Web-Based Transient Detection Can Enhance Data Center Electrical System

All data centers strive for 100 percent reliability, sustainability and availability when it comes to having access to stored data. One way of ensuring this occurs is by incorporating advanced transient detection monitoring into a surge protection device.

Bhavesh Patel is Director of Marketing and Customer Support at ASCO Power Technologies, Florham Park, NJ, a business of Emerson Network Power.

Today’s data center customers want and expect constant access to stored data. Therefore, clean power and system reliability are paramount.

Many electrical components at data centers are very sensitive to power anomalies that can damage equipment and put a data center at risk of downtime, a situation management always wants to avoid.

The monetary cost of unplanned partial and total outages from business disruption and lost revenue can be significant, with overall costs related to the duration of the outage and the size of the data center.

Surge events, transients, swells, VTHDs, and other power system anomalies can be problematic and put a facility at risk.

To help optimize clean and reliable power, data centers should proactively monitor, measure, and manage their facilities' electrical systems on a 24/7 basis. Understanding the severity, type, and timing of a power quality event allows personnel to more effectively manage a data center’s electrical system.

Implementing a web-based transient detection monitoring system can contribute to more effective management of the electrical system. By combining surge suppression hardware and dedicated software that proactively monitors and measures the data center’s electrical system, it can provide a way to detect the occurrence of abnormal power quality events. This provides knowledge about data center management that can be used to predict and address potential problems before they happen. The combined technology goes beyond what is typically available with standard power meters.

This type of advanced transient detection system can give the ability to monitor RMS voltage real-time at every connected panel. It can also track system anomalies such as transients, surges, swells, crest factor, phase loss/outages and VTHDs and include several preset conditions that would trigger alarms.

A system that features an embedded web page interface that provides easy and full access to the accrued data gives management and others with a need to know a virtual tool that makes it easy to scroll through real-time measurements and analyze data from any installed location.

This new technological solution enables real-time power quality measurements, date and time-logged events, sources of power quality issues, differences between locations, and statistical summaries. Typically, the surge suppressors with advanced detection and power quality analysis capabilities integrated into them should be installed at electrical panels and at various locations. These include, the service entrance, at distribution panels, at branch panels, and at individual equipment locations feeding a facility’s most critical business operations.

A full-featured system could monitor and analyze recently occurring recorded system anomalies and may also include multiple user configurable alarm thresholds. Data can be accessed 24/7 at the device onsite directly or via a browser-accessible network, which enables remote monitoring.

Incorporating advanced transient detection monitoring into a surge protection device is worth looking into not only for new installations but for retrofits and additions. Understanding the severity, type, and timing of a surge or other anomaly and analyzing detected trends with timely and accurate information will provide added business intelligence to better manage the data center’s electrical system.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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