Special Feature

Power Solutions and UPS

In terms of the Data Center UPS markets, with the accelerating shift towards Cloud, digitisation, and Internet of Things (IoT), there has been an immense boost to the adoption of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems across different applications.

India’s power and energy industry has been expanding owing to the country’s large and diverse population with an entire spectrum of energy requirements. With electricity often being scantily available across the nation, Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS) emerge as a key place for energy storage. The UPS market is ever increasing due to the rising demand for electricity amongst consumers and enterprises as well as the need for quality power.

However, technology for power systems of modern equipment is facing tough challenges due to continuously increasing power-density and efficiency requirements. To address the need for a continuous supply of power, the focus is now on the introduction of advanced products with self-diagnostic features. Meeting these prerequisites will require substantial technology advancements in system architectures, devices and materials, topology optimization and overall design structures. The high cost of installation and maintenance continue to remain an impediment to market growth.

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“With rapid industrialization, there is an increasing pressure on the power sector for uninterrupted power supply. Furthermore, across the globe, the boom in the IT sector along with digitization has led to an increased demand for UPS.”

AS Prasad
General Manager-Marketing and Product Management
Vertiv

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There is an increasing emphasis on the need for technological innovations for capitalizing on this booming market. These innovations are predicted to dominate the growth trajectory of the market in the future.

India’s power sector has experienced tremendous transformations in the last few years. India’s renewable energy sector is the second most attractive as per the Renewable Energy Attractiveness Index 2017.  India continued its upward trend in the index to second position with the government’s program to build 175GW in renewable energy generation by 2022 and to have renewable energy account for 40% of installed capacity by 2040. However, coal still remains the dominant source of electricity generation in the country. Currently, coal-based power plant account for over 70% of India’s power output.

Sustainable growth of any country is dependent upon its infrastructure, and one such basic infrastructure is availability of quality power. There is a need for 24×7 uninterrupted power supply along with transparency in the operation of sector and consumer participation. In the power sector, reliable, efficient and sustainable power is a need-of-the-hour today.

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“As the global specialist in energy management and automation, our aim is in helping our customers manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable.”

Manish Gokhale
Director Business Development
Schneider Electric

 

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According to a report by Global Market Insights, the data center UPS market is expected to exceed USD 4.5 billion by 2024. The report suggests that the growth can be credited to the growing trend of cloud computing and virtualization, fuelled by the increasing digital and computing requirements of the data centers. Across industries, including banking, healthcare and manufacturing, online UPS solutions are being deployed for increased performance. Owing to the demand of high voltage, frequency regulation, and power conditioning in telecom and IT, these systems have found themselves to be incredibly useful. Overall, cost efficiency and compactness are the key benefits offered by these products which are anticipated to drive the expansion of the segment over the next few years.

When asked about the future of UPS, AS Prasad, General Manager-Marketing and Product Management, Vertiv said, “With rapid industrialization, there is increasing pressure on the power sector for uninterrupted power supply. Furthermore, across the globe, the boom in the IT sector along with digitization has led to an increased demand for UPS. We see this market flourishing in the future as the towering demand for efficient power supply management solutions has led to the development and growth of the market in recent years. We anticipate this to continue and exhibit a similar trend over the next couple of years, on the back of the escalating implementation of UPS technology for power backup and data security.”  According to him, the new technologies that will be influencing UPS as a product are efficiency; green technology and uptime are some of the key trends that will dominate the growth of UPS. Along with this, researchers also suggest that there is the increasing need for an end-to-end fully equipped solution that can control, monitor and maintain entire operations. New battery alternatives, chemistries, and construction suitable for high-power and long-duration critical infrastructure applications, combined with true bi-directional UPS systems will present opportunities for the broad adoption of UPS systems capable of more elegant interactions with the grid.

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“The industry is becoming more power intensive. And we, our demand for power, by 2025 -2030, might require almost 2.5 times even three times the power, which is currently available.”

Deepak Singh Thakur
Head of Business- India & SAARC
Delta Power Solutions

 

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These more intelligent UPS systems and more versatile batteries for backup power have the ability to give data center managers load management and peak saving capabilities today. The possibilities are numerous, including using some of the stored energy in the UPS systems to help the utility operate the electric grid. The static storage of all of that energy has long been seen as a revenue-generator waiting to happen.

Due to an increasing dependence on data centers, this has in turn lead to a rise in demand for infrastructure components like UPS and Cooling systems which are very critical to business resilience. With India being poised to be the second-largest market for data centres in Asia-Pacific by 2020, (per a recent report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)), the UPS market for data centre is all set to ride high on the growth trajectory.

Manish Gokhale, Director Business Development, Schneider Electric, talks about the state of power supply in India, “At Schneider Electric, we believe that ‘energy efficiency’ is the cheapest, cleanest and most abundant form to overcome the challenges of growing energy demand, rising energy costs and climate change. As the global specialist in energy management and automation helping our customers manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From simple switches to complex operational systems, technology, software, green building solutions, all are pivoted on sustainability. We are committed to reduce carbon emissions and all our products and solutions are targeted towards that.”

Technology is always changing. Cloud computing and virtualization is bringing architectural changes to the IT environment and how IT services are delivered. With the economic benefits of Cloud computing, the overall demand for IT has increased tremendously which in turn is driving demand for more power solutions, be it in edge sites or hyper-scale data centres. For instance, Eaton has partnered in developing large co-location data centres and it is interesting to learn how the power redundancy planning changes when the stakes are higher with multiple client occupancy. The industry will see further enhancements in years to come with developing software and information technology.

Shreesha Nagar, National Channel Manager-Power Quality Division, Eaton Power Quality Pvt Ltd., describes the challenges in the UPS market by stating that, “One of the biggest challenges in the UPS market is understanding the need for it. While most of the requirements would arise as a back-up solution, people generally ignore the fact that equipment require protection from nine power quality issues -Power Failure, Power Sag, Power Surge, Undervoltage, Overvoltage, Line Noise, Frequency Variation, Switching Transient, Harmonic Distortion. Therefore, UPS is a must wherever we have critical loads like servers, machine tools, lab equipment’s , so that clean power is made available all the time for process continuity. Another challenge is understanding the need for preventive maintenance of UPS and the need to choose a UPS provider with strong service capabilities.”

Deepak Singh Thakur, Head of Business- India & SAARC, Delta Power Solutions explains the power gap in the country, “The industry is becoming more power intensive. And we, our demand for power by 2025 -2030, might require almost 2.5 times even three times the power, which is currently available. So in the power generation side of it there is a huge infrastructure to build and that is why you see every government which will come up, is coming up with renewable power projects. You have solar, you have wind and then a lot of other projects. But this itself is insufficient to cater to create an almost 2.5 times the power which is existing today. Nobody knows how the industry will change after 5G, after which you will actually see the adoption of AIs, VRs, and various other technologies, IoT, in a true sense of deployment. The current infrastructures are not so digitized. All the infrastructures of every business will get to change according to the new norms and everything will be getting into data. The moment it has that 5G, and the kind of things you can do with this device is going to be immense and will put a lot of pressure on the kind of data that is being generated. That data is going to be stored somewhere. That storage space needs some power and that power is going to be exponentially higher. So the kind of data boom, which we are seeing in the market, you would have experienced yourself in the past three years, everything is getting into more data, videos, downloads, people playing games and all, so this is what the power size will be.”

Without clean, reliable, and safe power, the customer’s business will not exist. Therefore, the UPS market is going to stay and prosper for the foreseeable future. The channel has a major opportunity to bring the right power management solutions to the customers. Channel is likely to invest in power management software. In the era of virtualization, customers want information at the tip of their fingers and want to see more smart products coming to the market. Globally, the trend is drifting towards maximum utilization of assets. The days are gone when businesses could afford large apex investment with lower operating returns. Now every asset has to outperform in this competitive economy. We are likely to witness a time when UPS systems will not be a load on the power grid but an asset to it. Lots of innovation is going behind the product in terms of energy storage, charging and capacity extension. It would definitely be a major contributor to the changing power scenarios.

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