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Data Center Power Company Talks 480/277V at IBM Symposium
Server Technology (News - Alert) was proud to play its part in IBM’s Power Technology Symposium this year, which took place May 10-11 in Raleigh, N.C., by presenting on efficiency gains with 480/277V power at the cabinet level.
For the first time, the data center power monitoring company was afforded the opportunity to have a member of its team speak at the event, which offers in-depth technical presentations and discussions based on topics related to efficient, high current power conversion, and packaging. This year’s symposium theme was “Power Technology for a Smarter Planet."
Server Technology’s goal at the symposium was to enlighten audience members about the efficiency gains to be had with 480/277V power but point out how utilizing 415/240 volt technology still makes more sense.
“The objective was to convey a couple of things for Server Technology,” Marc Cram, director of OEM and global accounts for Server Technology and presenter at the IBM (News - Alert) event, told TMCnet. “One is that there are efficiency gains to be had by implementing a 480/277 volt architecture in the data center and secondly that while those gains are good, cost wise we feel like the sweet spot is still at the 415/240 volt technology. The reason for that is the standards have not yet been set on the 480/277 volt and so there’s not a widespread availability of power supplies at that 277 volt input range.”
Although the goal of the presentation was to discuss the possibilities and potential value associated with the 480/277 volt technology such as reduced energy losses resulting in op-ex savings; increased capacity; reduced equipment expenses; reduced space requirements; fewer breakers at the RPP; fewer cable runs in the plenum; and reduced copper – 415/240 is still the way to go for right now.
While Server Technology has offered both 480/277 and 415/240 volt technologies for a few years, in the past six months more customers have been coming to the data center power monitoring company asking about adopting 480/277. One of the biggest reasons for this surge is that about two years ago, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group along with Data Center Pulse (News - Alert) spoke about the need for 480/277 for the data center and people have started thinking along those lines, according to Cram.
Facebook is the most recent company to turn to the technology in an effort to enjoy operational savings and associated green benefits.
Despite the advantages to the technology, however, Server Technology wants to remind about the limitations associated with 480/277.
“The downside of adopting 480 is lack of standards, potentially higher capital expenditures and it’s not suited for retrofits; it’s more suited for green field, new construction,” Cram said. “Anybody having legacy hardware that they need to carry over from one data center to the next is not going to want to adopt 277 volt because they have a limitation with the power supplies of existing equipment. They would have to go out and put in additional transformers to take 277 back down to 208 volt.”
When Server Technology meets with customers, it asks questions about how the customers intend to use the data center and what outcomes they are expecting so as to determine which voltage technology to recommend. Although the company often favors the 415/240 volt technology, for those that want 480/277, Server Technology can still help out.
“We will support whatever that leading-edge technology is and be very committed to helping out clients drive their businesses forward with whatever they feel that they need to do to be more efficient and to save money,” Julie Brown, marketing manager for Server Technology, told TMCnet.
Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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