»We know it works, because we test it the hard way.«
Tore Heide Villund, GlobalConnect
Putting DEIF critical power to the test
DEIF’s critical power solution is central to GlobalConnect’s business case because the company’s customer portfolio includes server hosting for critical business institutions like banks and media organizations demanding comprehensive redundancy and tier classifications.
When customers ask, if they can be sure GlobalConnect’s backup power systems work, Senior Group Manager Tore Heide Villund’s confident reply owes a great deal to his faith in DEIF’s power management system: “We know it works, because we test it the hard way.”
“As well as monitoring operation rigorously and performing and documenting simulation tests, we put the entire system to the ultimate test twice a month by cutting our connection to the grid. As the UPSs kick in and the gensets start up, synchronizing and identifying a reliable, quality power production level for our premises, you can’t get greater certainty, and that is the level we maintain.”
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System testing the hard way
So far, however, controller failure or malfunctions have not been an issue at the Høje Taastrup facility which is Denmark’s largest colocation facility. GlobalConnect tests its critical power systems twice a month, and the AGC-4s consistently pass with flying colours.
"Every other test is just a start-up test where we make sure that the gensets will start”, says Freddy Nielsen. “But once a month we test how the system responds to a power failure, and we do this the hard way by switching off the net sensing feature, thereby cutting the power. Everything gets dark because the cooling systems and the lights go out. Then the critical power systems and battery systems for the light kick in, and the gensets must start and deliver full power within 20 seconds”.
On every test, the AGC-4 controllers have performed as expected, delivering the robust and consistent performance needed.
Competent local support
The competent local support offered by DEIF is a third, and very important, reason why GlobalConnect chose a DEIF solution. “We have a great collaboration with DEIF”, says Freddy Nielsen. “If we need something fixed in a hurry, they can quickly send a technician to our facility. We often call the technicians directly to get the support we need”. He adds that quick delivery of spare parts is also an important reason why GlobalConnect is satisfied with DEIF. Tore Heide Villund agrees. “The willingness to make the necessary adjustments in case of product issues means a lot to us”, he says. In addition to providing genset controllers, DEIF support staff were involved in commissioning the new critical power system.
An exponentially expanding business
The data centre business is booming and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. “Data volumes expand exponentially, and I simply don’t see that changing. You try asking people to reduce their data usage!” remarks Tore Heide Villund. Industry intelligence backs him up: In 2018, an IDC whitepaper estimated that the global datasphere will grow from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes in 2025, and according to a 2019 MarketWatch press release , the global data centre colocation market could grow from USD 25.52 billion in 2017 to USD 47.34 billion by 2023.
As the market expands, so does GlobalConnect. Tore Heide Villund is very clear on why the company is successful. “The fact that we’ve been able to deliver high uptime is definitely a factor in our success”, he says. “It’s a combination of having a reliable infrastructure and reliable control”. With full redundancy and robust performance, the DEIF AGC-4s deliver that control reliability.
While renewables could one day play an important role in providing critical power in data centres, gensets will likely remain the only feasible backup power source for some time yet. Accordingly, GlobalConnect is planning to install gensets at its upcoming data centres, and chances are good that those gensets will have DEIF controllers. “I find it hard to imagine that we’ll opt for anything else than gensets as we continue expanding”, concludes Tore Heide Villund. “As long as DEIF keeps delivering the value and solutions we need, I’m sure they will be part of the journey. They deliver a reliable and stable product, and that’s what’s important. They play a key role in our power delivery value chain”.