AC versus DC Power Distribution in the Data Center

TitleAC versus DC Power Distribution in the Data Center
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJones K
AbstractSince their emergence as a critical internet-enabling tool, data centers have been highly dependent upon the AC (alternating current) electricity required by power intensive servers, cooling, and communications equipment. Since the majority of the end-use equipment in a data center uses various levels of DC (direct current) voltage, the discussion of AC versus DC for power distribution has garnered significant interest over the past ten years. One major stumbling block to effectively utilize DC power in the distribution world was the inefficiency and difficulty required to go from one voltage level to another. Improvements in power electronics have enabled engineers to develop circuits capable of inexpensively transforming DC voltages. This raises the question, “Why not DC?” The discussion of AC versus DC in the data center has centered around five major areas: efficiency, reliability, cost, safety, and the integration of other sources. Each of these aspects will be examined in this paper.