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Feb 23, 2017

Power ProtectionA cold climate, ultra-reliable renewable hydropower and an expanse of flat land make Canada a hotbed for data centres. This case study showcases an expert solution provided for a leading global financial institution by S&C Electric Canada Ltd.

Customer challenge

A global financial institution that processes transactions 24x7 needed complete power protection for two data centres. Their goal was zero downtime for the cooling systems’ large mechanical loads and the computing equipment in the event of a utility power outage. Uninterruptible power for both systems would also eliminate the need for chilled water storage tanks for data centre cooling. And, because both centres would expand in the future, they needed a highly scalable, efficient solution.

Protecting sensitive loads and improving operations is an increasing challenge for financial firms as their data centres grow. For higher power loads (over 6 MW), conventional low-voltage uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems do not offer “economy of scale” as loads grow. This financial leader needed state-of-the-art protection, including non-stop cooling and redundant protection.

The institution’s design engineers turned to S&C, whose expertise in medium-voltage switchgear design enabled them to offer the innovative PureWave UPS XT System. No other supplier offers a medium-voltage, battery-based, extended-runtime solution. The UPS XT’s simplified architecture, 100% redundancy, ability to operate at 13.8 kV, 98.8% efficiency, and 15-minute battery runtime at full load made it ideal for protecting critical loads. And, its modular design makes adding capacity easy, in 2-MW increments up to 20 MW per system, to accommodate data centre growth. High scalability at medium voltage is a benefit other systems don’t offer.

For their new data centre, they selected an 8-MW PureWave UPS XT, scalable up to 12 MW for future expansion. For their existing data centre, they chose a 6-MW UPS XT, scalable up to 10 MW. Both systems ensure continuous cooling and protect computing equipment. Applied with backup generators, the systems ensure zero downtime during extended outages and other power disturbances.

Outcome

With the PureWave UPS XT System, the financial institution gained total data centre protection, from their mission-critical applications to their cooling systems, eliminating the maintenance and costs of chilled water storage tanks. The UPS XT’s unmatched scalability allows for future expansion and whole-facility backup, even in a 2N configuration. Furthermore, its medium-voltage operation simplifies power distribution with less hardware than conventional systems. Their 20-year battery ensures maximum data centre protection and power backup. And, because the UPS XT runs only during power interruptions and operates at an extremely high efficiency, the customer will realize significant annual energy cost savings.