Roundup: DC Power Distribution Making News

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There have been a couple of noteworthy developments in the ongoing discussion of the benefits of DC power distribution in improving data center energy efficiency. For those just joining this story: Advocates of DC power distribution say it offers greater energy efficiency, citing the loss of power through multiple AC/DC conversions to charge UPS batteries. But many data center professionals remain leery of DC power, and some vendors argue that high-voltage AC configurations would be a better approach than DC power distribution.

Here’s a look at DC-related news from the past week:

New DC Install at Swiss Hosting Company: ABB will design and install an advanced DC power distribution system for green.ch, one of the top information and communications technology (ITC) service providers in Switzerland, the company said today. ABB will install a fully redundant 1 megawatt DC power distribution solution for the 1,500 square meter (16,000 square foot) expansion of the existing 3,300 square meter (35,500 square foot) data center. It will be designed and engineered by Validus DC Systems, which ABB acquired in May to boosts its presence in the data center power market. The green.ch data center in Lupfig, in north-central Switzerland has been selected as ABB’s demonstration site for its new DC technology. “Our goal is to employ the most reliable and cost-effective technology while providing global data center services at the highest standards of output, security and environmental stewardship,” said Franz Grüter, the CEO of green.ch. “ABB’s experience with DC electrical solutions and skilled technical support means we are very confident of gaining an advantage in this fast-evolving market. Our company name is a statement for ecology. The new DC technology of ABB allows us to fulfill our environmental responsibilities as part of our long-term goals.”

Delta Electronics Offers DC Power Solution: Taiwan-based power management solutions provider Delta Electronics, Inc., a world-leading power management solutions provider, has launched a Data Center Power Solution that includes a complete product portfolio of DC UPS Systems, PDUs (power distribution units), and server power supplies for more energy efficient data center applications. “Delta is committed to providing the most efficient and reliable power solution for customers worldwide as they cope with their data centers’ ever-increasing demand for power,” said Dr. Herman Chang, General Manager of Infrastructure Energy Solutions Business Group, Delta Electronics. “We are glad that more and more customers are partnering with Delta to develop green data centers, which not only benefits their businesses but also the environment.” Delta built the custom power supplies and UPS systems for the Facebook/Open Compute data center in Prineville, Oregon.

eMerge Alliance Expands: An industry association for DC power adoption has announced additional members. The EMerge Alliance said that GE Energy, Intel Corporation, Universal Electric Corporation/Starline DC Solutions, Power-One, NextEnergy Center and Dynamic Supplier Alignment had joined the group. is advancing a 380-volt DC power standard as part of its hybrid alternating current (AC) and DC microgrid platform. The EMerge Alliance says its open architecture focuses on reducing or eliminating inefficient AC to DC conversions. “There is an increasing demand for improved reliability and energy efficiency across the entire commercial building envelope, and DC power is the most efficient solution,” said Alliance Chairman Brian Patterson. “We’re very pleased to see these companies join the visionaries who started this movement. The time has never been better to join the DC power movement and provide solutions that make buildings more efficient, flexible and sustainable than ever before.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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