Critical Power: Electrical systems and data center efficiency
Whether producing, consuming, or measuring and verifying (M&V), electrical systems play an important role in data center energy efficiency. When it comes to data center electrical efficiency, all sources of energy use in the facility must be considered.
Whether producing, consuming, or measuring and verifying (M&V), electrical systems play an important role in data center energy efficiency. When it comes to data center electrical efficiency, all sources of energy use in the facility must be considered. In addition to the computers and servers, data center infrastructure includes both mechanical and electrical components—all of which "consume" energy and affect electrical efficiency. While energy use of many data center components may be obvious, understanding energy use of the electrical distribution system components can be elusive. It's important for engineers to know how the electrical system affects data center efficiency. Engineers must also balance power usage effectiveness (PUE) and electrical efficiency with reliability when designing data center electrical systems.
Electrical engineers may consider electrical meters, automatic and static transfer switches, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, and powering IT equipment directly from utility power when determining and managing the amount of power used at various locations throughout the data center.
- Explain data center energy production and its sources.
- Interpret energy-efficiency electrical distribution components and topologies.
- Assess electrical power management systems (EPMS) and power usage effectiveness (PUE).
- Explain the applicable codes and standards: ASHRAE: Standard 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings; IEEE 3006.7-2013: Recommended Practice for Determining the Reliability of 7x24 Continuous Power Systems in Industrial and Commercial Facilities; and NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC).
Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP, SmithGroupJJR, Chicago
Ken Kutsmeda, PE, LEED AP, Jacobs, Philadelphia
Moderator: Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief and Content Manager, Consulting-Specifying Engineer and Pure Power, CFE Media