To facilitate the hybrid use of DC power within data centers and telecommunications central offices, the EMerge Alliance recently unveiled a standard for systems that feed 380V DC power straight to IT equipment in data centers and telecommunications buildings.
Using DC power distribution in data centers significantly improves reliability and reduces equipment and operating costs, according to Dennis Symanski, senior project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and chair of the Alliance’s technical standard committee for data and telecommunications centers.
“The benefits are clear. By requiring fewer components and conversions than their AC counterparts, DC power systems in data centers suffer fewer heat-related failures and require less space, energy and maintenance to operate,” Symanski said. “DC power collection and distribution systems also simplify the use of locally generated power, providing an effective integration of on-site energy generation and storage with direct delivery of controlled power. “
However, power supplies in the majority of IT products on the market are not designed to accept high-voltage DC power, according to a Datacenter Dynamics report.
“This means data center users who want such power distribution systems need to have power supplies in their IT gear replaced,” the report said.
The concept is reportedly a controversial one within the data center industry, and high-voltage DC systems have not seen widespread adoption.
The Emerge Alliance Data (News - Alert)/Telecom Standard was designed to integrate with the alliance’s other standards to form a family of area-specific DC microgrids, according to Alliance Chairman Brian Patterson.
“DC power is a key component in net-zero-energy building and our growing organization of more than 100 members continues to make progress with standards for the occupied space, data and telecommunications centers, building services and outdoor applications to achieve our vision for improved energy efficiency, flexibility and sustainability throughout buildings,” Patterson said.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey