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Take Note: Schneider's teeny-tiny Galaxy VS li-ion UPS set to explode onto data centre scene

100kW of emergency power in a small footprint – nothing to do with Samsung battery fail

Schneider Electric has squeezed out a line of compact three-phase UPS systems designed for small data centres and edge computing locations.

Galaxy VS can support between 10kW and 100kW of load with up to 97 per cent efficiency in normal operating mode, while taking as much space as a single rack of IT equipment. It can be monitored remotely, using the company's smartphone app.

Considering that the average rack densities stand at around 5-10kW, a single Galaxy VS unit can ensure power protection for about 20 racks.

The device can be shipped with lithium-ion batteries, which, despite their many advertised benefits, remain a rare sight in data centres, sometimes evoking images of violent explosions and burned flesh.

Schneider started introducing li-ion batteries into its UPS systems in 2016, and has long maintained that its cells (custom-made by Samsung) are a breed apart from the stuff that powers consumer devices like headphones and smartphones.

One of the main benefits of li-ion over traditional valve-regulated, lead-acid batteries (VRLAs) is that they take up a lot less space while supplying the same amount of power. Another obvious boost is the fact that their lifespan is at least twice as long. But there's a serious drawback, too – they are much more expensive.

"The cost acquisition of Li-Ion batteries has continued to be reduced, largely driven by greater volume production and demand within the Electric Vehicle Market," a Schneider spokesperson told El Reg. "Li-ion still remains slightly more expensive than VRLA, but as of 2018, its cost sat only between 1.2 and 2 times that of lead-acid, compared to being almost ten times more expensive, just a few years ago." ®

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