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Lithium-Ion Batteries to Provide Backup Power for Data Centers

Consumers and enterprises alike depend on large-scale datacenters to keep their data backups safe and secure. But what happens when these facilities lose power to their archival systems? And what are datacenters doing to ensure the security, integrity and reliability of the data that is stored on their servers?

In some cases, datacenters are beginning to become comfortable with the idea of using lithium-ion batteries to provide backup power. Many consumers are already familiar with the modern lithium-ion battery. After all, it's used to supply mobile power to the majority of laptops, smartphones and other types of rechargeable smart devices in use today.

Bringing a Mobile Solution to a Permanent Location

Many datacenters rely on an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, to supplement their traditional connection to the power grid. In the case of a sudden power failure, the UPS, or series of UPS devices, take over instantaneously. Some consumers even use similar backup power technology in their own homes.

However, many modern UPS devices rely on a different type of battery altogether. Known as a valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery, these already have the benefit of proven performance, longevity and affordability.

Conversely, the technologies used in the development and creation of lithium-ion batteries are seeing vast upgrades and improvements. Patrick Donovan, a senior research analyst with Schneider Electric's Data Center Science Center, spoke about some of these changes by saying: "Lithium-ion battery chemistries and how their cells are constructed have evolved quite a bit. In just the last few years, performance, safety and cost have all improved dramatically. "

He continued by saying: "The electric-vehicle market as well as demand from other non-data-center applications has driven this evolution in the larger-format batteries that a three-phase UPS would use. On the other hand, the lead-acid batteries that UPSs traditionally use have remained much the same as they were decades ago in terms of performance. But industries beyond the data center have innovated new types of energy storage for smartphones and electric cars, and the time has never been better—technologically speaking—for UPSs to take advantage of these recent advancements."

The current generation of lithium-ion batteries can still benefit from some further research and modification, but the potential is certainly there. With a number of datacenters already relying on the technology as a backup option in case the lights go out, it's safe to say that we'll be seeing a lot more lithium-ion batteries used to support datacenters around the globe.

Next-Gen Power Backup for Next-Gen Data Repositories

As you can probably guess, maintaining constant power to the servers and supporting hardware within a datacenter is of the topmost priority. Without a steady supply of juice, the data stored within is subject to corruption or loss - much to the dismay of any customers who were dependent on that data. With that in mind, it's important that our next-gen data repositories are able to utilize next-gen power backup supplies, including lithium-ion batteries, to safeguard our data for decades to come.


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