Top 5 Reasons why DC Power for Data Centers is More Efficient

Apr 01, 2011

A difficult economy, demands for more power and performance, and increased emphasis on “green” solutions all point in one direction for data center power: DC. Offering increased efficiency, DC power has finally evolved to a point where it has definitely come of age. Here are the top 5 reasons why data center DC power is more efficient.

  1. Fewer conversions. In a typical data center scenario, 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. All of these efforts to store and convert the signal produce heat and reduce efficiency. Using a 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 and improves efficiency.
  2. Less heat = less cooling. Because less heat is generated, less cooling is necessary. HVAC is the second biggest power user after servers in data centers. Reducing power conversions means more power goes directly to the servers, but, more importantly, it means the cooling systems has less work to do.
  3. Smaller footprint. With less equipment installed for power conversions, less space is needed for these secondary systems. This means greater computing equipment density. You can achieve greater capacity without increasing space.
  4. Greater reliability. It is a fundamental design principal: fewer parts lead to fewer breakdowns. With traditional AC architecture, each power conversion introduces one more component which can fail, leading to downtime. DC architecture with its two or three step conversion process reduces the risk of downtime due to power component failure.
  5. Safety first. Unlike AC architecture, which have multiple, potentially deadly interaction points, DC architecture quickly reaches 48 VDC, considered “touch safe” from a code perspective. This reduces risk to personnel, again reducing a potential source of downtime.

The Future

A “green” data center power solution offering greater efficiency, increased compute density, and reduced risk has all the characteristics of the wave of the future. With new servers available specifically designed for DC power input, data center DC power is a solution you can’t afford not to know about.

Category: Data Center