To deliver resilience, a leading data centre provider turned to Kohler Uninterruptible Power for its flagship Singapore project.

Built at a cost of more than 115 million dollars, the cutting-edge data centre and telecommunications hub in question represents the next stage in Singapore’s digital infrastructure development. Located within the city’s Data Center Park, the five-storey, 20,000m2 facility is at the forefront of Singapore’s growing data centre requirements and incorporates a multi-tier approach to meet the broad operational requirements of the customer’s customer base across Asia and beyond.

Reflecting the rigorous risk, safety and data security guidelines the centre is designed to meet, the facility will provide users with 2N resilience, certified to Tier III Constructed Facility by the Uptime Institute (UTI).

Understanding the brief

The customer already operated two other data centres in Singapore, so with this growing footprint, establishing a point of difference – with the ability to offer higher levels of resilience – was deemed critical to the success of the latest project. They identified a need to find an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) partner capable of supporting the entire process, with the technical knowledge and advanced technology required to meet the brief.

When we first spoke to the project team, they had a number of essential requirements. Top of their list was advanced modular technology to efficiently achieve true 2(N+1) resiliency within the centre but, more than that, they highlighted a desire for simple maintenance without any downtime, the flexibility to increase the system’s capacity with ease and low total cost of ownership – and all specified and installed within eight months to meet the project’s launch date,

Tan Yu Ming, General Manager
Kohler Uninterruptible Power in Singapore

After a competitive pitch process, Kohler Uninterruptible Power was chosen for this Phase II project, responsible for the design, specification and installation of the power protection system. The power protection brief to Kohler focused on the requirements set out by the Uptime Institute. The system needed to be modular, utilising advanced technologies to provide class-leading availability, as the customer’s Chief Operating Officer explains:

“We felt that with our existing capacity within Singapore, building a modular data centre that would provide concurrent maintainable resilience was the best choice for us. In this Phase II project, we engaged Kohler because of the modular solutions which offer high cost efficiencies, and which will allow us to upgrade power capacity conveniently and without any interruption.”

The right choice

Following several specification meetings during the initial stages of the base-build, and with a comprehensive understanding of the requirements, Kohler recommended its innovative Kohler PW 9500DPA UPS as its preferred product, which, along with the relevant battery banks and switch gear, would provide a complete end-to-end solution and fully meet the customer’s brief for today and tomorrow.

The Kohler PW 9500DPA was the obvious choice for this project as it has been designed specifically for large data centres and boasts the availability, flexibility and modularity the client needed, as well as the lowest total cost of ownership in its class. The DPA acronym at the end of the product’s name refers to Decentralised Parallel Architecture and means each UPS module shares no common components – contributing towards the 100% uptime SLAs in place with the facility’s customers

Tan Yu Ming added

Each Kohler PW 9500DPA cabinet is capable of supporting 5 x 100kW modules within a single frame, with the capability to connect six frames in parallel to support loads of up to 3MW in a single system. The inbuilt modularity means the UPS can be easily ‘right-sized’, with individual modules added or removed depending on the size of the critical load – and all with zero risk to the system’s availability.

Additionally, Kohler PW 9500DPA also offers a near unity input power factor, reducing the size of the input cable and fuses, and thereby saving on materials and costs. Equally, low input current total harmonic distortion (THDi) virtually eliminates harmonic pollution on the mains supply, saving unnecessary oversizing of gen-sets, cabling and circuit breakers.

The winning solution

Having reviewed the credentials for Kohler and the Kohler PW 9500DPA, the customer agreed that it was the right solution for their requirements, as their representative explains:

“Kohler had taken the time to really understand us and the project in comprehensive detail. Equally, the known strength of Kohler’s UPS range and its commitment to advanced technology and local support meant we were confident that their solution would be the right one. However, we still completed our due diligence and concluded the Kohler PW 9500DPA best met our requirements and our ambitions for the future.

“Overall, the Kohler PW 9500DPA’s efficiency and modularity met our requirements, as well as its small physical footprint and high-power density. It is a very advanced product and the combination of features it offers, although not individually unique, collectively provide an unrivalled solution for our specific requirement.”

The finalised technical specification called for four separate UPS systems to be installed, with each providing 2.3MVA of critical power protection and delivering ten minutes of battery backup in the event of a mains power failure. Respectively, each system consists of six Kohler PW 9500DPA UPS frames, loaded with four 100kVA modules in each frame. With space for one additional module in each UPS frame, the per system protection could be increased to 2.9MVA, with one 100kVA module reserved for +1 redundancy.

The UPS system also works in conjunction with four sets of diesel generators, each with an output of 3,125kVA, to provide a short or potentially long-term solution in the event of a total loss of power.

Installation and ongoing support

Following the acceptance of the technical specification, and with a tight deadline to the facility’s launch, Kohler set about commissioning the system, as Tan Yu Ming concludes:

We pride ourselves on providing a fully-managed, end-to-end solution, removing as many of the pain points for the customer as possible. UPS systems must be properly installed and commissioned by trained professionals to ensure a long and trouble-free working life; and, on larger projects like this, that experience and technical capability is even more essential. Likewise, larger standby generator systems require the same level of care, especially as generators must also be properly matched with all other power equipment for continuous power to be guaranteed and certification for warranty validation to be provided.

Thankfully, working hand in hand with the customer’s team, our factory-trained field-service engineers installed and commissioned the entire system without issue. It went so seamlessly in fact that they even commented on how painless the entire process was for them – a great result all round


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