Standard Facilitates Hybrid AC and DC Power Usage in Data/ Telecommunication Centers

The San Ramon, Calif.-based EMerge Alliance, an open industry association leading the rapid adoption of safe direct-current (DC) power distribution standards for commercial buildings, has announced the completion of the EMerge Alliance Data/Telecom Center Standard. The standard creates an integrated, open platform for power, infrastructure, peripheral device and control applications to facilitate the hybrid use of AC and DC power within data centers and telecommunications central offices. This change in power distribution architecture involves making a single conversion of the incoming line of AC voltage to 380VDC and then distributing it directly to rack-mounted ICT equipment, simplifying the otherwise unnecessarily complex power-management provisions generally used in today’s AC-powered data centers.

According to Dennis Symanski, senior project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., and chair of the alliance’s technical standard committee for data and telecommunications centers, using DC power distribution in data centers significantly improves reliability and reduces equipment and operating costs. “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 says. “DC power collection and distribution systems also simplify the use of locally generated power, providing an effective integration of onsite energy generation and storage with direct delivery of controlled power.”

“The EMerge Alliance Data/Telecom Standard was designed to integrate with our other standards to form a family of area-specific DC microgrids that, when interconnected, create a resilient and versatile building or campus energy network,” says Brian Patterson, the alliance’s chairman. “DC power is a key component in net-zero-energy buildings, 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.” For more information, visit www.emergealliance.org.

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