Although there has been a material change in power production, with greener solutions favoured above traditional power sources, the need for back-up power systems and the critical role of testing will never disappear, according to a new data centre industry guide from Crestchic Loadbanks.
The guide explores the critical role of both back-up power and load testing solutions in the resilience strategy of data centres – from server emulators in the testing and commissioning phases to multi-megawatt resistive/reactive units used for more regular testing of back-up power systems. Drawing on many years in the sector, the guide also explores the changing energy mix and its impact on power resilience and reliability as demand itself fluctuates.
Paul Brickman, Sales and Marketing Director at Crestchic Loadbanks, explains, “In the most critical area – the data halls, which are home to the servers, arranged in rows of cabinets or racks – there is a continuous need for power and cooling. This is no great surprise to any data centre operator, with data centres themselves specifically designed with a robust set of systems to deal with power failures and to ensure cooling is always available. However, while most operators fully appreciate the need for back-up power, the problems arise when operators fail to regularly or adequately test and maintain their back-up power systems.”
To help, the team at Crestchic created a white paper that highlights the various areas of a data centre that would benefit from regular testing to ensure resilience in the face of an outage, as well as the types of technology that suit the job in hand. These include: resistive-only load banks typically up to 300kW for heat load testing; rack mounted server emulators for heat load testing; capacitive load banks to test with the leading power factor often associated with servers; multi-megawatt, medium voltage load bank packages to test and synchronise multigenset systems on a common bus with a lagging power factor; DC load banks to test UPS systems for close battery analysis and discharge performance; and resistive-reactive load banks for testing the whole system operation in an emergency change-over scenario.