Maybe alternating current (AC) generators have been used more because they are of simpler construction than direct current (DC) generators, but whatever the rationale may be DC is making a comeback. In data centers, at least.
Servers, landline telephone systems, several electric motors, batteries, ships and airplanes all run on DC. Facebook (News - Alert) adopted DC architecture for its Prineville, Ore. data center, ABB bought a controlling interest in Validus DC systems, which specializes in DC data center equipment, and General Electric bought Lineage Power, producer of DC equipment.
AC has been the primary method of electricity transmission and distribution because of the ease of converting AC voltage to the levels used by household appliances and other equipment. DC transmission becomes an option when it’s necessary to transmit large quantities of power over long distances.
The biggest appeal about DC power is that it can greatly reduce data center power consumption. SAP (News - Alert) cut its energy bills by $24,000 per year due to a DC powered data center.
DC data centers require 25 to 40 percent less square footage than their AC counterparts because computer equipment can connect directly to backup batteries.
According to Trent Waterhouse, vice president of marketing for power electronics at General Electric, a data center can cut utility bills by 10 to 20 percent or more by converting from AC to DC.
DC is also produced by solar panels, which can help buildings by transferring that power to DC-powered LED lights with not-intermediate conversions that sap energy. Redwood Systems’ technology, a lighting networking company, is an example of DC networking.
Reduction in data center power consumption with DC power also reminds companies of the importance of monitoring a data center. Server Technology (News - Alert), provider of power management solutions for data centers and telecommunications, offers products to keep companies in control and improve their data center and telecommunications services.
Its products feature a variety of cabinet power distribution units (CDUs) that enable network access for remote power management to reboot severs and network gear, including Switched CDU, Smart CDU, Metered CDU, Per Outlet Power Sensing CDU and Basic CDU.
Server Technology’s products help companies control and manage power, reduce operating expenses, enhance reliability, remotely manage power to equipment, and it provides information and analytics to improve energy efficiency.
A recent report by Tech Target gives tips for more efficient use of data center power, including creating an environment that is conscious of power consumption and calculating data center power usage effectiveness (PUE).
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Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.Rachel Ramsey is a TMCnet editorial assistant, contributing news items and feature articles on a variety of communications and technology topics. Rachel has previously worked in PR and communications at The Wriglesworth Consultancy, an award-winning London PR firm. She has also contributed to the creative services department at CBS 3 and The CW Philly in Philadelphia. To read more of Rachel's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves