed by an intelligent management module for current-voltage balance. Lithium batteries can be automatically adjusted to the most stable working state.

Third, Huawei uses artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to evaluate and predict the status and health of lithium batteries throughout the lifecycle to ensure their safety. This is also the focus of our future work.

These technologies are widely used in Huawei FusionPower series products. The lithium iron phosphate cell, battery management system (BMS), cell-to-battery cabinet system, and parallel battery cabinets ensure the reliability of lithium batteries, meeting the high reliability requirements of data centers, especially large data centers.

Based on its advantages in technology R&D platforms, Huawei has been continuously innovating on the way to intelligence. By integrating ICT, AI, power electronics, and heat management technologies across industries, Huawei has adhered to the concepts of digitalization, networking, and intelligence, and provided a brand-new, intelligent, and green data center infrastructure solution based on the i3 technology, bringing more benefits to customers.

Learn More about Huawei SmartLi UPS - https://e.huawei.com/en/products/network-energy/smartli-ups

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