I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Chloride CEO Tim Cobbold and, on a separate occasion, Etienne Guerou, vice-president of Chloride South East Asia to talk about the capabilities of Chloride's new Trinergy Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). The meetings were so enlightening that I ended up recasting some of my assumptions about UPS technology.
Trinergy is capable of powering data centers and scaling from 200kW to 1,200 kW. According to Guerou, the combination of Trinergy's capabilities is unique in the industry. This is a huge claim to make, so I quizzed him on why IT and facilities managers will want to consider Trinergy in critical installations. Here's an overview of four of the key reasons.
I always assumed that all UPS equipment are pretty much the same, beyond differences in power handling and the obvious superiority of double-conversion ones over basic line-interactive or off-line models. I never paid attention to the power efficiency of the UPS equipment, which can translate to substantial monetary savings or wastages.
The highest efficiency currently achieved by UPS with double conversion stands at 94.5 percent, says Guerou. By creating a UPS that combines the various types of UPS mentioned above into a single chassis, Chloride was able to achieve an efficiency of 97.9 percent with Trinergy.
Referring to the efficiency figures quoted by equipment makers and sales representatives, Cobbold told me: "If you look at the operating profile [of UPS in general], the thing that is certain is that it almost never operates at that condition." Referring to the genesis of Trinergy, Cobbold noted that Chloride's focus "from a technology point of view is on energy efficiency."
Many IT professionals buy equipment based on the capital expenditure alone, with scant regard to operating costs. Based on monetary savings resulting from the efficiency gains, Guerou told me that the ROI of buying Trinergy over less efficient UPS to be two and a half years; over the 10 years lifespan of the equipment, a Trinergy installation could effectively be free.
I'm particularly intrigued by how Trinergy can be networked via the Internet for the purpose of remote monitoring and maintenance. A system called LIFE.net allows for 24/7 remote monitoring by Chloride engineers in order to identify and rectify potential problem areas before they develop into an outage.
Operates at room temperature
Trinergy is designed to operate at ambient room temperatures. And because everything is mounted in racks, Trinergy can be pushed against the wall without undue concern over heat dissipation. The advantage of operating at ambient room temperature is that there is no need to spend additional power cooling the UPS. According to Guerou, the general rule is that for every 1kW of heat that is generated, about 1.7kW of energy would be required in cooling to remove it. As you can imagine, this can quickly add up to a lot of power. By operating cooler, Guerou noted, "You don't have to cool what you don't lose."
Trinergy has a modular architecture. I pointed out that there are already UPS solutions on the market that are modular. However, it seems that Trinergy's modular architecture doesn't end at install time; in fact, Chloride takes the concept of modular to levels not seen before.
Chloride noted that it's possible to configure entire modules of Trinergy to shut down based on preconfigured parameters. Says Guerou, "You have hundreds of ways to program this UPS to react and act differently regarding the types of load, solutions, and businesses." In addition, "We will provide the power according to the need. And if we don't need it, we switch it off."
This option sounds like it would work well with VMware's latest virtualization advancements, which can shift computing load across physical servers and even power down redundant ones.
With regards to connectivity, I was worried about the possibility for security breaches. Although I didn't have an opportunity to speak with any network engineers about this issue, I was told that remote monitoring could be disabled if desired, so I suppose that shouldn't be an area of great concern.
With the increasing push towards green computing, Trinergy represents a good value proposition to save energy — and money.
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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.