Exploring the Potential of 415 VAC Power Distribution in Data Centers to Boost Power Efficiency

Exploring the Potential of 415 VAC Power Distribution in Data Centers to Boost Power Efficiency

High physical density and high power density go “hand in hand” when it comes to the data center. That’s according to a new report from Server Technology that contends that to maximize both without having to pay for specialty infrastructure, many data centers have found it attractive to deploy 415V 3-phase AC power to the rack when exploring power distribution options.

Power Distribution

Get the full report.

The new paper from Server Technology gives the reasons why this is a cost-effective alternative for many applications.

According to Server Technology, within enterprise data centers, power used for operating the facility, lighting, running IT loads and cooling it is often the largest component of operational expense (OPEX) of the facility.

Via the new report, the company discusses various approaches to reduce power consumption and increase end-to-end efficiency in the data center “by bringing 415 VAC power to the IT cabinet/ rack level.”

As aforementioned, power densities are on the rise. Consequently, data center managers are exploring more efficient solutions, as power cost ramps up and availability decreases.

“The power path from the building entrance to the IT loads contains several power converters and transformers to perform each conversion; there is a loss of power,” the report states. “Reducing the number of transformers and operating at a higher voltage improves efficiency and reduces electrical costs.”

But their may be an alternative approach for North American data centers. Server Technology contends this alternative lies with bringing 415 VAC power to the IT cabinet/rack level.

“Power and cost savings in the data center can be achieved by reducing the number of power transformations and by operating at higher voltages,” the report shares.

And it points out the 415 VAC power distribution system that is used in much of the world outside of North America is now beginning to gain a foothold within the U.S. and Canada.

To offer a better understanding of the potential benefits of a 415 VAC system, Server Technology says one must consider what is necessary to deliver redundant power to a rack of high density blade servers. The report offers a table using the power configuration calculator from a major blade system manufacturers that shows four different approaches to delivering this amount of power to the rack along with the number of power drops needed to provide redundancy. (get the full report for more)

According to Server Technology, efficiency gains by implementing a 415 VAC design are typically 4 to 5%. And incremental increases in efficiencies have the potential, of course, to translate to significant cost savings.

Download the full report, “Power Efficiency Gains by Deploying 415 VAC Power Distribution in North American Data Centers,” courtesy of Server Technology, to explore an alternative approach to power distribution presently being implemented in North American data centers that can potentially increase efficiencies and savings by reducing upfront capital costs, power consumption and floor space.

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