“The data center sector could be a shining example when it comes to green industry” – Interview Neso Nedic

Socomec, as a supplier of UPSs, is an important player when it comes to the continuity of energy supply within the data center industry.The company takes different approaches in optimizing energy efficiency within data centers. One of those include the combination of a UPS and a lithium-ion battery. The TCO for these batteries is much more sustainable than conventional solutions. Neso Nedic, MD of Socomec Netherland, tells about the current situation and also shares his view on the near future.

Innovation trends

“Innovation sometimes means that your products respond to – at that time – invisible demand.This is for example the case with our lithium-ion battery.The main advantage of this battery is that it’s much more sustainable and less vulnerable to external factors”, says Nedic.

“Modularity is becoming increasingly important for colo data centers, and new innovations support this trend. Modularity should also be kept in mind when designing UPSs. Furthermore, energy use as a whole of course plays an important role. Accurate measurement of power usage is necessary considering the volumes it includes. Taking a modular approach makes it quite easy to gain insights on the power usage, which results in better control of OPEX. Also, it enables the possibility to offer rackspace per kW instead of rackspace per square meter.

Future power demand of data centers is also high on the agenda at Socomec. Nedic:“We’re actively involved in smart grid innovations. Future constructions will be built on energy storage that is able to operate both on- and off grid.This way, energy peaks and troughs are compensated for. In times of high energy prices, data centers can make use of power that was generated off grid (for example wind or solar energy stored in batteries).

Energy decentralization

“Due to the netting approach we still have, it is not yet interesting to store energy. Rather, it’s more cost effective to subtract the self-produced electricity from the central energy use. In fact, it will be very difficult for data centers to be self-sufficient as there is not enough floor surface available. It is simply enough not realistic to assume every data center will have its own solar or wind park. If energy supply is decentralized, it might be an interesting opportunity to collaborate with grid operators and energy suppliers to effectuate a sustainable power solution. Considering the continuous need for energy within the data center industry, it will never be a lost effort to plan these projects.”

The emergence of IoT will also be a driver to take a different approach towards the energy issue. IoT will lead to decentralization of data centers. Nedic:“I see some sort of consensus in the market that some applications of IoT require a latency that needs to be as low as possible.This makes decentralization a necessity and we can make this happen through micro data centers and edge solutions. Once again, decentralized generation is rule rather than exception.

“THE DATA CENTER SECTOR COULD BE A SHINING EXAMPLE WHEN IT COMES TO GREEN INDUSTRY”

Nedic thinks that the government should support the fast growing data center sector in meeting their demands which can further encourage the use of renewable energy:“Suppliers play a key role when it comes to the introduction of sustainable solutions. Roughly 10% of our annual revenue is invested in innovation. However, further support of the government in the sustainability process would be helpful. In the end, it’s a win-win situation: sustainability goals can be met quicker, and the data center industry – which is becoming increasingly important for the Dutch economy – could be a shining example when it comes to green industry.”

Interested to learn more?

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The interview with Neso Nedic is part of the Innovation Day Report 2017. You can download the full report for free.

Neso Nedic