<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-WHST8N" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Stay Powered Blog

On the Benefits of Alternating Phase

Posted by RJ Tee on Oct 10, 2017 1:40:56 PM

alt-phase.jpg

Lately, we’ve been extolling the virtues of single phase 60A power distribution to the rack.  But there are still may situations in which a three phase deployment is required to power the needs of racks that consume 12kW or more.  In other words, situations that begin with ‘high’ and end with ‘density.’

The tricky part of three phase power is the accompanying balancing act.

We don’t mean from a financial or breaker panel standpoint, or even being able to walk a tightrope.  Just the simple chore of making sure the phases are equally loaded.  That’s easy enough to say about monolithic deployments of IT gear, but much tougher in real-world applications with multiple device types all cozied up in 42U of space.

To be sure, the issue of equally loaded phases is not just a matter of additional heat load or power inefficiency.  Poorly balanced circuits can overheat and breakers can trip.  And ‘trip’ is not a word we like to hear in the mission-critical world.

Now, here is where it gets interesting.

Server Technology takes a unique approach to the placement of the outlets on the power strip with a method called ‘Alternating Phase.’  Traditional PDUs have the X, Y, and Z phases grouped together:  X,X,X; Y,Y,Y; Z,Z,Z.  In an Alternating Phase configuration, those phases are grouped X,Y,Z; X,Y,Z; X,Y,Z.  Plugging into a different phase is then a matter of inches, not a long power cord run to the bottom of the rack.  To get a visual, take a look at our Technical Note to see pictures of the resulting differences between the two methodologies.

Certainly Alternating Phase outlets are more difficult to wire inside the PDU itself, right?  Server Technology has tackled that problem in a unique way.  Instead of using wiring, we keep the form factor of the PDU small by distributing power via a multi-layer circuit board to each of the phases.  Our patented approach also solves two other potential issues:  heat gain within the rack PDU, and the potential for human error during the manufacturing process.

Don’t take it from me.  Look for yourself at our HDOT Alternating Phase Flyer, or venture over to our Online PDU Building Tool to generate your own unique alternating phase rack PDU.  For help getting started, look at all the available PDU features from Server Technology.

Click to

Topics: 3 Phase power, three phase, load balancing, three phase power

How to Calculate Three Phase Power in the Data Center (And Why it’s Important)

Posted by RJ Tee on Jun 5, 2017 9:28:30 AM

HEADER-how-to-calculate-3-phase.jpg

To illustrate the importance of calculating three phase power in the data center, let’s pretend you are going to cook a meal for a big group of people. As simple as it sounds, first you’ll need to figure out how many guests will be arriving so you don’t run out of food and wind up in a pinch.

In the data center, this planning process is called capacity planning. Only in this case, instead of feeding food to people, you are feeding electricity to servers.

Electricity is expensive, and dangerous; if you exceed your allotted power thresholds, you could wind up paying more and damaging your equipment or starting a fire. So before you approach an electrician about purchasing power breakers and cables, it’s important to have a clear idea of how much power each room will require.

So, how do you actually go about this?”

“To me the easiest way to solve three phase problems is to convert them to a single phase problem,” explains Steven McFayden of myElectricalEngineering. “Take a three phase motor (with three windings, each identical) consuming a given kW.  The kW per winding (single phase) has to be the total divided by 3.  Similarly a transformer (with three windings, each identical) supplying a given kVA will have each winding supplying a third of the total power.  To convert a  three phase problem to a single phase problem take the total kW (or kVA) and divide by three.”

Server Technology makes it easy to calculate three phase power in the data center, with the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform and purpose-built, three-phase power distribution units (PDUs).

To learn more, click here.

Topics: Sentry Power Manager, three phase, three phase power

Single vs. Three Phase Power Distribution - Know the Difference

Posted by RJ Tee on Jan 30, 2017 9:48:00 AM

HEADER-single-vs-three-phase-power.jpg

Electricity is the single most important resource in a data center, as it’s needed for powering every system — from the servers on the floor to the lights overhead.

At the same time, electricity is incredibly expensive, dangerous and easy to mismanage — especially when considering the sheer volume of power that is typically used. Some facilities, after all, use enough electricity to power hundreds of thousands of homes. Even though energy efficiency is now top of mind for data center administrators, there’s no getting around the fact that data centers consume a great deal of power. As such, it’s vital to have the correct underlying power distribution system in place before moving in and setting up any equipment.

Many customers, however, are still asking whether they should use single or three-phase power in their data centers. This article will explore the basic differences between the two systems.

What makes these systems different?

Single-phase power systems distribute up to 120V of alternating current. This current is distributed over two wires: A single, active conductor and a neutral one. The current changes size and direction at regular intervals. Single-phase wires are usually grounded at the switchboard.  

These systems are mostly used in residential settings that have small workloads. They are rarely used in data centers today, as the majority of cabinets are too dense and require more electricity than single-phase systems can provide. And this is where three-phase systems come into play.

What makes three-phase power distribution the better choice for data centers?

Three-phase power systems are comprised of three alternating currents, each varying in phase by 120 degrees.

To illustrate the difference between single and three-phase power distribution, think of waves crashing onto a beach. Normally a wave crashes, recedes back into the ocean and then a few seconds later another wave follows. This is like a single-phase alternating current.

Now, imagine there is no time between waves as they crash onto shore. As soon as one wave hits, another is there to follow, and then another. This is what three-phase alternating current looks like. The power flow never ebbs; it always flows. It’s the difference between using a single 120V alternating current for power, versus one that combines a 208V circuit with three more 120V circuits.

So, if someone is recommending single-phase power distribution for your data center, make sure you get a second opinion from a certified power expert. If you are operating a large data center that is carrying heavy workloads, you should strongly consider using a three-phase power distribution system.

Server Technology offers a variety of solutions that support three-phase electricity systems, as well as the Sentry Power Manager (SPM), a centralized data center power monitoring and management platform. 

To learn more about Server Technology, click here.

Topics: three phase, single phase, three phase power

On a Budget? Here’s How to Get More Rack Power Cheaply and Safely

Posted by Eric Giacomini on Jan 13, 2015 4:49:00 PM

Like most data centers, your server racks are becoming increasingly dense as you adopt cutting-edge new technologies. This is creating the need for more power in your data center. Your challenge, therefore, is to increase power to each individual rack safely and affordably.

But you are limited in your ability to meet this challenge due to escalating power prices in some parts of the country, particularly in New England where there is a natural gas shortage. Many businesses are also rebounding from the stagnant economy, meaning budgets are still under close surveillance.

So what’s the best solution to deliver power to your server racks? The answer is to migrate to a three-phase power distribution system. Three-phase power distribution generates and distributes an alternating current, which means power that is typically run into the ground in single-phase architecture can be pumped back into the data center. In other words, you gain more power without having to purchase an additional amount when you employ three-phase distribution; you simply optimize the distribution method.

How effective is three-phase power distribution? Research shows that it can increase the available power in a rack by as much as 300 percent. Installing the technology also reduces your copper conductor count, too—meaning you will have more storage capacity.

One of the best parts about three-phase power distribution is that it is safe. Since it uses more branches, there is less chance of experiencing an overload that could severely damage your equipment.

Server Technology’s advanced line of power distribution units (PDUs) combines three-phase power distribution with advanced local and remote power and environmental monitoring capabilities, so you can keep a close watch on your equipment at all times.

Click here  to read Server Technology’s white paper about three-phase power distribution in the data center. 

Topics: density, PDU, Power, power distribution, Server Technology, three phase, natural gas

Upgrade Your Power Distribution With HDOT Alt. Phase PDUs

Posted by Travis Irons on Aug 22, 2014 9:24:00 AM

describe the image

Challenge:

Right now data center power consumption is on the rise in North America, as the number of racks increased by 9.1 percent in Canada and 4.3 percent in the U.S. in 2013. All signs are showing this trend continuing through 2014 and beyond as data centers standardize on high-density equipment to achieve more processing power in a smaller space.

As power requirements increase, data center managers everywhere are looking for ways to deliver more power to the computer cabinet in a cost-effective way. One way they are accomplishing this is by upgrading their power distribution systems from single phase to three phase.

Why are three phase systems more cost efficient? A single phase power cord contains three wires. A three-phase delta power cord contains four wires. For that one additional wire, three phase delta delivers 52% more power than single phase. But it doesn’t come without risks.

Thankfully, Server Technology makes it easy and risk-free for you to migrate to three phase power distribution with its new line of alternating phase power distribution units (PDU).  These PDU’s alternate the phase pairs on a per-outlet basis instead of a per branch basis.

In addition, Server Technology has incorporated its patented High Density Outlet Technology (HDOT) into the Alternating Phase PDU’s, resulting in the maximum achievable number of outlets in the smallest form factor PDU. This provides the utmost flexibility when it comes to supporting the myriad array of IT equipment in the rack.

Here are some major benefits HDOT Alternating Phase PDUs can provide:  

Phase Balancing simplified:  The inherent design of Server Technology’s Alternating Phase PDUs simplifies the task of balancing equipment loads across the multiple branches of the PDU.  The alternating phase outlet arrangement allows a simple ‘top down’ deployment of the equipment connections to the PDU, resulting in minimal cord runs, which de-clutters the back of the rack and improves air flow.

Less chance of power overload:  Unbalanced branches can result in a circuit breaker trip during a fail over event. Alternating phase PDU’s minimize the chance of running with unbalanced loads due to the ease of balancing. 

Data Center Power Efficiency:  Large Phase imbalances in the data center can lead to voltage and current distortions on the individual phases, increased heat dissipation, and reduced equipment life. Phase balancing in the data center starts at the PDU.  Alternating Phase PDU’s simplify the phase balancing challenge.

More Outlets in a Smaller Space: Taller racks with smaller footprints push the need for smaller, denser PDU’s. Server Technology’s (HDOT) provides the highest outlet density of any network PDU on the market.     

 

Want to learn more? Click here to read the Server Technology white paper.

Topics: HDOT, power consumption, Data Center, PDU, power efficiency, Server Technology, high density outlet technology, cost-effective, three phase, phase balancing, Alternating phase, 3 phase