How much data center backup power is important?

Every data centre, as we all know, requires ideal, continuous electricity every single day. Any power outage of any kind may be disastrous because mainframes can break down, data can be lost or damaged, and eventually, money can get lost. The valuable information regarding data centre backup power and its importance of it is provided in the next article.

General Information Schematic for Backup Power for Data Centers

It’s essential to comprehend the parts of the power distribution system in the building where the data centre is housed. The following are the key elements of power distribution:

Power is provided by an emergency generator when utilities are unavailable.
Utility electricity is the facility’s primary source of energy.

Automatic Switch Switch

Supplies switch gear with electricity from a utility or emergency generator.

Switch Gear: Distributes utility or backup generator power. Battery bank, charger, and inverter make up the uninterruptible power supply.

System Operation Normally

Utility The switchgear receives power after passing via the automated transfer switch. Critical and non-critical supplies are separated in switchgear configurations. Components (such as data centres, security centres, and UPS) that need critical supplies cannot have their power cut off.

Power is provided to the UPS charger to maintain battery charge. HVAC systems and workstations are examples of non-critical components that do not have a redundant connection to the UPS inverter.

Standard Power Infrastructure for Data Centers

The larger municipal electric grid provides the majority of data centres with their principal energy. The facility will then either have one or more transformers installed to accept the energy while also guaranteeing that the electricity arriving is of the proper voltage and kind of current (converted from AC to DC typically).

Some data centres have on-site electrical generation equipment, either in the form of stand-alone generators or with alternative energy sources like solar photovoltaic panels and wind-powered turbines, which can either supplement their energy from the larger grid or completely remove the need for it.

After that, the main distribution boards get the electricity (MDBs). These “are panels or enclosures that hold fuses, circuit breakers, and ground leakage protection devices, take the low-voltage power and distribute it to a number of endpoints, such as Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems or load banks,” according to engineer Hans Vreeburg.


A UPS is responsible for powering many breakers in addition to helping to “clean up” the energy that is pulsating by making sure that problems like surges don’t affect equipment. No more than seven or eight servers should be connected to a single breaker in a typical data centre scenario, however, this number may vary depending on the breaker’s capacity and the server’s efficiency.

In the event of a power outage or other similar situations, UPS systems also act as a first backup. A basic UPS can power servers and breakers for up to five minutes, giving you ample time to rapidly start a backup generator in the event of an outage or other problems with the larger electric grid.

Power Reserves in Data Centers

The majority of data centres feature a backup power supply on site or close by in order to guarantee continuous uptime and reduce outages as much as feasible. Backup power is often provided by a fuel generator, which is run on either gasoline or diesel.

A data centre uses how much energy?

Managers must consume a lot of power to maintain data centres’ uninterrupted and ongoing operation. One study claims that the yearly power consumption of the whole data centre sector exceeds 90 billion kilowatt hours. This is approximately the output of 34 coal-fired power facilities.

Data centres utilise 3% of the total amount of power used worldwide. More than the whole power utilised in the United Kingdom, these 416 terawatts.

There are a few reasons why energy consumption in data centre facilities is so high and rising. All of the auxiliary equipment needs a lot of energy to operate, in addition to servers and other crucial components of IT equipment. Electricity is required for humidifiers, cooling systems, monitors, and other devices, which might sometimes drive up energy costs.

Utility Efficiency (PUE)

Facilities analyse energy input and utilisation effectiveness using a Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) score to identify how much power is used by servers vs non-IT equipment in a data centre. A score of 1 indicates that all energy used in a data centre is used exclusively by servers, while a score of 2 indicates that auxiliary equipment consumes the same amount of power as servers and other IT components.

The most recent study from the Uptime Institute indicates that a data centre’s average PUE is 1.58. Since 2007 (when it was 2.5) and 2013, this number has been continuously falling (when it was 1.65).

The PUE for a Google data centre is 1.12 on average, however, for the last three months of 2018, its Oklahoma facility only received a score of 1.08. FUNCTION

When the primary power source fails, backup generators provide electricity. Unfortunately, many parts of data centres are not designed to withstand sudden increases in power that result from moving from a regular to an emergency power source.

When these components lose power, even temporarily, a complete system restart is often necessary. Unfortunately, this may result in system outages, startup problems, component corruption, and information loss while a process is in progress.

Server Racks Arranged in Rows in a Data Center

A data centre is a building that houses computer systems and related equipment, including phone and satellite connections as well as storage systems (hospitals, offices and internet providers). The following systems may be housed in data centres:

  • Additional power controllers
  • Redundant communications and data links
  • Equipment for cooling server rooms
  • Controls for HVAC and security

It is essential for operations that data centres have a 100% continuous power supply. To ensure that the components get consistent power, backup generators are deployed. In this post, we’ll look at:

  • EPA restrictions and the purpose of backup generators


All data centres may run in two different modes: normally, using the utilities that are provided, or abnormally, using backup generators. Utility electricity is sent into the switchgear and via the automated transfer switch in normal operation.

The switchgear is set up for both essential and non-critical supplies, such as HVAC or workstations, as well as components that need continuous power, such as data centres or UPS.

When we refer to “components” of a data centre, we mean the following:

Power is delivered to both critical and non-critical loads through switchgear.
Data centres and security are powered by an emergency generator until UPS resumes regular function.

The automated transfer switch switches electricity to the utility and powers both critical and non-critical loads when normal power is restored.

In this chain, the data centre and security remain operational without any power interruptions.


As you can see, it is crucial to consider data centre backup power. It may be a matter of life and death for vital components to have constant electricity! Get in touch with Woodstock Power if you want additional details.

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