Data centers have some of the most demanding electrical requirements imaginable and Schneider Electric has some new, modular solutions to help. The company described its new, modular approach as "revolutionary" in terms of the flexibility and customization options it provides.
The offering, based on the company's Reference Design 21, uses modular units that can be scaled from 200kW to 3.6MW, and that can be implemented in a piecemeal fashion.
The modules employ new, prefabricated 1200kW (600kW + 600kW) Facility Power Skids and EcoBreeze Air Economizers. The Skids contain universal power supplies, switchgear and management software, which Schneider said "makes it easy to go from 2N to N or N+1 configuration with double the power capacity." The company said the cooling plant was designed to be an extremely efficient air delivery system.
Joe Reele, Schneider Electric vice president, said in a statement that the current business environment "is causing a rapidly growing demand for more flexible, scalable and quickly deployable centers, leaving many businesses asking how they will meet this need while reducing total cost of ownership."
He added that Schneider's flexible design approach "provides data center managers with the customizable design guidance they need to quickly right-size their facility without excessive capital overlay or risk, at a cost-per-KW entry point that is below industry standards."
The modules are intended to increase speed of deployment through simplified building design options, and the various module options and configurations are applicable to both greenfield and brownfield data centers. The company also said that the modules' components can be configured to fit a specific tier, scale, and cost requirement of a given data center.
Right-sizing the data center, the company said, results in capital spending reductions that do not need new construction or retrofits, and the factory-tested prefabricated units are intended to take the guesswork out of efficiency, compliance and safety.
APC and Schneider
Paris-based Schneider Electric bought New England-based APC in 2007 for $6.1 billion.
APC, noted Laura DiDio of industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, "is a very established brand with a proven track record that is known for its UPSes [universal power supplies]." At the time of the acquisition, Bloomberg News said that Schneider, the largest supplier in the world of circuit breakers and a leader in electricity management, would double its sales of electrical-surge protectors and emergency power systems.
DiDio described the new modular offering as "a very smart, savvy approach [because] the whole idea of the cloud is service on demand -- not only on-demand computing services, but on-demand power."
DiDio said that, especially for data centers that support cloud services, "you have to have flexibility." As data centers are adopting a physical and virtual modular approach to computing capability, she said, so a more modular approach to electrical power is similarly beginning to evolve.
"Plant facility managers and IT management," she said, want to hear that new additions are "easily configurable."