Improve PUE and Visibility With EcoStruxure

Schneider Electric
Monday, 01 November, 2021


In today's digital world, data centres have become an essential part of our lives. They are where our data, photos, documents and music are stored, as well as being the lifeline for businesses where stock levels are kept in check, banking is done, and customer interfaces are updated.

In order to offer these services, both in the cloud and at the edge, data centre operators must ensure they maintain their power availability, or uptime. Although a simple concept, this requirement can become more complex with growing demand, and an increased risk of power outages due to volatile weather patterns. Uptime must also be balanced with operational efficiencies, such as a low PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness).

To achieve these goals, data centres need access to their power usage information in a format that allows them to analyse and make decisions based upon real-time data. This is made possible through the digitisation of assets, and the convergence of systems into one overarching architecture where all information can be accessed.

EcoStruxure

Schneider Electric's Ecostruxure platform combines best-in-class OT solutions with the latest in IT technology. By combining these systems and offering visibility of power usage across individual circuits, and the system as a whole, users are empowered to maximise their energy efficiency and sustainability.

An example of this is at the US government’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. Here, they wanted to improve their PUE to prepare the site’s Strategic Computing Complex data centre to be future-ready for the next-generation supercomputer. The laboratory is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world, conducting multidisciplinary research in fields such as nuclear fusion, renewable energy, nanotechnology, and supercomputing.

To provide them with visibility of their energy use, Schneider Electric delivered a solution which provides an accurate, real-time calculation of PUE, energy data visualisation, and expert assistance for making informed energy efficiency decisions. This has resulted in continuous energy consumption optimisation and an impressive PUE of 1.19. The power management system is also helping reduce the risk of downtime and costly repairs. The solution was made possible with the use of Schneider Electric technologies, which are explored in greater detail below.

Power Monitoring Expert software

Leveraging IoT connectivity and distributed intelligence, EcoStruxure Power Monitoring Expert (PME) helps power-critical and energy-intensive facilities maximise uptime. The software provides insight into electrical system health and energy efficiency, with advanced visualisation and analysis tools that can be used to calculate, model, forecast and track main energy performance indicators (EnPIs). With its open, scalable architecture, PME connects to smart devices across the electrical system, such as power and energy meters, protective relays and circuit breakers, UPS, and power quality mitigation equipment. This information is then integrated with process control systems and many other enterprise platforms, making it simpler to keep operations running while protecting both people and assets.

Power Operation control system

As a key element of EcoStruxure Power, Schneider Electric Power Operation is a SCADA control system engineered to help facilities, like data centres, maximise uptime. With rich data integration from connected devices, Power Operation’s unique capabilities provide real-time situational awareness, enables proactive maintenance and offers a high-performance, cyber-resilient solution for specialised power networks. In the event of a fault, the software uses real-time alarm notifications, filtering, sorting and categorisation to respond quickly to events, perform root cause analysis, and offer automatic fault isolation and power restoration.

PowerLogic meters

Schneider Electric PowerLogic meters monitor power supply, protecting the network, the installation and the operator by tracking the power factor and hence the quality of power. The meters also allow for remote control of equipment and the monitoring of performance and condition in real time, allowing data centre managers to gather insightful power and energy data so they can identify under-performing electrical assets. It also allows them to utilise millisecond time stamping to analyse the sequence of events leading up to an incident.

MasterPact circuit breakers

Schneider Electric's MasterPact MTZ low voltage circuit breakers protect electrical systems from damage caused by overloads, short circuits, and equipment ground faults. They also offer advanced protection, measurement, and diagnostic functions so users can gain insight into power consumption and energy management. The circuit breakers can be safely accessed remotely and are suitable for use in harsh environments.

With a suite of products for energy efficiency and performance, Schneider Electric offers data centre managers a reduction in false alarms and increases in infrastructure utilisation. To find out more about how Schneider Electric can help your facility improve operational efficiency, visit se.com/au/ecostruxurepower.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Gorodenkoff

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