Is DC Power Heading for Your Data Center?

Could DC power be an energy-saving game changer in the data center industry?

As power densities expand, colocation and hyperscale data center operators need to take advantage of every opportunity to decrease power consumption. Is it possible that 380V direct current (DC) might be the solution?

To answer that query, it’s important to understand the history behind AC (alternating current) and DC power, the pros and cons of using DC power in data centers, and the potential future of DC power.

Some History: AC vs. DC                                                   

The world might be altered if Thomas Edison had won the power war back in the 1800s. In addition to inventing the lightbulb, Edison was the inventor and patent holder of an electrical distribution system based on direct electric current. He established the first electric utility company in New York in 1882 to supply electricity to 59 customers. By the late 1890s, he had constructed and was operating 100+ direct electric power plants in the Northeast.

His jolt to deploy DC power plants ended after one of his employees (Nikola Tesla) joined George Westinghouse; together, they developed an AC power distribution system. The AC power plant was significantly efficient than Edison’s DC plant; AC power plants could distribute power to customers over hundreds of miles compared to DC power plants that needed to be placed within a few miles of homes and offices.

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