Make Your Data Centers Growth Drivers with Smart Power Solutions


ByWang Menglan

January 17, 2020

Wang Menglan

Data center technologies and market requirements are changing the basics of power supply, cooling technologies, and equipment room space. Currently, lead-acid batteries are mainly used in data centers to satisfy power supply requirements. But in the future, lithium batteries will become an opportunity for growth. Why? Because the lithium battery and uninterruptible power system (UPS) can build an energy storage system that works better with the power grid and cuts power consumption costs.

Three Key Questions

We asked the He Bo, the President of the Huawei Data Center Energy Product Line three key questions about current trends, Huawei’s positioning, and safety.

Q1. Why is the lithium battery UPS coming to define power supply and distribution for data centers?

First, the lithium battery greatly reduces your footprint. Data centers occupy a large area and in cities where land is highly priced, like London, Singapore, and Hong Kong, storage batteries that occupy large areas affect profits. From the perspective of ROI, reducing your footprint is necessary.

Second, storage batteries can be charged and discharged many times. This feature can produce economic benefits through things like peak load-sharing with peak-valley electricity prices.

Third, the coordinated power supply mode works. If the power grid has insufficient capability for loads during peak hours, lithium batteries can perform coordinated power supply, which reduces initial mains investment.

Last but not least, lithium batteries have a longer lifespan. Throughout their lifecycle, lithium batteries cost less than storage batteries because they need to be replaced less frequently. In the future, the price of lithium batteries will keep going down, while the cost of lead-acid will keep increasing. Therefore, we’re very optimistic about the application of lithium batteries.

Q2: How is Huawei responding to this trend?

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, saving 30% in overall footprint and 60% in installation time. The battery energy storage system supports lithium batteries. Our intelligent lithium battery system SmartLi has unique active current-sharing technology and supports the mixed use of old and new batteries. The circulating current of parallel lithium battery cabinets can be controlled to below 2%, significantly reducing CAPEX.

The all-in-one design integrates the input and output cabinets and UPS, which reduces footprint, installation time, and O&M workload.

Q3: How can we ensure the safety of lithium batteries?

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

Second, Huawei developed a lithium battery system infused with Huawei’s intelligent battery management system. Each lithium battery module is managed by an intelligent management module to ensure current-voltage balance. Lithium batteries can automatically adjust 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 safety. This is also the focus of our future work.

These technologies are widely used in the Huawei FusionPower series of our 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 in large data centers.

Based on its advantages in technology R&D platforms, Huawei has continuously innovated the way to intelligence. We have provided a new, intelligent, and green data center infrastructure solution based on the i3 technology, bringing more benefits to customers.

By integrating ICT, AI, power electronics, and heat management technologies across industries, we enable digitalization, networking, and intelligence.

Read more about Huawei’s i3 solutions in How Deploying AI in Data Centers Can Save You $ Millions.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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