The Next Generation of Paralleled Generators

Designing a data center takes a bit of ingenuity and finesse to create a simple, streamlined facility operating at peak efficiency.  Having the proper technology can do just that, providing owners and operators with a solution to reliable and affordable functionality.  One of the latest developments that is helping many designers create an optimal mission-critical environment is known as modular integration, a new approach to generator systems that bypasses the complexity of traditional paralleled generators.

As we continually strive for innovation and efficiency, many common data center practices have become things of the past, making way for more streamlined, cost-effective approaches.  In the past, traditional paralleling was designers’ only option when creating a data center, forcing them to accept complex systems, high costs and large physical footprints as the norm.  Today, these issues are virtually nonexistent as we move into the next phase of data center power innovation – digitally paralleled generators.

Integrated and traditional paralleling systems are very distinct from one another, and through a deeper understanding of their unique qualities, it becomes easier to discover why integration could be the best choice for your facility.  Four major requirements are considered when analyzing the functions of paralleled generators, including synchronization, load sharing, protection and point of synchronization.

Synchronization

A necessary element in all paralleling systems, synchronization within traditional generators relies on third-party components to consistently regulate all controls.  Within onboard integrated systems; however, these controls are incorporated digitally inside the generator itself, eliminating the need for third-party involvement and added  cost.

Load Sharing

It is also important to note that the function of load sharing should be equalized between generators to ensure no single unit becomes the “motor”, pulling load from the other.  Traditionally, this is controlled via cabling; however in the new integrated system, load sharing is regulated digitally to allow for more flexibility in facility design.

Protection

As critical and expensive equipment, generators must be protected from all potential issues and threats. When it comes to reverse power, voltage and over current protection, traditional setups relied on a third-party for protection.  By contrast, in an onboard, integrated parallel system, each of these components live within the generator set, creating more space, control and flexibility throughout the data center.

Point of Synchronization

When generators achieve synchronization, it is necessary to employ a connection to the emergency bus, or point of synchronization.  Traditionally, this has been done utilizing motorized breakers within the gear; however, integrated paralleled generators do so using switches or motorized breakers located directly onboard the generator set.

This innovative technology, when used properly, can deliver staggering results by reducing overall complexity, shortening installation lead times, conserving precious floor space, lowering costs and making it easier than ever to be ready for future expansion.  This reliable and cost-effective solution is more achievable than you think and can make a world of difference.

If you would like to learn more about modular generator and integrated paralleling systems, view this comprehensive article by Electronic Environments Corporation (EEC)’s Director, Chris Avery, found here.

Data Centers Seeking Energy Efficiencies Have Options

By Ken Rapoport, CEO of Electronic Environments Corp.

Our advice to clients who engage us for assistance in building and retrofitting data center facilities for energy efficiency: consider the foundations upon which your data centers are built and the assets deployed inside them.  Reliability and energy efficiency are the overarching objectives.  This approach reinforces that the data center will perform to expectations in meeting the requirements of their business.

In scenarios where the client is building a new facility, the energy efficiencies offered by large cloud providers can be an attractive option to consider based on a number of factors.  For one, these providers can locate their facilities in geographic regions where the cost of energy is comparatively lower, for example in the northwest of the United States.  They can also leverage customized servers that are able to operate at higher temperatures and higher efficiencies.  Lastly, large cloud providers can take advantage of advanced scalability and uniformity capabilities.  The net result can mean levels of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.02 or 1.01 — a significant achievement.  However, a sizable number of businesses will not have these options, and therefore rarely achieve PUE levels of less than 2.0.

In order to reduce their PUE levels, EEC advises customers in several ways.  First, we conduct assessments and deploy advanced technologies — for example, energy-efficient mechanical systems that take advantage of free cooling.  The good news is that a number of powerful new technologies will deliver impressive returns and are available at comparatively low cost.  These include intelligent air distribution and management systems that can achieve energy usage reductions of between 20 and 40 percent in just two short years.

Another option that can deliver greater energy efficiencies is to retrofit your legacy data center technologies.  For example, if you’re operating a low-density data center, one that’s operating at 50 watts per square foot, you can deploy direct water-cooled racks or in-row cooling in zones in order to accommodate potential future zones of higher density servers.

For more information about the relationship between data center strategy and energy efficiency, download our free white paper, or view the EEC Google Hangout.

For more information about EEC, visit www.eecnet.com.