Schneider Electric’s Lithium Ion vs VRLA comparison tool

September 16 19:21 2019

TradeOff Tool enables users and channel partners to model cost implications of new technologies

Schneider Electric has introduced a new data centre TradeOff Tool to allow the modelling the long-term cost implications of utilising new edge computing and critical infrastructure technologies.

The Lithium Ion vs VRLA TradeOff Tool details the costs incurred when deploying Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries over VRLA in UPS applications. It considers several factors, including source location, energy costs, UPS capacity, service life, back-up time, replacement period and cost of real estate to house the cells.

Using data-driven algorithms, the tool analyses the cumulative cost of selecting Li-ion vs. VRLA energy storage approaches and calculates long-term figures – detailing the total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits of Li-ion. 

Significant benefits via lower TCO

Li-ion offers many advantages over lead-acid batteries, providing resilient backup power to data centres should mains supply become disrupted. They previously carried a premium in terms of initial capital expenditure. While the cost has lessened over time through technological improvements and volume production, a careful analysis of the TCO is required to determine the optimal product choice.

Owing to their design and cell chemistry, Li-ion batteries are smaller, lighter and have a longer lifecycle than lead-acid alternatives. Plus, they can withstand a greater number of charge/discharge cycles and recharge more quicker. As a result, they require less service maintenance and less frequent replacement, resulting in lower operating costs.

According to studies conducted by Schneider Electric over a 10 year period, the TCO of Li-ion batteries was between 10-40% lower than the equivalent UPS systems based on VRLA batteries. 

Due to their lower TCO and greater reliability, single phase UPS with Li-ion have become a popular choice within distributed IT environments. For smaller, localised edge computing solutions, where application availability is critical and management becomes a key challenge, Li-ion delivers greater levels of resiliency and uptime.

“In late 2018, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report forecasted that 40% of data centre battery backup would incorporate lithium-ion by the year 2025,” said Wendy Torell, senior research analyst, Schneider Electric Data Centre Science Centre. 

“Among hyperscale data centres, this forecast is predicted to be even greater at 55%. Li-ion cells also present many benefits for critical power solutions used by Internet Giants, colocation and cloud service providers. Here space is often at a premium and the smaller footprint offers significant revenue advantages as more white space becomes available to accommodate customers.”

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

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