Upgrading Infrastructure Transcends Destruction

Upgrading Infrastructure Transcends Destruction

This piece was originally published in the November 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Annette Clayton, CEO and President, Schneider Electric North America

Electrical systems quite literally power the overall health and prosperity of our country, from construction to retail to healthcare. Once every few years, the national conversation turns to the need to add resiliency to the system, typically in the wake of a disaster wreaked by a major storm.

When our nation faces tragedies like what we’ve seen from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, we are first and foremost concerned with the devastating human impact. The way our industry has responded to provide relief, recovery, and rebuilding for communities in need is a source of pride for me.

Our companies are well-positioned to do more and lead a national discussion on an important reality: the current way of generating, transmitting, distributing, consuming, and managing energy is not sustainable. In fact, a major outage in San Francisco earlier this year demonstrated how fragile the system has become, even in the absence of a storm. A single circuit breaker failure disrupted more than 90,000 residents, closed businesses, and snarled public transportation.

The world of energy is undergoing a massive transformation. Digitization, decentralization, and decarbonization are redefining the basics of power generation and distribution. We can build a next-generation grid based on the principles of efficiency, sustainability, reliability, safety, security, and performance. As we shift toward a new energy landscape that prioritizes renewables, we must help customers and utilities alike embrace and invest in the technologies that allow us to make the most of our energy assets and unlock superior outcomes for all stakeholders.

Digitization is a no-regret move when beginning the journey to address our existing aging infrastructure. The performance of even the oldest equipment can be significantly enhanced through better visibility and more finite control. Consider the impact of more insightful operation on safety, where new technologies allow us to better predict failures and safely take equipment out of service before people or equipment are harmed. In circumstances where a failure occurs without warning, we can limit the magnitude of the fault, the number of people affected, and the time without power.

For example, simple microgrid systems can protect a single home or facility or scale to power an entire community. We recently built a microgrid at our Boston One Campus (BOC), which serves as our U.S. headquarters, to avoid costly power outages, reduce time to recovery for the critical business facility, and provide a shelter option for our staff and their families. Microgrids ease the integration of renewable generation into existing infrastructure. The newest grid management software co-optimizes the primary role of our facility—keeping employees comfortable and safe—with superior energy outcomes: higher resiliency, better sustainability, and lower/more predictable costs. The BOC now serves as a real-world demonstration of how we can leverage energy technology advancement to drive meaningful impact in our businesses and communities.

We shouldn’t wait until the next major storm or blackout to bring a resilient grid to the forefront. The challenge requires ongoing collaboration from technology providers, utilities, and regulators, as well as businesses and communities, to create meaningful change. By adopting microgrids and other electrical infrastructure upgrades, we can leverage technology for system transformation—introducing new levels of resiliency, speeding up recovery time after an outage, and even preventing catastrophic failures. This a call to action for our entire community.

This new digital world of energy—with more decentralized generation, a two-way flow of decarbonized energy, and more digitization for flexible, dynamic energy management—gives us an opportunity to co-create the future of the electrical system.

2 thoughts on “Upgrading Infrastructure Transcends Destruction

  1. Hello Mrs. Clayton,

    I would like to introduce to you the T.F.C.I., (Time
    Fault Circuit Interrupter). Please take a moment view the short video at tfcibreaker.com. We would appreciate your feedback and to speak with you in the future.

    Best regards,

    Kevin LaFuente & Sam Tringali

  2. Hello: Any interest in speaking with Virtual Power Systems, creators of Software-Defined Power? The company is working with SAP and Schneider Electric to validate the use of new power virtualization software to optimize power delivery in energy-hungry data centers.

    Today, power and cooling typically cost more than the IT equipment it supports, so the ability to improve efficiency and capacity utilization is paramount. VPS and Schneider will deploy VPS’ Intelligent Control of Energy (ICE) at SAP’s Co-Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley to test how power usage can be monitored and reallocated dynamically based on capacity and availability demands.

    Please see embedded release below for more details. Interested in learning more? Steve Houck, VPS CEO and former VMware exec, can explain how power virtualization is the missing piece in the software-defined data center puzzle.

    Thanks for your consideration,

    Peter Meade
    HetzelMeade Communications Inc.
    Office: 760-720-5460
    Cell: 760-473-4728

    Virtual Power Systems Joins SAP and Schneider Electric to Prove Software-Defined Power Optimizes Energy Utilization in Data Centers and Clouds

    VPS’ Intelligent Control of Energy Platform Deployment to
    Demonstrate Breakthroughs in Efficient Power Management

    Milpitas, Calif. – February 1, 2018 – Virtual Power Systems, creators of Software-Defined Power®, is working with SAP’s Multi-Cloud Computing team and the SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley to validate the use of VPS’ Intelligent Control of Energy® (ICE) platform for optimizing power delivery. With VPS ICE, SAP will test the ability to track, monitor and manage power usage within the data center while automatically reallocating power distribution based on capacity and availability demands.

    “As the market leader in Software-Defined Power, we enable on-demand power delivery by dynamically allocating capacity to data center servers, racks and systems, as needed,” said Steve Houck, CEO of Virtual Power Systems. “With ICE, next-generation data center and cloud providers can increase power capacity and resiliency within existing IT footprints to improve revenues while reducing capital and operating expenses. Enterprise customers also benefit from reduced power infrastructure wait times and costs, empowering them to invest more in IT initiatives that drive business innovation.”

    Typically, power and cooling costs more than the IT equipment it supports, which pressures data center and cloud operators to find ways to drive energy efficiencies without compromising system availability or reliability. Virtual Power Systems conquers this challenge by utilizing Software-Defined Power to abstract power controls through a layer of software virtualization. By applying machine learning and data analytics, Virtual Power Systems enables better management of data center growth while relieving power-capacity constraints.

    SAP Co-Innovation Labs (COIL) provide infrastructure and space for SAP, its partners and customers to co-innovate new solutions to the most-pressing challenges organizations face in the digital economy. VPS’ transformative ICE technology will monitor data-driven workloads and offer real-time visibility into the exact amount of energy used by specific data-center systems and applications.

    “Virtual Power Systems enables us to implement the fourth and final pillar in our overarching ‘Software-Defined Everything’ data center strategy,” said Mikael Loefstrand, SAP vice president, Cloud Architecture & Engineering. “The ability to support compute, storage, network—and now power—virtualization will help SAP operate the most advanced and efficient data centers in the world. The opportunity to simulate real-world data center scenarios in our lab is ideal for examining cutting-edge technologies and solutions that can be readily applied today.”

    Schneider Electric, a valued member of VPS’ partner ecosystem, will support the deployment and help demonstrate the ease with which VPS’ ICE technology can increase power capacity by up to 40 percent without compromising data-center or system availability. “As an early VPS partner and collaborator, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented ICE intelligence in our Galaxy VM UPS line,” explained Jeff Samstad, director of innovation and new businesses at Schneider Electric. “Together with VPS, we look forward to helping SAP, along with SAP HANA customers and partners, realize considerable capacity enhancements at global Co-Innovation Labs as well as more than 50 data centers around the world.”

    Supporting resources

    · White Paper: A Transformative Approach to Power Optimization in Data Centers
    · White Paper: Overcoming Rack Power Limits—Capacity Assurance
    · White Paper: Overcoming Rack Power Limits—Dynamic Redundancy
    · More news from VPS

    About Virtual Power Systems

    Virtual Power Systems (VPS) is transforming how next-generation data center and cloud providers provision, manage and utilize power capacity with its ground-breaking Software-Defined Power® and Intelligent Control of Energy® (ICE) technology platform. VPS eliminates the need to over-provision power as ICE dynamically adjusts power delivery as demand fluctuates across data-center workloads, servers and racks. ICE enables data center and cloud providers to generate significant additional revenue within existing power and IT footprints while avoiding millions of dollars in capital expenditures and operating expenses. Additionally, VPS empowers enterprise customers to reduce power infrastructure wait times and costs. To accelerate market adoption, VPS is developing a robust partner ecosystem, which includes Artesyn Technologies, HP Enterprise, Intel, Lenovo, Schneider Electric and Vertiv.

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