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Reliable and environmental reserve power solution to Lansvirkjun Iceland HQ

Learn how Eaton 93PM 200 kVA Super Capacitor solution and Intelligent Power Manager (IPM) Infrastructure reduced CAPEX, infrastructure costs and provided greater scalability

Landsvirkjun is always searching for ways to increase efficiency and any upgrade gives a chance to find efficiencies over existing equipment. We were very happy working with Eaton because typically large manufacturers do not work with their customers to custom build the distribution panels.

Óskar Valtýsson, Head of Telecoms and Technology, Landsvirkjun

Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, is Iceland's largest electricity generator and one of the ten largest producers of renewable energy in Europe. Landsvirkjun operates 18 power plants in Iceland, and they also operate two windmills as a research and development test site.

For years, Landsvirkjun has operated a reserve power system in the company's headquarters in Reykjavik. These have been designed to keep the company's mission critical data center, its data network and communications systems operational in the event of a utility power failure or a power outage at the headquarters.

Crucially, for a volcanic country, the reserve power systems are also designed to ensure that the company's emergency response management facilities, also located in the company’s headquarters, remain in operation during prolonged outages or in case of nationwide natural disasters. 

Challenge

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The disadvantage of its older power backup system was that it wasn’t powerful enough to keep most of the building operational during outages. Its existing backup solution, based on lead batteries, could only generate enough power to keep critical systems online and could not provide power to other systems, including the building’s lighting, elevators, ventilation and other electric appliance. Even though the existing UPS had 16 hours runtime, the data center could only operate for a few hours and most employees were unable to do any work and had to be evacuated.

Solution

Landsvirkjun worked with Eaton to build a new reserve power system, based on Eaton 93PM 200 kVA supercapacitor UPS and Eaton Intelligent Power Management (IPM) software, with greater efficiencies enabled through Eaton’s Energy Saver System.

Mr. Valtýsson was attracted to supercapacitors because of both their long service life of 20+ years and because they can be charged and discharged almost infinitely, making them much more environmentally-friendly than traditional battery technologies. Supercapacitors are suited in applications where they provide bridge power until backup generators kick in.

Landsvirkjun’s new solution is based on the combination of a diesel generator with supercapacitors. This was a leap forward from the old system, which had used conventional lead-acid batteries.

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Results

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The unique characteristics of the Eaton Supercapacitors combine to make them the most economical alternative for a backup power solution. They enable Landsvirkjun to benefit from reduced CAPEX due to a longer lifetime of 20+ years, compared to the 10-year lifecycle of the previous UPS system and four- year lifecycle of the accompanying lead-acid batteries.  This resulted in  lower infrastructure costs and greater scalability for the business; they also enable lower operating costs due to being almost entirely maintenance-free.

The main benefit to Landsvirkjun comes from securing the operations in its headquarters and from removing the cost of damage to equipment from outages, estimated at €10,000 per year.

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