When many of us in the battery industry think about uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, or really backup power in general, our minds tend to go straight to the data center. It’s true that UPS systems are a vital piece of the data center puzzle; and data centers are popping up all over the world on a continual basis. However, many other industry applications rely on critical power as an essential operating component as well.
From our littlest learners to the most advanced university researchers, uptime is critical to daily operations.
There is, obviously, the human aspect to consider. Students, teachers, and all other staff all have basic safety and comfort needs. When the power goes out, there is no air conditioning or heat, no lights, no security system. Typically, young students must abandon their learning and go home until the next day that the facility has power.
That’s certainly not an ideal situation. But there is more to it than that. Schools, like data centers, have servers that need to maintain operation. Some even have small data centers onsite. If these systems experience downtime, it can equal thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damaged equipment and repair costs.
Most public schools (and probably many private schools) do not have the funds available to absorb these costs. That leads to funds being filtered away from the learning objectives of the school, which is not ideal.
Universities have the same critical power needs as secondary institutions and then some. Many universities have research facilities onsite. Whether a small teaching laboratory or a large lab working on cancer treatments, the costs are high if the power goes down.
Equipment can break; samples can be ruined; data can be lost. Each of which can cause an experiment to have to start over or even be scrapped completely. The costs can be detrimental to the university and the outside funders that sponsor some of these projects.
This is just a micro picture of the need for critical power applications in education and research, but it is a compelling one. Reliable backup power is a necessity, even outside of the data center industry.