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Iliad: Upgrading for efficiency

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Iliad Datacenter, a subsidiary of the Iliad Group and one of France’s largest operators of data centers, builds and operates its own data center sites. It says this approach provides it with the best possible control over the quality and security of the services it provides.

When it decided to modernize its DC2 data center to incorporate 2N+1 fully redundant architecture, Iliad Datacenter used its strong in-house engineering expertise to carry out a detailed evaluation of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, with uptime and energy efficiency top of mind. It ended up installing innovative UPS systems by Eaton Power Quality.

According to Nicolas Fontés, the sales manager at Iliad Datacenter, the result has been a boost in efficiency at the 5,000 sq m site from 92% to 98%.

“The ESS (Energy Saver System) mode and VMMS (Variable Module Management System) technology offered by the 9395 UPS’s were important factors in our decision,” Fontés says.

“We realized they would help us to maximize energy efficiency. This is really important as, apart from our constant efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, the energy bill represents 70% of the operating costs in our data centers and we’re currently seeing energy prices increase by an average of around 7% every year.”

As part of its corporate commitment to social responsibility and the environment, Iliad Datacenter has a policy, wherever possible, of using equipment manufactured in France or Europe. This also led to its choice of UPS, as Eaton has a European production facility.

Power at iliad
At DC2, Iliad Datacenter deployed 9395 UPS chains with a total capacity of 2,500kW, made up of five Eaton 9395 UPSs rated at 550kVA. The UPSs are each made up of two 275kVA modules with separate battery banks. The installation makes full use of Eaton’s VMMS technology to ensure that all UPS modules operate at high loads – typically 75% or more – and therefore achieve maximum efficiency.

VMMS constantly monitors the power requirements of the load connected to the UPS system and, taking advantage of the modular design of the 9395 UPSs, Eaton said it ensures that only those modules necessary to supply the load at any particular time are in service. The remaining modules are held in a low-power ‘ready’ state mode but the system reacts instantly to changes in load level and they are brought back into service in less than 2 milliseconds when the load increases.

Eaton says that this arrangement has two benefits. The modules that are in service operate efficiently because they are highly loaded, and the modules that are in standby consume very little power. As a result, large energy savings are possible.

Iliad Datacenter is also benefiting from the ESS mode offered by the 9395 UPSs which allows them to supply power direct from the mains, when this is within acceptable limits of voltage and frequency, but instantly switch to conditioned power if the mains supply moves outside these limits. This allows it to achieve an efficiency of at least 99%.

To maximize the availability of its UPS installations as well as their energy efficiency, Iliad Datacenter is also using Eaton’s Powerware Hot Sync technology, which allows UPS’s to be operated in parallel without the need for a common logic bus, which could potentially be a significant single point of failure (SPOF).

Hot Sync not only allows very accurate load sharing but also enables detection of a faulty UPS in real time, as the operation of each module is self-monitored. If a problem is detected, the module affected is instantly disconnected and the additional load is automatically distributed to other modules, thereby ensuring that the integrity of the supply is maintained.

“As part of the commissioning process we pushed the units well beyond their stated operational limits, particularly with short-circuit and overload tests,” Fontés says.

Now, at Iliad’s new DC3 data center, which is a Tier 4 facility, Iliad is installing 24 Eaton 9395 UPS’s. Like those in use at the DC2 data center, these are each rated at 550kVA and made up of two 275kVA modules. Once again, full use is being made of the VMMS, ESS and Hot Sync technologies to optimize energy efficiency and reliability.

Related images

  • The Iliad data center in France

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