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Powering the data centre of the future

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 10:35 -- Tildy Bayar
Powering the data centre of the future

Industry professionals believe the data centre of the future will be powered by on-site generation and will use high-efficiency AC UPS systems for backup power, according to a new survey.

Emerson Network Power’s report, The Data Center 2025: Exploring the Possibilities, surveyed 800 data centre professionals around the world.

A majority of survey respondents (65%) said they believe the future’s ‘hyperscale’ data centres will run on on-site power by 2025. Respondents in the Asia Pacific region overwhelmingly predicted a move to on-site power, with 33% saying it will definitely happen and an additional 44% considering it likely.

Solar power was in the lead for respondents’ future power source of choice. Asia Pacific and Latin America were optimistic about solar’s potential, with each region predicting that 25% of future data centres’ power will come from solar, while Western Europe (18%) and the US (15%) projected lower levels of solar use.

For backup power, 30% of participants expect high-efficiency AC UPS systems to be the primary source in 2025. According to the respondents, these UPS systems are less likely than other technologies to be displaced by competitors due to efficiency advancements in recent years.

But some said hardware approaches could challenge the AC UPS, including a momentary duty inverter that provides just enough ride-through power to switch to an alternate source (27%) and DC UPS (13%). And about one in four participants said software failover could become the new backup paradigm, displacing today’s UPS/generator combination.