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April 11, 2011

Appliance Deployment: 5 Reasons Why DC Power for Data Centers is More Efficient

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor


With the frail state of the current economy, there is a huge demand for more power and performance, while remaining a “green” choice for appliance deployment. All of these aspects lead data centers to DC power. DC power has the ability to offer a great degree of increased efficiency and here are five reasons why.

To being, fewer conversions are needed when using DC power. According to a recent NEI blog, typically in data centers, 15k VAC must be stepped-down in a transformer, sent through an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), passed through a power distribution unit (PDU), then delivered as AC input to a server where it is finally converted to DC voltage to power microprocessors, memory and drives. But when using DC architecture, the 15k VAC power line voltage is immediately converted to high voltage DC, then reduced to 48 VDC to power low voltage DC servers. This reduces heat, while improving efficiency.

If you use less heat, you will need a reduced amount of cooling. Because less heat is produced, less cooling is necessary. The second biggest power sucker is HVAC, ranking only after servers in data centers. Reducing power conversions basically means more power can now be sent directly to the servers, thus allowing for the cooling systems to have a reduced amount of work required.

Because less equipment is needed to successfully complete power conversions, less space is needed. This means you can optimize your capacity without ever having to increase the allotted space.

A high degree of reliability is implemented through DC Power, because fewer parts are needed, this leads to a lot less malfunctions within specific parts of the equipment. With traditional AC architecture, each power conversion goes to a different component which has the potential to fail. If it does in fact fail, this will lead to unproductive downtime. DC architecture only requires a two or three step conversion process, which helps to greatly reduce the risk of downtime, due to power component failure.

DC architecture quickly reaches 48 VDC, considered “touch safe” from a code perspective, is completely opposite in comparison to the AC architecture which has multiple, potentially deadly interaction points. This reduces a dangerous situation that can risk the lives of employees, which would again lead to downtime and decreased productivity.


Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee


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