There’s a constant evolution happening within the data center. Cool, space, and bandwidth requirements are changing to support evolving use-cases and a digital economy. And, with these changes – power needs are progressing as well. And, we’re not talking about traditional power requirements. Today – we discuss batteries.
A battery exists to store a specific amount of energy and then release it at the appropriate time, whether that is to provide a working flashlight while changing the tire on a dark road, or when you require an effective bridge to an auxiliary power source. Believe it or not – Many critical facility professionals have been underwhelmed by how their batteries have inconsistently performed. When asked, “Is there a need for an improved energy storage solution for your data center infrastructure?” owners, users and managers invariably respond … YES.
For the critical data center professional, traditional lead-acid batteries paired with uninterruptible power systems have been the ‘go to’ source for providing brief ride-through time. Most of these same operators have witnessed the drawbacks to the lead-acid solution at one point or another. In this whitepaper from Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power), we explore a powerful alternative to traditional battery technologies – lithium ion batteries. This whitepaper examines that option and shares a real-world perspective to help data center designers decide if this technology is viable within their data center.
Breaking Away from Traditional Battery Challenges
Experienced users know that traditional lead-acid batteries are often considered the ‘weak link’ in their data center’s power chain. With strings and strings of batteries required to support a modern facility, it might feel as if a possible failure is lurking at any time. These batteries tend to be high maintenance, heavy, and in need of frequent replacement. Innovations in monitoring, management, and service have helped to alleviate some of these pains, but with an added cost.
So, administrators must look at better battery technologies to help them overcome some of the challenges facing today’s facility. With that, a better battery can go a long way. Benefits include:
- Better Battery Reliability
- Less Weight
- Easier Batter Replacement
- Smaller Size
- Longer Life
- Accommodating to Higher Temperatures
- Longer Shelf Life
However, NOT all lithium-ion batteries are built the same. In fact, there are a few varieties. This include Li-cobalt, Li-manganese, NMC, Li-phosphate, Li-aluminum, and Li-titanate. And, each of these will have their benefits and draw backs. For example, the Li-manganese has more power, but less capacity; it’s also safer than Li-cobalt; often mixed with NMC to improve performance.
That’s why it’s important to know your use-case and which type of batter is right for your data center facility. After looking at the specifics around lithium-ion and lead-acid energy storage alternatives, we can see the future looks promising for lithium ion batteries. They are designed to bring extended life, reduced weight, smaller size and greater flexibility to modern data center providers. Still, care must be taken to match the proper chemistry to the application environment. Download this whitepaper today to learn more about the differences in battery technology, how this impacts price, and where these batteries fit into your data center.