The Impact of the 2005 Energy Policy Act on Sustainable IT Equipment
Jul 25, 2012
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was enacted to reduce energy consumption by 2 percent per year in all federal installations, including computer labs and data centers, and directly impacts how sustainable IT equipment is specified and installed. In addition to annual goals for power reduction, the Act also specifies that new facilities be designed to levels 30 percent below existing ASHRAE standards.
For data center designers, this requires a concerted effort to reduce heat load, increase computing density, and take advantage of green IT technologies. Some industry leaders are utilizing 380V DC power supplies for data center power needs to help increase reliability, reduce energy consumption, increase efficiency, and simplify installations.
The government’s push for an increased usage of renewable energy and sustainable IT equipment in its facilities underscores the broader need for energy conservation across all sectors of the economy. Data centers consume 1.5% of all electric power and traditionally use AC power stepped down several times before finally converting it to DC at the microprocessor and component level. Each step-down causes losses in efficiency and generates heat. When 380V DC power supplies are incorporated into the power loop, 15kV AC is converted one time directly to DC, where it is used throughout the data center. As sustainable IT equipment becomes more efficient and uses less DC power to operate, the power supplied through one 380V DC system can run more equipment with equal or less energy consumption and much greater reliability.
The Japanese have been major proponents of 380V DC power, and the movement is beginning to gain traction in the United States as IT managers begin to realize the benefits provided by such a system. In addition to reduced heat load and lower overall energy consumption, systems that run on supplied 380V DC power have fewer parts that need to be maintained, which again drives the sustainable IT equipment trend. They also have a smaller footprint and are more scalable than traditional AC-supplied data centers. Having DC power supplied directly to the data center also makes possible the direct input of renewable green energy sources such as solar and wind power to the facility grid, since they also generate direct current power.
As data centers look for efficiencies in both computing space and energy reduction along with sustainable IT equipment, the push for 380V DC power will likely intensify.
Deploying in a Data Center? Visit our Data Center page online or contact NEI today at (800) 977-1010 to learn more about 380V DC based platforms. We offer a broad range of services that ease deployment challenges and get your solutions to market faster, better and more cost effectively.