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Johannesburg South Africa, 20 November 2017 - Schneider Electric is ready to capitalise on its first-to-market advantage in lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries, as Bloomberg predicts big gains in data centre UPS systems.
“Key to this growth is the lower total cost of ownership,” explains Riaan de Leeuw, VP for IT Division – Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa. “Since our launch in 2016, we have been publishing the many benefits that li-ion technology brings to centralised data centre UPS systems. These are now endorsed by the Bloomberg Report, which indicates that li-ion technology will snatch 40% of market share in just eight years.”
Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that in 2025, Li-ion batteries will account for 5.6GWh of data centre battery backup capacity, as compared to 8.3GWh for traditional valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries.
There is still a significant proportion of the market that will still continue to use VRLA, as the technology improves. However, li-ion will gain even more share in hyperscale data centres – those owned by Internet Giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google – where wringing every bit of energy and space efficiency means huge savings. According to the report, Li-ion is expected to account for about 55% of backup capacity in such data centres in 2025.
Top four benefits of li-ion
“While VRLA has much lower upfront cost today, lithium-ion batteries will experience significant cost reductions, driven by sizeable ramp-up in demand in the coming decade, much of which will be for electric vehicles,” continues de Leeuw. “This cost reduction and increasing familiarity with the use of lithium-ion batteries for backup in data centres will help ramp up adoption in this timeframe.”
Schneider Electric has identified four major benefits for data centre operators:
“All of these benefits help to reduce costs in one way or another, adding up to a lower total cost of ownership for li-ion UPS batteries over time, as compared to VRLA. That is what has data centre owners standing up and taking notice of li-ion technology.
“To date, the group has these systems installed in more than 20 sites, totalling more than 10MWh of capacity. The li-ion installations range from large companies, including colocation providers and financial services companies with enterprise-level data centres, to industrial applications and server rooms. Clearly the technology is applicable to a wide range of situations,” concludes de Leeuw.
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