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Edison Redux: 380 Vdc Brings Reliability and Efficiency to Sustainable Data Centers

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2 Author(s)
AlLee, G. ; Intel Labs., Rio Rancho, NM, USA ; Tschudi, W.

We are on the cusp of a great technology transition in power distribution from ac to dc at the edge of the grid. Data centers are merely one of the first industries to embrace the coming tide. The transition on the customer side of the meter is on the order of what happened over the last 40 years with personal computers, the Internet, and cell phones. The predominant use of power electronics in almost everything we buy new today makes them natively dc devices. As a society, we could be more efficient and sustainable if we were to skip the last ac-to-dc conversion. At some point soon, when the majority of the load base is natively dc, we reach a tipping point where ac and hot power converter “bricks” on everything are no longer sustainable. Add to this distributed generation, distributed energy storage, and renewable carbon-free power sources that prefer dc, and one can conclude that the transition is not only necessary but inevitable.

Published in:

Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 6 )