High Density Computing and Panelboards for Data Centers

Why We Need More panelboards

There are a wide variety of computing technologies in play today. IT managers are constantly trying to do more with less. This push towards high density computing means there are new and more complex power needs in server rooms, including panelboards for data centers.

What is High Density Computing?

Data centers usually contain multiple racks of flat servers. To keep those systems cool, air is drawn in at the front of the rack and expelled at the rear of the rack. Rack systems and blade servers provide a lot of data storage in a small area. This vertical set up allows IT managers to provide the maximum amount of data space available to employees in a small space.

In order to keep high density computing systems working properly, extensive HVAC systems are often used, since heat can easily build up in the small space between server blades. A raised floor is also a common best practice to help push cool air around the dense space. When air is heated by all the different components within a server room, that hot air rises and ultimately creates a natural flow or air. The “stack effect” can help with system cooling and many component manufacturers are working to develop equipment that takes advantage of this naturally occurring effect.

Combining High Density Computing and Panelboards for Data Centers

All these new enclosures and density server racks used for high density computing are changing the ways companies handle power distribution for their data centers. In order to meet all these new power needs, companies look for power distribution units (PDUs) and power circuits that can provide an appropriate level of power while making use of the panelboards for data centers, but are not overly costly to keep cool.

Panelboards for Data Centers

It is important to select the right panelboards for data centers to properly and safely accommodate the high density computing systems in use today. The most common power circuits in use today is the “three-phase” power circuits and include 20A, 30A, and 50A. The power amperage selected is directly related to the selection of panelboards for data centers.

For example, a 400A panelboard has 42 poles that can support up to 14 three-pole breakers. This type of panelboard can safely support 14 20A breakers, leaving nothing unused. Those 14 breakers can consume a maximum of just 280A, or 70 of the panelboard‘s load capacity. That means the remaining 120A is wasted, which creates additional inefficiencies upstream in the power chain.

Ultimately, as more data center managers utilize blade servers and other high density computing options more and more, power demands, their management and delivery will change as well. Data center managers and IT professionals will need to better coordinate their power usage with building management and power professionals to ensure their systems are running safely and are protected adequately by panelboards for data centers. Each of these solutions will be as unique as each data center is and the company in which they work.