Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Alternatives to Traditional Backup Power 

A reliable secondary source of power is critical for datacenters. <span>While backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies have stood the test of time, there are some newer options that are worth exploring. </span>

An unplanned power outage can be be disastrous for datacenters unless there is a reliable secondary source of power. While traditional methods such as backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are still the norm, there are a couple of newer options worth exploring.

These alternatives, fuel cells and micro-turbine generators, are the topic of an online course offered by Schneider Electric as part of Energy University. The vendor-neutral program has provided energy efficiency education courses since 2006.

"Energy University has continued to be a hugely successful program, allowing us to help professionals make smarter choices about the top issues impacting the energy industry today," said Susan Hartman, Manager of Global Customer Education Programs at Schneider Electric. "We're excited about the real world value our students are realizing through our courses and the great growth opportunities that still exist to bridge the gap in energy education."

In order for datacenters to maintain 99.999 percent availability, they cannot be out of commission for more than five minutes a year. To sustain this level of service, many datacenters use backup generators or uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) in the case of a power emergency, but those aren't the only options.

The online course titled, "Alternative Power Generation Technologies," walks users through the different modes of backup operations, including standby mode, continuous mode, and interactive mode. The course looks at the different modes from a cost perspective and then explores the possibility of using fuel cells or micro-turbine generators in lieu of traditional components.

Before making the switch to one of the alternatives, operators must find out if the options are better than what they already have in place. Better yet, are they cost-effective? The online class allows participants to gain a better understanding of all the options so that they can make an educated decision that's best for their datacenter.

Energy University has over 350,000 users taking courses in 165 countries and 12 languages. The best part? It's free.

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