Originally posted by Jim Stark, P.E. Principal of Engineering, Electronic Environments Corporation

Electronic Environment Infrastructure SolutionsWith promises of increased energy efficiency and reliability, the idea of using DC power in the data center is not a new one. But, advancements today in the distribution system make it more viable than ever.

Traditional data center power distribution includes several voltage power conversions between the electric utility and the server. Distribution transformers, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, and power distribution units (PDU) all introduce AC 380VDC(alternating current) to DC (direct current) conversions and voltage transformations in the power chain which lead to wasted energy. A typical power distribution system can include:

  • Conversion from 480VAC to 480VDC within the UPS system
  • Conversion from 480VDC back to 480VAC within the UPS system
  • Transformation from 480VAC to 208VAC at the PDU
  • Conversion from 208VAC to DC voltages within the server power supply

Distributing power at DC voltages eliminates unnecessary power conversions. DC voltage can be distributed directly to the server power supplies, rather than converting the DC power in the UPS back to AC power and then converting back again to DC at the server. The reduction of power conversions can result in efficiency gains of 10 to 20% depending on the age and technology of the power equipment. DC power distribution is not a new concept in the data center industry, but recent developments have made it more feasible and practical than in the past. Telecommunications companies have appreciated the efficiency and reliability of DC power systems for decades. Some of the benefits of DC power distribution over AC power distribution include:

  • Fewer power conversions between AC and DC voltages increases system efficiency and reduces energy costs
  • Fewer power conversions results in a smaller parts count which leads to improved reliability and can reduce maintenance costs
  • Harmonic distortion and phase balancing are not a concern with DC power distribution which eliminates the need for power

View this post in its entirety by visiting the EEC blog at http://blog.eecnet.com/eecnetcom/bid/113528/Advancements-in-380V-DC-Power-Offers-Data-Centers-New-Opportunities-to-Reduce-Energy-Loss-and-Improve-Reliability