The biggest industry trends of 2019
The start of a New Year is always a good time to look back and take stock of the developments over the last 12 months. What are some key trends worth highlighting? From an analysis of Schneider Electric’s blog, articles from two key areas saw a surge of interest from readers: industrial UPSs and industrial edge data centres.
We break it down further into three key trends.
Focus on industrial UPS
Commercial and industrial businesses around the world have come to rely on the availability of safe and reliable power to ensure that their business operations continue unimpeded. This is especially the case in today’s highly digitalised workplaces, which sees the incorporation of digital systems and IT systems within retail outlets and factory floors.
To deliver this reliability, a UPS, or uninterruptible power supply, ensures that the smooth running of business applications is never threatened. Deployed within data centres or server rooms, they automatically take over in the event of a temporary power glitch or if goes out entirely. For smart factories, corporate offices, and commercial buildings, they ensure business continuity and protect vulnerable IT systems from data corruption or damage.
Moreover, UPS are also deployed to keep power flowing within facilities such as the airport, subway system or underground tunnels are vital for safety and security. You can read more about making the decision to deploy a UPS here, and important features to look out for in a UPS here.
The rise of lithium-ion UPS
When it comes to the UPS, those powered by lithium-ion cells are increasingly favoured for the benefits they offer over traditional valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries. As the cost of lithium-ion batteries drops, its appeal such as its lower maintenance and higher deployment densities are now more attractive than ever.
For the uninitiated, lithium-ion cells have a far longer life expectancy that allows them to be deployed for years with next to zero maintenance. Moreover, they can also tolerate a higher temperature than VRLA batteries without impacting performance, which means that they can be deployed at more locations and under much more difficult environments than a VRLA-powered UPS.
For comparison, the capacity of VRLA batteries drop by half for a temperature increase of 10 degrees Celsius. You can learn more about the benefits of lithium-ion batteries here.
More edge data centres
One final trend that is gaining attention would undoubtedly be that of edge data centres. These are small data centres that are typically located on factory floors, in a warehouse, or at a remote location. To protect them from the harsh environment, they may be placed within purpose-built enclosures to protect or secure the delicate electronic equipment.
The main utility of an edge data centre is its ability to support applications that require significant computing power on hand, or to provider low-latency control to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Given the projected rise of autonomous vehicles and pervasive IoT deployments, this means that we can expect more edge data centres than ever to be deployed in the years ahead.
Article by Bhagwati Prasad, Vice President, Bus Development, Systems & Distributed IT, International, APC-MGE, Schneider Electric