The power conditions in different
zones across the country differ, with some zones having
a more stable and reliable supply. Here's a look at
what companies in different zones have done to ensure
that their IT infrastructure gets clean and consistent
power supply. by Minu Sirsalewala
Honda Siel Cars
a leading passenger car manufacturer has an extensive
IT infrastructure to streamline its manufacturing processes
and provide high quality products and services to its
customers and partners.
Since all the manufacturing
processes are completely automated and IT dependent,
a power failure in the IT setup would result in loss
of revenues and data.
Hilal Khan, Head-IT,
Honda Siel Cars says, "Power outage may affect us in
two areas. One, to IT infrastructure and another to
plant and machinery. Though we have diesel generators
(DG) to feed the complete power requirements of the
company, a specific process in automobile manufacturing
(Weld Shop) cannot run on DG power. The direct impact
of power outage is production loss."
Though the company
is independent because of DGs, it has calculated the
production loss to be around eight working days that
the organization may face in absence of their own arrangement
|Honda Siel UPS Arrangement
(Past & Present)
|Click on images for larger
The company does
not follow any specific formula to calculate its power
"We simply know
the kind of PCs, servers, and hardware devices we are
using, and what we are going to use. The power requirements
for such PCs (Voltage multiplied by ampere multiplied
by number of devices), is a one time load. Every piece
of equipment has its own power requirement and it helps
us in the load calculation of the power. DG set load
per day also helps us in calculating the current requirement
for mission critical needs.
We know the future
requirement of infrastructure based on plans and past
growth rate, and therefore at the time of planning we
keep the growth aspect in view," explained Hilal.
The power architecture
for the unit is divided between IT infrastructure and
Plant & Machinery. For IT the company uses normal
power backed up by DG sets and UPS. In case of plant
& machinery (production area) the company has normal
power backed by DG sets.
"We have five DG
sets of 1250 KVA each. In addition to this we have one
40 KVA online UPS, three 20 KVA UPS, three 10 KVA UPS,
one 6 KVA UPS and around fifty 1 KVA and below, offline
and line interactive UPS," said Hilal.
Source for power
Honda Siel uses
one feed for power supply from the external agency,
i.e. NPCL (Noida Power Company Limited), and three internal
feeds i.e. normal power, DG set and UPS. According to
Hilal Khan NPCL being a private company, the power situation
is reasonably better than the rest of Uttar Pradesh.
He added, "We have
a sanctioned load of 3000 KVA though our present load
is only 1200-1500 KVA. It has upgrade and future potential
of 7500 KVA. We are getting power from 33 KV distribution.
We are drawing 2500 KVA by our own step down transformer
to convert it to 440 Volts at 50 Hz, 3 Phase."
He further explained
that there is provision in the current deployment for
future growth. The provision could be related to additional
load, additional space or any additional resource.
Hilal Khan is of
the opinion that power conditioning policy is need-
based, plan-based, growth-based, and experience-based.
Even in the absence of a documented policy their agreed
agenda and objective is to have zero loss in terms of
production, sales and overall business. And this is
achieved given the comprehensive power management setup
that they have in place.
The company feels
the regular power availability (from NPCL) is reasonable
though it is not at the desired level of requirement.
and car sales are our main line of business thus a total
power backup system for production is in place. IT is
an important tool to aid and run our business smoothly,
thus we have a third source (apart from normal power
backup, DG set and UPS backup) i.e. a centralized UPS,"
explained Hilal. The centralized UPS helps in power
distribution for computers, laptops, printers and other
hardware. He further added that numerous problems were
associated with stand-alone UPS like breakdown at regular
intervals, high maintenance cost, high repair time and
user inconvenience. But the centralization of the administration
block has made it easy to maintain and manage the UPS.
The high costs that were incurred to repair stand-alone
UPS are eliminated. Downtime has been considerably reduced.
Dabur India Limited,
one of the largest FMCG companies in India, is located
in a geography where power outages are routine. Dabur
uses technology in a big way to integrate a vast distribution
system spread across the country. Dabur is adequately
supported by multiple power sources to keep the IT infrastructure
The power requirements
of the company are calculated by summing up the vendor's
recommended rating for the equipment.
Dabur has an in-house
generator capacity for 100 percent load in case of an
outage. Power failures could occur several times a day
and more often in summers.
Gopal Shukla, CIO,
Dabur said, "There are UPS systems in place that maintain
continuity during switch-overs. The critical servers
have up to three sources of redundant power supplies."
On the hardware side the company has over 100 UPS systems
of different makes.
There are multiple
feeds that supply power to the unit. Gopal Shukla explained,
"The heavy-duty generators can run the entire electrical
load on a continued basis. These are redundant and back
each other on a vendor recommended duty-cycle."
The company banks
heavily on the in-house power generation that is capable
of handling the entire electrical load on a continued
A data center requires
100 percent uptime given the nature of its business.
The loss faced by the center in case of power outage
is enormous and immeasurable. "A power outage at a data
center results in loss of data, failure of communication
links, discontinuation of services, end of physical
security services, loss of revenue and loss of faith
in business from customers," opined Somenath Ghose,
General Manager, Sify Limited. He also explained that
repeated power failures could result in malfunctioning
of hardware components and subsequently bring the business
operations to a halt. Maintaining 100 percent power
uptime to avoid power outages is paramount to IT infrastructure
companies. To align with its business needs Sify Limited
has invested heavily in building their power layout
for their Level 3 Internet Data Center at the Vashi
Infotech Park, Navi Mumbai.
The data center's
total power requirement for IT infrastructure includes
lighting load, power load, and air-conditioning load.
Power load is sum total of power requirement for network/communication
equipment, desk-tops, servers, EAPBX, access control
system, CCTV surveillance system, and fire alarm/monitoring
systems. Ghose said, "We add up the power requirements
of each and every system, hardware components, lighting
load and air-conditioning load to arrive at the total
power requirement of an IT infrastructure."
The data center
has two feeds for power supply. It has a 2N redundant
power network that includes transformers, generators,
HT/LT distribution, cables, UPS units, all in multiples
of two, to ascertain that there is no single point of
The hardware at
the data center includes generators, online UPS, capacitor
banks, dedicated earthing, lightening arresters, and
surge protectors for providing total power solution.
support power load and air-conditioning load. The online
UPS (with battery backup) feeds power load including
power to hardware, network equipment, servers, desktops,
storage devices, communication equipment, EAPBX, security
systems and fire panels. Every hardware component is
fed by two different UPS power sources. Capacitor banks
take care of reactive load. Surge protectors and lightening
arresters are installed to protect from surges and lightening
strokes respectively. Body earthing, neutral earthing,
UPS dedicated earthing, and earthing to communication
equipment are separately provided to ensure proper grounding
of electrical equipment.
Source of power
The Sify data center
uses two feeds from power supply providers in the form
of ring mains supply.
"The basic power
infrastructure is built with proper cabling size and
distribution units considering the total connected load
and future load requirement to the maximum," said Somenath.
As the center's power layout is duplicated, power components
like UPS, generator, feeders, and others can be added
as and when the load increases by switching off one
circuit where addition is required and keeping the other
circuit live at the same time.
The data center
has a well-documented power conditioning policy. The
Policy guidelines include:
a) Ensure all electrical
components meet IS/IEC standards during and post installation.
b) Monitor incoming
power parameters—from service pro-viders—like voltage,
frequency, and power factor current in each phase on
a regular basis and take corrective action immediately
if we find irregularities.
c) Monitor and
regulate UPS output parameters like voltage, frequency,
power factor, current and generator parameters like
speed, voltage, and frequency in each phase. And do
the necessary corrections by making adjustment as and
when there are changes beyond set limits.
d) Carry out regular
preventive maintenance of power equipment to ensure
all devices are in good working condition. Carry out
insulation test to ensure cable and distribution bus-bar
has strong insulation between phases & neutral and
between phases & earth. Carry out earth pit megger
test to ensure electrical equipment is grounded properly.
e) Conduct power
audits once in six months to check transient voltage,
harmonic levels, noise, waveform distortion, and frequency
variation and make necessary corrections. Check actual
vs. defined current levels in the cable & bus-bar
to ensure there is no overload situations.
f) Ensure pure
and clean output power to the equipment, which is not
affected by sags, surges, spikes, noise, harmonics,
low/high frequency and power outages.
According to Somenath,
power is available most of the time and power outage
in Mumbai city is minimum.
The data center
addresses the power outage issue through the following
- Determine the length of
the usual outage.
- Determine outage history
for the facility.
- Have backup generators available—purchased
and leased through a generator supplier open 24 hours
a day—as a last resort.
- Ensure adequate fuel storage
- Protect critical applications
with UPS systems backed-up with generators.
- Determine load transfer
sequence, the most critical loads should be transferred
to standby power first.
- Make sure electrical staff
are trained to connect backup generation to existing
- Test operation on 'no load'
regularly and 'on load' at least once in a week.
- Train key electricians on
all operational phases of load transfer and emergency
- Arrange for backup fuel
for generators if the outage last longer than expected.
Maintain battery, radiator water, fuel level, and
oil level on regular basis. Keep necessary spares
- Maintain a current list
of telephone numbers including local utility provider
and the DG vendor.
NSE's Data Center
The NSE (National
Stock Exchange) data center at Bandra-Kurla complex
in Mumbai, houses the IT infrastructure and all the
critical data that keeps this stock exchange running.
The business of the exchange totally depends on IT and
any power outage would severely affect the IT infrastructure
resulting in loss of revenue for the exchange.
C. Kajwadkar, Vice
President, NSE.IT Limited said, "The loss would run
into a few crore of rupees per day on account of loss
of revenue for the exchange, banks and depositories,
apart from loss of productivity of our own staff." To
avoid any kind of downtime due to power failure NSE
has assessed its power requirements and has a reliable
power architecture in place.
C. Kajwadkar said,
"Power requirements for the IT infrastructure are assessed
based on the advance planning during the inception stages
of building the IT infrastructure. This would include
power requirement of all servers, PCs, and network equipment.
The same is reviewed at least once a year for necessary
actions if any."
For IT equipment:
The center has drawn an estimate model for the load
based on the actual consumption as per equipment datasheets,
adding a factor of safety for the recommendations and
provision for future demands including the required
back-up time. Based on this, broad specifications of
the UPS requirements are drawn; back-up capacity is
factored upon which the battery capacities are worked
out. A spare capacity of at least 40 percent extra is
normally provided for future expansion. To ensure availability
of power under an acute outage spanning more than the
battery back-up time, redundant DG sets of desired capacity
are also put in place.
equipment: Air-conditioning requirements for the above
equipment/data center is computed using standard methods
such as BTU computation, temperature to be retained,
etc. This load is also factored in the overall power
For lighting and
other miscellaneous load: Other requirement for equipment
such as Access control devices, physical security system
(CCTV), Building Automation Systems etc has been factored
It is ensured that
utility power requirements such as illumination and
elevators have been taken care by the respective departments
within the organization.
C. Kajwadkar explained,
"We design for at least 40 percent extra capacity in
the UPS that also provides for future augmentation,
which is reviewed at least once a year. And for AC power
supply, the power supply company has provided sufficient
capacity cables, which will cater to 100 percent growth
in future. We have a provision to install more number
of equipment at the UPS and Stabilizer level."
at the center is based on multiple layer redundancies,
which start from the redundancies provided by the power
supply distribution company to the power provided to
all the IT equipment. The choice of a service provider
is based on the type of power generated at power stations
such as hydro, thermal, etc.
The center has
opted for power supply from a company that offers both
thermal as well as hydro-power coming to a receiving
station through which the power is distributed. Redundant
feeders on LT power (440 volts) at the sub-station feed
the AC power to its distribution panels. The status
of each feeder is remotely monitored by the SCADA system
installed by the power company to monitor the status
of the supply from the receiving station control room,
which is located about six kilometers from the site.
generators have been installed to mitigate the risk
of failure of supply from the electric company. UPS
systems with adequate battery backup are deployed. The
UPS design is based on redundant modules that feed clean
and stable power to the load in a parallel fashion.
For e.g. the load on each of the modules does not exceed
30-31 percent to ensure continued operation under a
critical scenario in which even two out of the three
modules fail. Additionally, there are stabilizers that
continue to feed the critical IT systems in case of
failure of the entire UPS.
At equipment level,
the power is fed from two different power sources—the
electricity company and captive diesel generators—with
redundancy in power supply modules for all equipment
as a policy. Apart from building redundancy in the UPS
itself, separate UPS are maintained for data center
and users across various floors.
C. Kajwadkar said,
"We have factored for power conditioning at the initial
planning and design stages. Factors such as total harmonic
distortion (THD), harmonic suppression, power factor,
and built-in filters take care of continued and smooth
power output. The desired parameters are measured at
desired intervals under the Service Level Agreement
(SLA). The policy also takes care of support on 24X7X365
Power supply in
Mumbai city has been very good and the center has not
faced any disruptions even when there was a complete
grid failure last year (2002). Kajwadkar also added
that the power supply company's system has a well-designed
islanding system which operated successfully and separated
itself from the rest of the Maharashtra grid.
Bank of Muscat,
based in Bangalore, depends heavily on technology for
its banking operations. So losses due to power failure
are bound to be very high; any kind of power failure
will cause total impairment of banking operations.
Head-IT, Bank of Muscat said, "All ATMs including offsite
ATMs rely heavily on the network and any outage will
result in the ATMs being down because of network issues.
An offsite ATM cannot function without communicating
to the central server."
In monetary terms
the bank will lose large amounts if it is not able to
remit within a particular timeframe. This makes it imperative
for the bank to address the issue of power supply to
its IT infrastructure, to ensure uninterrupted banking
The bank's power
requirements depend on the type of hardware to be deployed.
"We usually go by the ratings given in the product catalogue.
As we need to add 30 percent of the original requirement
to handle contingency," explained Ravishanker.
The bank has classified
its power requirements as critical and non-critical.
The data center and few desktops have been identified
as critical. The architecture also constitutes of separate
UPS with a hot standby to avoid any single point of
failure. The bank has standardized its hardware on Tata
The increase in
power requirements is taken into consideration at the
project level, and a contingency of at least 30 percent
is provisioned for while deploying the solution.
The bank has one
power feed supplied by the State Electricity Board.
It does not have a specific power conditioning policy,
but has a scheduled quarterly Preventive Maintenance
for the bank and all ATMs.
high power cuts thus the bank has installed DG sets
to counter the situation. The entire set-up has to be
manned for 24x7x365 days for any anomaly as the entire
operation is dependent on the availability of the setup,"
Minu Sirsalewala can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently the Sify data center has two incoming
sources of power from MSEB (Maharashtra State Electricity
Board). One power source comes in from Vashi grid
(New Mumbai) and the second from Sanpada grid (New
Mumbai). The two sources are connected in the form
of a ring having high-tension breakers in between.
In the future, more power sources can be added to
the existing ring as and when the need arises.