Integrating green power with the data center …


Tonight’s green data center thoughts come from reading about data center green power and sizing data center power infrastructure. What I’m going to consider is how these things connect together.

It’s certainly the case that AC based data center power systems are complex to engineer without over engineering. On one hand, you don’t want to lay out a ton of extra money and waste energy by running power systems at low utilization. On the other hand, you don’t want to be expending large amounts of extra money ripping out and replacing too small systems.

Data center DC power is far easier to deal with. DC power plants are generally modular so they can be easily expanded at need. Also, DC power distribution can accomodate multiple rectifier plants and battery strings to add capacity. It’s quite easy to “tune” a data center DC plant to operate in it’s efficient sweet spot.

It’s increasingly apparent that on site power generation is going to become a necessity with the complicated carbon footprint rules coming. Even if you’re not going to install local alternative power generation on site immediately, it’s still a smart idea to choose the power system that will allow integration with alternative power.

Of the choice between AC and DC, DC is by far the easiest system to add alternative forms of power to. Couple this with the ability to build out the bulk of a data center DC power plant without having to waste money operating it inefficiently and nothing gets greener than DC power in the data center.

Vern, SwiftWater Telecom

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