Rapidly changing trends in the data center sector mean that the backup power market is different from other segments. While battery applications, such as electric vehicles, are shifting toward greater energy storage capacity to provide long-lasting service, data center operators need high power to handle brief outages and overcome voltage variations. As demand for backup batteries provides a backup duration of five to 10 minutes, some customers ask for two or even one minute.

Additionally, data center operators want to build their facilities close to the businesses they serve, thereby providing faster services. This has led to the development of small data centers in city center buildings, where rents are high, space is at a premium, and floors have load limits.

Today, the latest generation Li-ion battery systems can provide up to 140 kW per cabinet. This includes a small environmental footprint and a lightweight solution without the need for structural soil reinforcement. In turn, the savings in rental and structural costs far exceed the cost of the battery.

This is a factor that can be considered alongside the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), which is the sum of all the financial costs associated with a battery system over its useful life. Purchase price, installation, maintenance and end-of-life costs are included, and operators generally find that batteries with Li-ion technology and nickel technology offer more favorable costs of ownership.

Integrating Li-ion into a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)

In the early days of Li-ion technology, there was a need for electronic control, as an additional component necessary to manage the battery, but which did not add value to the customer.

Today’s customers, however, are using it as a benefit. Allows direct integration into data center control and SCADA systems. Operators can monitor their batteries remotely, identify end-of-life as it approaches, and take proactive steps to replace assets at the right time.

Another advantage of electronic control is that the battery management system can optimize the performance and life of a battery system. It achieves this by adjusting the charging and discharging of individual cells to maintain a constant temperature in the battery chains, modules and cells. The constant temperature means that the cells age at the same rate, providing constant performance.

Technological development for industrial nickel batteries

Elsewhere in the data center backup power chain, other types of batteries are used. For example, our SPH nickel technology batteries provide the starting power to start diesel generator sets , ensuring uninterrupted power if a longer outage occurs.

In this Section, We cover two development fields for batteries with nickel technology . The first of them is a remote monitoring system for these nickel cadmium batteries. This digital solution from industrial battery supply will offer operators the ability to monitor their battery fleet, and take proactive measures. Allows you to switch from preventive battery maintenance to maintenance based on the actual state of the battery.

The clear benefit for clients will be the OPEX savings, as a result of the reduction of visits to their facilities. Another benefit is better Capex planning, as real-time data will help the end user maximize battery usage, and replace it when necessary, and not before.

The second area of ​​improvement is an adaptation of electrochemistry to make our nickel-cadmium batteries a close replacement for plug-and-play valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries. To date, this has not been possible, as nickel technology batteries require a higher charging voltage than VRLA, typically 1.42V per cell, versus 1.39V per cell for VRLA. The consequence for the customer was the need for a DC-DC converter, as part of the UPS architecture to fill the gap between 1.39 and 1.42V.

By adapting the electrochemistry of nickel cadmium batteries, it is now possible to charge them at the same voltage as VRLA, i.e. 1.39V per cell. This eliminates the need for the DC-DC converter, reducing the cost of the architecture, and making it a plug and play replacement.

As a result, operators can adopt nickel cadmium technology and benefit from a reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO), thanks to a long life and low maintenance requirements.

Low total cost of ownership highlights sustainability

However, TCO is not only good for the bottom line, it is also a sign of environmental sustainability. By choosing engineered products designed for long life, companies can minimize the use of natural resources, transportation and materials.

Li-ion and nickel batteries provide long life and high reliability. In contrast, VRLA batteries typically require extensive maintenance, and offer a significantly shorter lifespan, requiring multiple visits to customer sites, replacement batteries, transportation and logistics.

Last but not least, Li-ion and nickel cadmium batteries can withstand high temperatures. This allows operators to reduce cooling, reducing both energy consumption and utility bills.


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