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Lead Acid Battery Consumption

in Hong Kong
Report prepared by:

Ir. Dr. James W. H. Wong


Allied Environmental Consultants Limited
19th Floor, Kwan Chart Tower, 6, Tonnochy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

31st December, 2014

Table of Contents
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................ iii

Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong .............................................. 1


Background ..................................................................................................................... 1
Hong Kong Regulations ................................................................................................... 3
Penalties .......................................................................................................................... 5
Basel Convention Regulations .......................................................................................... 5
The Generating Sources and Estimated Quantities of Used Lead Acid Batteries in Hong
Kong ............................................................................................................................... 5
UPS Batteries for Data Centre Facilitation Unit .............................................................. 16
Beyond Silicon: the processors of the future .................................................................... 18
Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 24

This document has been prepared with care. However, the author makes no warrant of any kind in regard to the
contents and shall not be liable for incidental or consequential damages, financial or otherwise, arising out of the
use of this document. The contents of this report are for the sole use of the recipient and may not be transmitted
in any form whatsoever without prior permission.

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

ii

Executive Summary
Contrary to the general conception of declining importance of worlds usage of lead in the lead acid
battery, statistics compiled by International Lead and Zinc Group (ILZG) show that the consumption of
lead (predominantly in lead acid battery) has doubled from 4.5 million ton in 2004 to an annualized 11
million tons in 2014. (ILZG is one of the oldest intergovernmental commodity organization formed by
United Nation.)1
Environmentally friendly lead waste recycling has never been more critical as lead acid battery demand
is increasing exponentially in transport and IT sectors, so the periodic disposal of the lead waste is
becoming more ubiquitous than ever in our society.
The basic components of a lead acid battery have not changed since its invention: lead, acid and
plastic casing. However if they are disposed improperly, the catastrophic consequence on the
environment is irreversible. In most countries, nowadays, formal recycling process has become an
indispensable integral of a societys infrastructure in treating its chemical waste.
The goal of this study is an attempt to assess the full extent of the lead waste issue in Hong Kong SAR
by focusing on the identification of generating sources and corresponding estimates of quantity of leadacid batteries.
The potential of replacement ULAB for recycling in Hong Kong in year 2020 is 13,073 tons for
Transportation, 216 tons, for buildings and tunnels, and 49,507 tons for Data Centers respectively,
totaling 62,796 tons per annum by 2020.

Application
SLI
Buildings, Road and
Railway Tunnels
Data Centers
Total

2020 ULAB Tonnes


per year
13073
216
49,507

62,796
Replacement ULAB Projection for Year 2020

http://www.ilzsg.org/static/home.aspx

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

iii

Lead Acid Battery Consumption


in Hong Kong
Background

In most countries, nowadays, used lead-acid batteries are


returned for lead recycling. However, considering that a
normal battery also contains sulfuric acid and several
kinds of plastics, the recycling process may be a
potentially dangerous process if not properly controlled. Technical guidelines are, therefore, meant to
provide guidance to countries, which are planning to improve their capacity in order to manage the used
lead-acid battery wastes. A comprehensive approach is adopted and clear information is provided on
several issues related to these wastes and it is expected that by using these guidelines a country will be
able to improve its actions in relation to the following aspects:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)

protection and improvement of its environmental quality;


protection of its population health;
adoption of clean technologies in order to minimize waste generation;
adoption of reuse and recycle as means to protect no-renewable natural resources and
reduce energy consumption;
adoption of environmentally sound management of used lead-acid batteries;
creation of a sustainable and regulated system of lead utilization;
adoption of management plans for lead wastes;
generation of social, economic and environmental benefits through the environmentally
sound management of lead wastes.

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

Why Recycle?
1. The recycling process is an essential element in sustainable development and provides rational
uses for scarce, natural resources such as lead. There are strong advantages in the recycling
process:
(a) extension of natural resources lifetime although there are undiscovered ore deposits
all over the world, they are ultimately finite and this limit is linked to its usage rate.
Therefore, recycling processes extend the lifetime of these deposits;
(b) reduced monetary costs secondary materials provide means of monetary economy by:
(1) being cheaper processes than primary minerals recovery;
(2) reducing the dependence on imported materials;
(3) reducing the investment cost of equipment; and
(4) reducing waste production, especially the primary extraction waste;
(c) energy conservation since few metals occur in nature as readily usable forms, the
recycling processes allow the production of metals with about 25% or less2 of the energy
used in intensive procedures which usually depend on fossil fuels, as in furnaces for
example, the recycling processes provide a means of pollution reduction.
2. Besides these aspects which are applied for all metal recycling processes, lead itself has some
other important factors that make its recycling even more environmentally sound:
(1) Toxicity toward the environment and human health Toxicity exposure to
human, animals, vegetation and environment through soil contamination, streams
and drainage systems are well known to be devastating with long lasting effects.
Thus, it is reasonable to think that lack of a lead recycling system would increase
dramatically the risk of exposure since the lead waste would have to have
environmentally unsound destinations;
(2) Large recyclability the fact that lead has a low melting point and it is easily
refined from scrap increases its recyclability, i.e. the relatively technical ease or
feasibility of lead isolation from scrap and reintroduction into the raw material
stream;
(3) Large market lead enjoys a large market and, depending on the country, a
reasonably well-organized collection system of up to 96% from one predominant
product which has a short and predictable lifetime: the starting, lighting and ignition
(SLI) battery.
3. From the above, it becomes clear that destinations such as landfilling, incineration and others
cannot be considered as an environmentally sound management of wastes, not only for
economic reasons but also for health and environmental reasons.

Heinstock, ICME study

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

4. Once this is recognized, recycling processes become a technologically viable answer to the
problem since, when properly applied and controlled, recycling can prove an economically
viable and environmentally sound solution. Therefore, lead recycling should be pursued as an
optimal solution to the environmentally sound management of waste lead-acid batteries3.

Hong Kong Regulations


Under the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste)(General) Regulation within the Waste Disposal Ordinance
(Laws of Hong Kong Chapter 354), Waste producer, waste collector and end-point disposal facility are
all being regulated EPD. All chemical waste movements are monitored by EPD, and have to comply
with the "Cradle to Grave" chemical waste control scheme4.
Used Lead Acid Battery (ULAB) is classified as chemical waste and therefore waste producers must
register with Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and should only engage the services of a
licensed waste collector to arrange for the collection and removal of chemical waste. The licensed
collectors must within 48 hours of collection transfer the waste to the final disposal point licensed by
EPD.
Waste producers should only engage the services of a "licensed collector" (LC) to arrange for the
collection and removal of chemical waste. Waste collectors are persons licensed by EPD to provide
such services. A waste producer can discharge his duty to arrange for the proper disposal of his waste
by consigning his waste to such a waste collector.
All movements of chemical waste will be monitored. A waste producer needs to complete in triplicate a
form, known as a "trip-ticket", before the waste will be accepted for collection from his premises. The
waste producer has to keep one copy as a record of consignment, and the waste collector will retain a
further copy of the form upon delivery of the waste to a reception point. The original copy will be
retained by the reception point manager. At each stage, the receipt of a properly completed trip-ticket is
a condition for acceptance of the waste. Figure 1 illustrates the "trip-ticket" system.

Basel Convention, Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Lead Acid Batteries,
2003
4

http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/897C4EC786B2EA10482575EE006F1
BEA/$FILE/CAP_354C_e_b5.pdf

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

The steps to be taken by a chemical waste producer are set out below:
1. Record on a trip ticket and its copies all the necessary particulars and information
required.
2. Ensure that the waste to be delivered is correctly classified, described, quantified and
labelled.
3. Certify on the trip ticket that all the information provided by him is correct.5
4. Retain a copy of the trip ticket for at least 12 months following consignment of the
waste.
A waste collector should deliver
collected wastes to a reception point
within 48 hours of collection. Any
subsequent transfer of waste from a
reception point would also need to
follow the same trip-ticket
requirements.
Waste producers, waste collectors
and reception point managers are
obliged to provide EPD with any
extra information requested within a
specified time.6

Figure 1. Illustrates the "trip-ticket" system.

http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/897C4EC786B2EA1048
2575EE006F1BEA/$FILE/CAP_354C_e_b5.pdf
6

http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/897C4EC786B2EA1048
2575EE006F1BEA/$FILE/CAP_354C_e_b5.pdf

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

Penalties
A summary of the key offences and their maximum penalties related to the duties of chemical waste
producers is show below Section of the
Regulation

Offence

Failing to register as a waste producer

7
8

Failing to notify change in particulars of registration


Failing to arrange for proper disposal of waste

Failing to produce information records etc.

9 to 11
13 to 15
12, 18

Failing to comply with waste packaging storage


requirements
Failing to comply with labelling and warning sign
requirements
Failing to engage licensed waste collector

21

Maximum Penalty
$200,000 plus 6 months
imprisonment
$10,000
$200,000 plus 6 months
imprisonment
$100,000 plus 6 months
imprisonment
$100,000 plus 6 months
imprisonment
$50,000 plus 6 months
imprisonment
$200,000 plus 6 months
imprisonment

Figure 2. Penalties of Chemical Waste Producers

Basel Convention Regulations


The Basel Convention of the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their
Disposal7 is one of the most important steps taken in recent times towards the international regulation
of hazardous waste. This ban will eliminate hazardous waste exports to developing countries. Hong
Kong, under the Convention, is forbidden to export such waste.
In response to Basel Convention, Environmental Bureau is committed to enforce End-Point Disposal
Facility for such waste to be treated within Hong Kong EcoPark.8

The Generating Sources and Estimated Quantities of Used Lead Acid Batteries in Hong
Kong
The quantity of ULAB used for Starting/Lighting/Ignition (SLI) in Hong Kong is estimated based on the
following sources:

http://www.basel.int/Portals/4/Basel%20Convention/docs/text/BaselConventionText-e.pdf

http://dunwellgroupblog.blogspot.hk/2013/06/cradle-to-grave-tip-ticket-chemical.html

AEC Limited, December, 2014 Report


Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

1.

Starting/Lighting/Ignition (SLI)
Starting/Lighting/Ignition (SLI) batteries from 699,540 licensed vehicles (at 31 December 2014)9
are usually collected at 1,000 registered garages in the SAR. There were a total of 134,180
licensed diesel commercial vehicles. They include light, medium and heavy goods vehicles, public
and private light buses, non-franchised and franchised buses.
Franchise, Non-franchise and Private Buses and Mini Buses There are 12,843 Double and
Single deck buses in Hong Kong managed by 6 major operators and 582 private buses for a total
of 13,425 buses. With a reference battery10 of 12V, 95Ah, 35 kg, two batteries per vehicle. The
estimated number of batteries is 26,850 (939 tonnes).
There are a total of 7,340 registered Red, Green and Private Mini Buses operating in Hong Kong.
With a reference battery11 of 12V, 95Ah, 20 kg, two batteries per vehicle. The estimated number
of batteries is 14,680 (294 tonnes).
Light, Medium and Heavy Goods Vehicles12 - There are 71,712 Light Goods Vehicles Licenced
by the Transport Department. With a reference battery13 of 12V, 60Ah, 12 kg, two batteries per
vehicle. The estimated number of batteries is 143,424 (1,721 tonnes).
There are 36,630 Medium Goods Vehicles Licenced by the Transport Department. With a
reference battery14 of 12V, 95Ah, 35 kg, two batteries per vehicle. The estimated number of
batteries is 73,260 (2,564 tonnes).
There are 5,073 Heavy Goods Vehicles Licenced by the Transport Department. With a reference
battery15 of 12V, 95Ah, 35 kg, two batteries per vehicle. The estimated number of batteries is
10,146 (355 tonnes).

http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_281/table41a.pdf

10

Varta Battery ETN: 640103080 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/commercialvehicles/promotive-blue/)


11

Varta Battery ETN: 545157033 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/automotive/bluedynamic/)


12

http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_281/table41a.pdf

13

Varta Battery ETN: 545157033 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/automotive/bluedynamic/)


14

Varta Battery ETN: 640103080 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/commercialvehicles/promotive-blue/)

AEC Limited, December, 2014 Report


Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

Motorcycles There are a total of 45,199 motorcycles (including 762 Government motorcycles)
licenced by the Transport Department, with a reference battery16 of 12V, 95Ah, 3.2 kg. The
estimated number of batteries is 45,199 (145 tonnes).

Taxis There are a total of 18,066 of red, green, and blue licensed taxis operating in Hong Kong,
with a reference battery17 of 12V, 60Ah,14 kg. The estimated number of batteries is 18,066 (253
tonnes).

Private Transport - There are 495,038 licensed private cars and 1,530 special purpose vehicles
totalling 496,568 accounting for 70 per cent of all vehicles, with a reference battery18 of 12V, 60Ah,
14 kg. The estimated number of batteries is 496,568 (6,952 tonnes).

Government Vehicles - There are 5,527 government vehicles reported by the Transport
Department as of October 2014, with a reference battery19 of 12V, 60Ah, 14 kg. The estimated
number of batteries is 5,527 (77 tonnes).

Number and Gross Tonnage of Ships Registered in Hong Kong According to the Hong
Kong Marine Department, there are 2,165 number of Ocean-going ships (92,657,572 Gross
tonnage); 77 River Trade ships (46,781 Gross tonnage) and 158 Local Services Ships (78,009
Gross tonnage) registered at December, 2014. Estimate for the weight of batteries per vessel (kg)
totals 1,397 tonnes for this study are based on the following:

15

Varta Battery ETN: 640103080 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/commercialvehicles/promotive-blue/)


16

Yuasa YB12C-A 12Ah Conventional PowerSports Battery - No Acid Pack


(http://www.atbatt.com/yuasa-yb12c-a-12ah-conventional-powersports-battery-no-acid-pack.asp)
17

Varta Battery ETN: 545157033 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/automotive/bluedynamic/)


18

Varta Battery ETN: 560127054 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/automotive/bluedynamic/)


19

Varta Battery ETN: 560127054 (http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/automotive/bluedynamic/)

AEC Limited, December, 2014 Report


Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

Number and Ship Type


2,165 Ocean Going
77 River Trade
158 Local Services

Weight of
vessel (kg)
6x 56kg
4x 45kg
2x 56kg
2x 45kg

batteries

per Total (kg)


1,349,340
47,470

The replacement of battery in vessels are estimated to be every 5 years.


Commercial and Industrial Building Emergency Generators According to the Building Department
2010 figures20, there are 2,327 and 1,928 Commercial and Industrial Buildings in Hong Kong. With the
Fire Prevention Regulations, emergency generators sets usually are installed and maintained in these
buildings. For the estimation, two 56 kg lead acid batteries per building are assigned and their
replacement are estimated to be every 5 years.

To summarise for the SLI section:


Type of SLI
Ships
Private Transport and Government
Vehicles
Buses
Goods Vehicles
Taxi
Motorcycles
Commercial and Industrial Building
Emergency Gensets

Replacement Period
(year)
5
2

Averaged Annual ULAB for


recycling (tonnes)
279
6240

1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
5

949
3569
195
111
95

Total

11,438
The Averaged Annual ULAB from the SLI section is estimated at 12,885 tonnes.
Therefore, based on the number of registered vehicles from the Transport Department and Marine
Department, and number of commercial and industrial buildings, we estimate the total number of
ULAB from all the categories to be 11,438 tonnes as of 31 December 2014.

20

http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr09-10/english/hc/sub_leg/sc05/papers/sc050209cb1-1163-1-e.pdf

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

Battery Life

Battery life is defined as the period of time in which a battery is capable of being recharged and
retains the charge applied. Once the battery is no longer capable of being recharged or cannot
retain its charge properly, its lifetime reaches its end and it becomes a used battery for the
application it was designed for. The main cause of this death is the sulfatation process. This
begins when lead sulfate (PbSO4) precipitates over the battery plates eventually reaching a point
where the ions can no longer migrate from or to the plates or electrolyte due to lead sulfate
coating, and the reactions which produce the electric energy cease. Most batteries are designed
for 500 charging cycles which if use daily, it is about 1.3 years.

Under ideal conditions, an automobile battery can last up to six years, but several factors
contribute to decrease this optimal lifetime:
a)
incomplete charging process;
b)
battery remains too long without use or stands a long time between two charges;
c)
hot weather: it increases the sulfatation process rate;
d)
deep discharging process, the deeper the discharge the less life time the battery will
have;
e)
low electrolyte level: air exposed plates becomes sulfated immediately.

When all this factors are considered together, the battery life span ranges from 6 to 48 months,
yet only 30% of all batteries actually reach the 48-month mark.

At the end of its life the battery is classified as a hazardous waste under the Basel Convention
and should be handled accordingly in order to prevent damage to human health or to the
environment.

The projection of SLI to the year 2020 is carried out, as the building sectors and marine sectors
are not expected to have great changes, we project the growth based on the Licensed Vehicles
growth only, as follows:

AEC Limited, December, 2014 Report


Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

Replacement SLI Batteries


2009-2020

2009

584,070

Estimated Tonnage of
Replacement Used Lead Acid
Batteries (tonnes)
8,444

2010

607,796

8,754

2011

630,281

9,093

2012

653,010

9,452

2013

680,914

9,760

2014

699,540

11,438

7*

2015

728,221

11,684

8*

2016

758,078

11,940

9*

2017

789,160

12,206

10*

2018

821,516

12,484

11*

2019

855,198

12,772

12*

2020

890,261

13,073

Year

Total Licensed Vehicles

Table 1 - Projected SLI Battery Replacements (2009 -2020)


(*Quantity estimated using 4.1% growth from 2015.)

2.

Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for Emergency Lighting and Fire Alarm
Systems
Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) batteries for emergency lighting and fire alarm systems are
mandated in all public and non-domestic area.
Office Buildings - The total stock of private office at the end of 2013 amounted to 10 983 200
m, which included 63% Grade A, 23% Grade B and 14% Grade C office. Office space in the
core districts comprising Sheung Wan, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui
accounted for 57% of the total stock at the end of 201321.
For estimation of ULAB, there is an emergency lighting unit assigned to every 60 m, for an
estimate of 183,053 batteries installed in these buildings.

21

Hong Kong Property Review 2014. http://www.rvd.gov.hk/en/publications/hkpr.html

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

10

Private Commercial Buildings - This sector comprises retail premises and other premises
designed or adapted for commercial use, with the exception of purpose-built offices. Stock in
this sector at the end of 2013 was 10 882 700 m, with 30% of the total space on Hong Kong
Island, 40% in Kowloon and 30% in the New Territories. For estimation of ULAB, there is an
emergency lighting unit assigned to every 60 m, for an estimate of 181,378 batteries installed
in these buildings.
Private Flatted Factories, Private Industrial Office, Private Specialized Factories and
Private Storage Buildings - This category comprises flatted factories and ancillary office
accommodation. At the end of 2013, stock in this sector was 17 160 200 m, which was evenly
distributed between the urban areas and the New Territories. For estimation of ULAB, there is
an emergency lighting unit assigned to every 230 m, for an estimate of 74,610 batteries
installed in these buildings.
There was 593,000 m of Private Industrial Office categorised by the Rating and Valuation
Department of the Hong Kong Government at the end of 2013. For estimation of ULAB, there is
an emergency lighting unit assigned to every 230 m, for an estimate of 2,578 batteries installed in
these buildings.
There was 2 996 600 m at the end of Private Specialised Factories categorised by the Rating and
Valuation Department of the Hong Kong Government by the end of 2013. This category
comprises all other factory premises, primarily purpose-built for specialised manufacturing
processes, and usually for occupation by a single operator. For estimation of ULAB, there is an
emergency lighting unit assigned to every 230 m, for an estimate of 13,029 batteries installed in
these buildings.
There was 3 561 700 m of Private Storage at the end of 2013. This category comprises premises
designed or adapted for use as godowns, or cold stores, and includes ancillary offices. Premises
located within container terminals are included. For estimation of ULAB, there is an emergency
lighting unit assigned to every 230 m, for an estimate of 15,486 batteries installed in these
buildings.
Private Developments - UPS batteries for Emergency Lighting Requirement from private
developments22. This sector comprises independent domestic units with an exclusive cooking
area, bathroom and toilet, but does not include village houses, quarters held by the People's
Liberation Army, quarters attached to premises of utility companies, dormitories (including
student dormitories in educational institutes), quarters held by the Hospital Authority, hotels and
22

Fire Services Department, Emergency Lighting Requirements.


(http://www.hkfsd.gov.hk/eng/source/licensing/ppa_104.pdf)

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Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

11

hostels. At the end of 2013, the overall stock was 1 123 600 units. (approximately 60-70 million
m)

Small/Medium domestic units - This sub-sector comprises units with a saleable area
of less than 100 m. Stock at the end of 2013 was 1 037 200 units which accounted for
92% of the total private domestic stock. Under the Code of Practice issued by the Fire
Department23, all high-rise buildings in Hong Kong have to be designed with protected
escape route with emergency lighting provisions. High-rise buildings are defined in local
regulations as:

A building of which the floor of the uppermost storey exceeds 30 m above the point of
staircase discharge at ground floor level24.

For estimation of UPS, we assume two emergency lighting units assigned to every 8
units for an estimate of 259,300 batteries installed in these buildings.

Large domestic units - This sub-sector comprises units with a saleable area of 100 m
or above. Stock at the end of 2013 was 86,400 units, representing 8% of the total
private domestic stock.

For an estimation of UPS, there are two emergency lighting units assigned to every 4
units for an estimate of 43,200 batteries in these buildings.

Therefore, the estimated UPS in the domestic buildings, offices, commercial buildings
and private industrial buildings in Hong Kong is approximately 772,634 batteries, with a
reference battery25 of 6V, 4.5Ah, 0.82 kg.

23

Codes of Practice for Minimum Fire Service Installations and Equipment


(http://www.hkfsd.gov.hk/eng/source/safety/installation_2005.pdf)
24

Codes of Practice for Minimum Fire Service Installations and Equipment and Inspection and Testing of
Installations and Equipment, Fire Services Department, Hong Kong (1998).
25

Zeus Battery Products data Sheet, (http://batteries.zeusbatteryproducts.com/Asset/PC4.5-6.pdf)

AEC Limited, December, 2014 Report


Lead Acid Battery Consumption in Hong Kong

12

UPS Battery Installations 2009-2020

Year

Total Floor Area M

Estimated Tonnage of Lead Acid


Batteries

1
2
3

2009
2010
2011

105,443,400
105,576,900
105,481,600

634
662
692

4
5
6
7

2012
2013
2014
2015

105,927,800
106,177,400
106,326,000
106,474,900

723
756
790
825

8
9
10
11

2016
2017
2018
2019

106,624,000
106,773,200
106,922,700
107,072,400

862
901
942
984

12

2020

107,222,300

1028

Table 2. Projected UPS Battery Installations 2009-202026


(Quantity estimated using 0.45% growth. Estimated average weight per unit is 0.82 kg.)

Emergency Lighting for Road and Rail Tunnels in Hong Kong


Based on CATALOGUE OF HONG KONG TUNNELS (Up to August 2012)27
Estimation based on 230m per Lead Acid Battery Emergency Lighting System.
Replacement 3 kg battery - 10 year life expectancy.
Total Road Tunnels Floor Areas in Hong Kong (2012) = 2530708 m
No. of 3 kg battery = 11,003 units.
No. of Emergency Lighting in Railway Tunnels:
Total Railway Tunnels Floor Areas in Hong Kong (2012) = 1371623 m
No. of 3 kg battery = 5964 units.

26

Source: (Source: http://www.rvd.gov.hk/tc/property_market_statistics/completions.html)

27

Geotechnical Engineering Office, Civil Engineering and Development Department,


http://www.cedd.gov.hk/tc/publications/geo/doc/hktunnel_cat.pdf

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13

3.

Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for Data Centers


Digital Age
As the world is rapidly evolving from post-industrial into digital age, the Information and
Communication Technology sector is contributing an exponential income growth to the economy.
Hong Kong has made great strides over the years in Information Communication Technology (ICT)
applications which serve to increase our competitiveness and efficiency, and at the same time
bring more convenient and user-friendly services to the community.
Today, Hong Kong offers the world's most affordable Internet connection and mobile phone
service with penetration rates among the highest in the world.
Being an international trading and financial center with the unique advantage of having the
Mainland as our hinterland, Hong Kong is well placed to serve as a hub for technological
cooperation and trade in high-tech products and services. The presence of a technology cluster of
companies from different origins allows Hong Kong to contribute to cross-border technological
cooperation worldwide.28
Demand for Data Centers
This creates an insatiable demand for data centers right here in Hong Kong in order to process
and store the tsunami of information from all sectors of the society. It is interesting to note,
according to a well informed source, that there are at least 20 international data center operators
eyeing Hong Kong as a potential candidate for their expansion plans at any time.
Fuelled by the Governments Optimisation Scheme29 with a package of measures to optimise the
use of existing industrial buildings through encouraging redevelopment of industrial buildings
situated in non-industrial zones and conversion of entire existing industrial buildings; as well as
the formation of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO)30 which has set
up the Data Centre Facilitation Unit to provide one-stop helpdesk service to assist data center
operators interested in setting up data centers in Hong Kong. The development of data centers
has been remarkable by any standard.

28

Digital 21 Strategy, http://www.digital21.gov.hk/eng/index.htm

29

http://datacentre,gov.hk/en/availablelands_ib.html

30

Data Centre Facilitation Unit, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer The Government of
the Hong Kong SAR; Email: datacentre@ogcio.gov.hk; Tel: (852) 2582 4574

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14

According to 2009 Hong Kong Government survey, the total floor area of data centers in Hong
Kong was 2.3 million square feet. At the time, the estimated number of data center operators in
Hong Kong was about 53.
In 2012, Colliers International published a booklet31, in which they estimated the growth of data
centers in Hong Kong will reach 4.1 million square feet (380,902 m) by 2015. However, at the
time of preparing this report in December, 2014, our survey indicates the total floor area of data
centers from services providers in Hong Kong has already reached 7.3 million square feet
(729,666 m).
This is in line with the vision set out in its Digital 21 Strategy32 in developing Hong Kong into a hub
for technological cooperation and trade.
In House Data Centers
However, the surveyed area of 7.3 million square feet does not include the in-house Data Centers
within small and medium private enterprises (SME) and major institutions and sectors such as the
Airport Authority, MTRC, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities etc. According to the Digital Realtys Survey
of 2012, about 22% of Hong Kong companies have their own data facilities and would expand
themselves in 2012-2013. Based on this we can say the in-house data center in Hong Kong is at least
22%. As the survey did not included education establishments, we would estimate the overall is slightly
higher at 25%.33

Therefore, we estimate the total data center floor area in Hong Kong for 2014 to be 10 million square
feet (972,888 m2) and growing at a steady rate of 7% p.a.

31

Data Centre in Hong Kong - Colliers International Information Booklet, 2012

32

Digital 21 Strategy, http://www.digital21.gov.hk/eng/index.htm

33

Source: Digital Reality


https://www.google.com.hk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0
CBsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcontent.digitalrealty.com%2Fsfc%2Fservlet.shepherd%2Fversion%2F
download%2F06880000000jePD&ei=aD2iVIaCMXs8AW4tIGoCw&usg=AFQjCNGhsxrDbTPvVUu6Yl_9LGimCoE2nQ
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The following is the technical determination of the total power consumption and back up UPS of data
centers, based on the starting floor area of Data Center of 10 million square feet.
Internet Users in Hong Kong
In December 2014, at the time of preparing this report, the internet users in Hong Kong reached 5.8
million. This represents 79% penetration of the population34. BroadGroup estimates that around 8590% of Asian data center space is in-house (owned by corporates, government, SMEs), and this varies
from around 75% in Singapore to 9.1% in Indonesia35. It shows Hong Kong leads in internet penetration
in S.E Asian countries.
UPS Batteries for Data Centre Facilitation Unit
Below are the four specific tiers of datacenters:

34

Tier 1 99.671% uptime: Tier 1 providers do not pay IP transit, meaning they have a global
presence and don't pay other providers for any portion of their connectivity. These datacenters
are basic computer rooms that require a full shutdown for preventative maintenance. Annual
downtime is 28.8 hours.
Tier 2 99.741% uptime: Tier 2 networks have a national or international footprint, but still
pay IP transit to reach some portions of the Internet. These facilities have some redundancy
but still have a single path for power, requiring a shutdown for preventative maintenance.
Annual downtime is 22 hours.

Tier 3 99.982% uptime: Tier 3 networks are regional providers. Larger datacenters are
typically tier 3 networks and build redundancy through redundant POPs (points of presence)
outside of their facilities. Past the POPs, these providers pay for IP transit. These datacenters
have sufficient redundancy in place to allow for planned maintenance without downtime (N+1
redundancy.) Tier 3 datacenters are required to have at least 13.2 KV (kilo volts) of power.
Annual downtime is 1.6 hours.

Tier 4 99.995% uptime: Most data centers are tier 4 networks. They have their own
internal network but they pay other networks for IP transit outside of the facility. Tier 4 DCs are
the top tier. They are built with multiple paths to power and AC and are designed to cope with a

Internet Users By Country 2014, http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/

35

Source:
https://www.bicsi.org/uploadedFiles/BICSI_Website/Global_Community/Presentations_and_Photos/S
outheast_Asia/2012_SEA/2.1%20ASEAN%20Data%20Centre%20Market.pdf

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worst-case scenario with no critical impact. These datacenters are required to have at least
26.2 KV of power.36 Annual downtime is 0.4 hours.

Figure 3. Typical Power Supplies Schematic for a Data Center

Figure 4. Tier Category of Data Centers

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Figure 5. Redundancy Design Capacity for Different Tier Category.

In the past, many data centers were designed with reference to the Design Guideline with a provision of
electrical power between 50W to 100W per square foot. From 2009 to 2015 there is an annual growth
rate of 9.8 per cent in data centers, in particular, with popularity and data volume, the exponential
increase of smart phone data processing that is not considered as HD high density processing. In Hong
Kong, the industry observed an 18 percent growth in 2011 alone. According to the power equipment
suppliers, the current design provision of UPS for data centers is 150W per square foot, which has
been accepted as todays standard. However, the industry is growing at a very rapid speed and the
processing power and technology in servers have been increased at a breakneck rate. In a number of
international surveys, the power density of data centers around the world is most likely going in the
direction of 36kW/rack.
Beyond Silicon: the processors of the future
In 2007, Spiros Liolis, a forward thinker in Cloud Computing Initiatives and Converged DC Lead at HP
EMEA, projected that the power consumption in all data centers be would increasing to 4000-12000
w/m and 32kW per rack by 2015, with more heat to be absorbed by CRACs37. This is because the
CPU power has continued to rise in an amazing speed. Currently, the multicores CPU processing
37

Spiros Liolis, HP Data Center Transformation for Better Business Outcomes


http://www.osp.ru/data/313/942/1238/06.pdf

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power spills trillions of data quantity in TB per seconds, and these data signals need to be physically
converted in SDD chipsets and hard discs.
What might replace silicon chips when the technology reaches its limits? We investigate the options.
The worlds first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, was launched in 1971. It was a 4-bit design with a clock
speed of 740kHz, and contained a single core. Today we have 64-bit chips, clock speeds of 4.4GHz,
and up to a dozen cores. This phenomenal rate of change would be awe-inspiring had we not come to
expect constant improvements as the norm in the world of computing38.
It does not matter whether we move ahead to an Optical CPU or the outrageous DNA CPU in the future.
The data spilling out from this equipment still needs power for storage and retrievals. As long as the
scale of data bank is increasing with the CPU processing power, the storage and back-up system will
stay within the market in an upward trend. If we look at the slope of the Transistors Count in a CPU as
shown in the graph, we can see the trend for required power and UPS for data centers growth in the
near future on same slope.

Figure 6. Microprocessor count, the trend of data processing technology between 1971 2011.

38

By Mike Bedford | PC Advisor | 26 June 13http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/features/techindustry/3454672/processor-tech-of-future/

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In 2014, new online data centers such as NTT Data Centre in Tseung Kwang O are offering
15kW/rack power density to users39. In this report, it is strategically necessary to know what is
coming in the near future in this industry. An industry-wide initiative, spearheaded by Emerson
Network Power, to create a visionor multiple visionsof the future of the data centre. As part of
Data Center 2025, Emerson conducted interviews with key industry influencers, solicited feedback
from the industry at the Data Center 2025 online portal:
EmersonNetworkPower.com/DataCenter2025, and conducted an online survey that generated
more than 800 responses40. The online survey was conducted among data center and
telecommunications professionals in the U.S., Latin America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.
The survey included open-ended questions to collect unbiased expectations about the future of
the data center along with close-ended questions to collect quantifiable expectations about
changes in technology, business needs, ownership and required skills related to data centers.
Their survey indicated most people believe the power density in data centers will continue to rise
to 53kW per rack by the year 2025.

Figure 7. Projected Power Density in Data Centers 2025


Data Center 2025 is a global, industry-wide research initiative designed to engage the thought
leaders from all corners of the data centre industry in order to explore potential visions for the data
centre of the future. Emerson Network Power invited those who work with data centres directly
and indirectly to participate by taking a survey or by sharing their thoughts in freeform. More
than 800 professionals from around the world took the survey and dozens more participated via

39

Source: http://www.ntt.com/aboutus_e/news/data/20101007.html

40

Data Center 2025: Exploring the Possibilities http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/en-US/LatestThinking/Data-Center-2025/Documents/002401_DataCenter2025Report_HR_INTERACTIVE.PDF

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email, interviews and videos. The results of the initiative are detailed in a report, Data Center
2025: Exploring the Possibilities41.
Year

Fairly Likely

Most
Likely

Less Likely

2014

15.00

15

15

2015

21.00

19

16

2016

27.00

22

16

2017

33.00

26

17

2018

38.50

29

17

2019

44.50

33

17

2020

50.00

36

18

2021

56.00

39

18

2022

62.00

43

19

2023

68.00

46

19

2024

73.50

49

20

2025

80.00

53

20

Figure 8. Projected Global Power Density Trend in Data Centers 2014 2025
To ensure sufficient protection and account for growth, it is recommended to use a UPS that has a
VA capacity rating that is greater than the total power needed for the protected equipment, by at
least 15%. To account for the growth of existing data centers, we will need a UPS with greater VA
capacity than the total VA requirement. Most UPS data center planners recommend assuming at
least 15% growth over a five year period, though some actual plans for growth may require a
larger allowance. With a typical UPS battery module, the electrical capacity of the referenced
41

Source: http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/en-US/Latest-Thinking/Data-Center2025/Pages/default.aspx

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product is 57.6 Ah, 12 V, 23.05 kg. With a 30 minute provision, the estimated total number of
ULAB for Data Centres in Hong Kong for 2014 is 34,638 tonnes. Generally, data centres replace
their servers every 3 to 4 years. Therefore, we have estimated the replacement ULAB quantity
based on 3.5 year replacement. However, we have estimated the Data Centre growth rate in
Hong Kong at 7% year-on-year up to 2020 only, lower than the estimated 8.9% in the Region, as
there are limited land and facilities in Hong Kong42.
China now accounts for 30% of data centre white space in the Asia Pacific region (excluding
Japan), according to the latest research from DatacenterDynamics Intelligence (DCDi). The report,
Asia Pacific Key Trends received responses from 521 organizations across the region, which
were then used to collect key data on data centre growth, trends in space, power, investment and
new technologies. More than 70% of these respondents were working in a senior management
position.
In total, Census respondents for APAC represented 5,090,000 m of white space - a figure which
in itself grew by 7% in 2013.
It found China has continued to show the highest rate of growth in terms of white space in the
region at 24% in 2014, however, the rate of growth overall across the region has slowed in
comparison to the previous year.43

42

Source: Grand View Research, Data Center UPS Market Analysis By Product (Small Data Centers,
Medium Data Centers, Large Data Centers) And Segment Forecasts To 2020
43

Source: http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2013/12/china-leads-asia-pacific-datacenter-growth

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Year

2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020

Floor Area (000


m 2)

Most Likely Power


Density (kW/rack)

UPS provisions
(MW)

973
1041
1114
1192
1275
1365
1460

15
21
27
33
39
45
50

1571
2353
3237
4233
5285
6536
7858

Figure 9. Estimated data centre floor space growth in Hong Kong 2014 2020.

Year

Total UPS (T)

Recycle ULAB (TPA)

2014
2015

34,638
51,888

9,897
14,825

2016
2017
2018
2019

71,383
93,354
116,536
144,127

20,395
26,672
33,296
41,179

2020

173,276

49,507

Figure 10. Estimated quantity of UPS Lead Acid Batteries in Data Centers in Hong Kong 2014 2020.
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Conclusion
Based on the existing/available information, we have estimated the number of Lead Acid Battery
installations in Hong Kong in the year 2020 from Transportation, Buildings and Tunnels, and Data
Centers would be 33,852 tons, 1,079 tons and, 173,276 tons respectively. Total Lead Acid Battery
installations would be 208,207 tons with the reference replacement periods at 2 years for
Transportation, 10 years for Buildings and Tunnels, and 3.5 years for Data Centers. The potential of
replacement ULAB for recycling in Hong Kong in year 2020 is 16,926 tons, 216 tons, 49,507 tons
respectively, totaling 62,796 tonnes per annum by 2020.
Application
SLI
Buildings, Road and
Railway Tunnels
Data Centers

2020 ULAB Tonnes


per year
13073

Total

216
49,507
62,796

Figure 11. Estimated quantity of ULAB in Hong Kong in 2020.

References:
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Hong Kong Transport Department http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_281/table41a.pdf


Hong Kong Rating and Valuation Department http://www.rvd.gov.hk/tc/property_market_statistics/completions.html)
Data Centre Facilitation Unit, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer The Government
of the Hong Kong SAR; Email: datacentre@ogcio.gov.hk; Tel: (852) 2582 4574;
Hong Kong Industry https://www.industryhk.org/english/fp/fp_hki/files/common/HKI_1210_Focus_e.pdf
Collier Internationals Study (2012) on Data Processing Centres
Source: China Industrial Association of Power Sources CIAPS
Anatomy of Datacenters www.websitemagazine.com

Hong Kong Waste Disposal Ordinance Chapter 354 c


http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/897C4EC786B2EA10482575EE0
06F1BEA/$FILE/CAP_354C_e_b5.pdf

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