Green Grid introduces new metric for equipment use
The technological age created for itself a challenging problem: a cycle of innovation that rendered existing equipment obsolete way before the end of its intended life. This lead to mountains of perfectly functioning but otherwise out of date technology having to be disposed of.
It’s impossible to get away from the cycle of innovation. It is after all the lifeblood of the technology sector. However, a focus on environmental policy and sustainability by manufacturers over the past decade has created a sense of responsibility towards how electrical products (such as uninterruptible power supplies) are disposed of sustainably.
Here at Riello, we’ve developed a few options: re-use or re-deploy old UPS, recycle (whole) or dismantle and recycle existing power protection equipment and standby power supplies. I’ll say more about those in a minute but firstly, back to the Green Grid and its new metric.
The Green Grid’s new metric, referred to as Electronics Disposal Efficiency, ensures companies and organisations can responsibly handle electronics and electrical equipment at the end of its useful life. It is particularly relevant for large data centres that turn over a lot of equipment.
Electronics and electrical equipment (EEE) that enters the waste stream is known globally as e-waste or (more commonly) WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) and it can include UPS systems and associated power protection products. In many countries across the globe (such as the UK), disposal of WEEE is legislated and must be done responsibly and by licenced operators.
At Riello in the UK, we offer UPS disposal and recycling through WEEE recycling partners that are licenced by the Environment Agency to provide such a service.
In many cases, customers replace existing UPS systems because they have quite simply ran out of capacity. The needs of their business have outgrown the capacity of their power protection system. This is common amongst data centres where business growth often outpaces technological development. In other cases, a customer may be replacing their existing UPS system because it has come to the end of its natural life.
Whatever the reason a power protection system is being disposed of, we ensure it is done in the most cost-effective and timely manner and in adherence to statutory laws and practices. It’s very important customers double check the credentials of their waste and recycling partners. Many who are not properly licenced claim to be and it’s ultimately your responsibility if anything goes wrong or they do not dispose of or recycle the equipment properly. Our TradeUPS UPS replacement programme enables customers to trade in an old uninterruptible power supply for a new one and by so doing they achieve a generous trade in discount on the new UPS equipment.
In some instances, if it is still in good working order, it may be possible to re-use or redeploy the existing UPS elsewhere within the same business – protecting back-office computers for example. In other instances, our TradeUPS progamme can include de-installation, removal and disposal.
As with all of the Green Grid’s initiatives, Electronics Disposal Efficiency provides a benchmark whereby ICT-heavy businesses can measure themselves against others and report back to their stakeholders as to how conscious they are in terms of end of life electrical equipment. At least with Riello UPS, you can rest assured that we have the same aim in mind from the start.
Boss of Ofgem Alistair Buchanan may well be feeling like the man who kicked the hornets nest following comments he made in February about UK energy supply risk and rising prices. Press reports of his comments have caused something resembling mild panic among business energy consumers, in particular, who are already facing the stark reality of unimaginable rises in energy costs over the past few years and who now may well be fearing that the lights will go out sooner rather than later because of the UK’s increasing reliance on foreign gas imports.
The problem all hinges on the fact that coal plants are being ditched to fall in line with EU rules and world financial issues have delayed investment in replacement energy supplies such as renewables and nuclear. The UK will soon be relying on Gas, which it has to import in double the amount it does now!
Buchanan predicts that within three to five years, the UK will be looking a very tight supply-demand situation squarely in the eye. Our reliance on Gas supply will increase from 30% to 60% within five years. Within three years the UK will see reserve margin of generation fall from 14% (as it is today) to below 5%, which in Buchanan’s words “is uncomfortably tight”. A tight supply-demand situation also provides the perfect conditions for price hikes to breed.
So business energy consumers will be facing a double whammy: a much riskier power supply situation and rising energy costs.
The good news is that there’s a lot businesses can do to protect their energy supplies while at the same time reduce energy consumption. Here are some pointers:
- Put together a power protection and energy efficiency strategy. A UPS site survey will help by providing an overview of your energy needs, use and supply vulnerabilities.
- If you haven’t done so already, install UPS power protection and onsite back up energy supply such as a diesel generator. You could also look at renewables such as solar panels or wind turbine
- If you have an existing UPS that is more than five years old, you should consider replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient power protection system. For heavy energy users, it could quite easily pay for itself with reduced energy costs in the long-term. It also gives you a chance to acquire greater UPS capacity if your business has expanded.
- Install an energy management system. This will give you an on-going overview of where and how you are consuming energy so you can take relevant steps to reduce it instead of stabbing in the dark.
There are some loads that absolutely must have a frequency converter as part of their power supply/power protection system. Loads such as those that supply ground support in Aircraft applications, for example, and other military installations, test laboratories and specialist facilities where motor loads are prevalent.
We have developed Master FC400 frequency converter for just such applications. Based on our acclaimed Master MPS UPS, Master FC400 can accept 50 or 60Hz supply in order to generate a 400Hz output at 280Vac. It can also be installed and configured to 200Vac supply on sites requiring 115Vac.
It is compact, with top panel ventilation and offers front access for maintenance and inspection. Master FC400 is one of the most generator compatible and environmentally-friendly UPS and frequency converters on the market today.
For full product details click here.
If you’re looking for uninterruptible power supply power protection for small office/home office applications or to protect a single piece of equipment such as PoS (point of sale) machinery within retail, our Net Power 600-800VA may be the answer.
The product is part of our WIN DIALOG PLUS series, which uses digital line interactive technology to assess when utility power is available or unavailable. The load (computer, terminal, server, PoS or similar) is powered from the mains power supply but through an inbuilt AVR (automatic voltage regulator) so that power problems such as brownouts, sags, surges and under and over voltages are stabilised and not allowed to compromise or damage the load. Inbuilt EMI filters also suppress spikes and transients.
The instant the UPS detects a mains power supply failure, it switches to powering the load from its back up battery through its inverter, which provides a pseudo sine-wave supply, which the load recognises and accepts immediately as a standard electrical energy supply. The battery provides sufficient runtime for computer system shutdown and this can happen automatically using our own, specifically developed PowerShield3 software (it can be downloaded free of charge here).
For full Net Power 600-800VA product features, click here.
An article on EnergyLiveNews.com recently revealed how retailers’ utility bills have risen almost £3bn in just two years – despite efforts that resulted in energy use being slashed by 20% since 2008.
The British Retail Consortium commissioned the research by Oxford Economics to show just how much the cost of running a retail business has increased – a staggering £20bn since 2006. It means business costs have jumped 20% since 2006 while sales have only increased by 12%. It’s no wonder then that stores are finding it hard to stay open.
Those that are staying open have chosen to invest heavily in power protection equipment to keep payment and other critical systems up and running. In retail, PoS (point of sale) equipment is vital for protecting income into the business but so too are access, security and lighting, without which a retail business would not be able to function. Customers have to be able to get in to the shop in order to browse and purchase. Security systems are vital to minimise losses and lighting is essential for health and safety compliance.
Power protection and the installation of UPS (uninterruptible power supply) within retail involves an holistic strategy and will no doubt require more than one UPS and back up power generation. There may well be UPS units maintaining critical power to PoS equipment to keep the tills ringing, such as iPlug or iDialog. Standby generators will also supply back up electricity to building management systems that control access and security (and there may also be some form of power protection UPS for these to cover the blackout between utility electricity going offline and generator start up). The generators may also supply emergency lighting, which could be backed up by some form of power protection (a central power supply perhaps or even a UPS).
Needless to say, retail power protection involves a lot of equipment protecting vital electricity supplies, all of which consume electricity.
How reassuring it is then that today’s uninterruptible power supplies are designed with reliability and energy efficiency paramount.
Perhaps, like the rest of us, retailers are simply using more electricity in their day-to-day operations. A greater reliance on technology in business across the board has seen to that. Coupled with the rise in electricity prices, this could be why their utility costs have risen so much. And neither of those two things is likely to change any time soon, which is why it’s good to know that at least retailers can rely on UPS power protection from Riello UPS being the most energy efficient it can be.
If you’re a retailer and you would like to talk to us about power protection or find out more about our award-winning range of energy efficient UPS, fill in our contact form.