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The background on Apple’s ‘103-degree data center’

Apple is using solar arrays, including a 100-acre solar energy farm in Maiden, N.C., to help power a data center there. Apple allowed NBC's Today show inside the facility this week, and during the tour, a reporter asked what the temperature was there. "It's about 103 degrees in here," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environmental initiatives and a former Obama administration EPA chief. What wasn't explained is that Jackson and the reporter were walking down a hot aisle, and feeling the fan exhaust. The experience might have been different if they had walked down the cold aisle, where the rack fronts face the aisle. Apple isn't disclosing details about its Maiden data center operations, except at the 30,000 foot level, so it's unknown exactly what temperatures it's operating at. But it is possible to estimate a range. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) sets temperatures and humidity guidelines for data centers based on what it knows about the equipment inside them. It recommends that data centers operate between 64.4 to 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The recommended limit concerns the air intake temperature. The exhaust temperatures will be higher, how much higher will depend on the density and the quality of the air management, according to the Uptime Institute vice president Keith Klesner. But the temperature could be approximately 15 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit higher, he said in an email. Dave Kelley, director of application engineering at Emerson Network Power's Liebert Precision Cooling, narrowed it down further. Typically, he said, "if you have 80 degrees Fahrenheit entering the IT equipment in the cold aisle, you will have 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit leaving in the hot aisle. All of these values are functions of how much [...]

2016-01-18T14:39:00-04:00April 29th, 2014|Data Center Cooling, Data Center Power|0 Comments

Flexible Colocation Power Options

The Starline Track Busway electrical power distribution system is designed for mission critical application where flexibility and fast deployment is needed.  The electrical Busway gives us the ability to add and relocate plug-in modules directly over the collocation server cabinets eliminating the need to run wire and reconfigure circuits.  The flexibility of the three phase busway allows us the deliver 120V, 208V, single and three phase circuits.  The modular tap power boxes allow for a variety or fast deployment circuits, amperages and receptacle options. Available quick deliver colocation power options include: 10amp, 15amp, 20amp, 30amp, circuits available in 120V or 208V single phase and 208V three phase.

2016-11-03T12:26:20-04:00May 10th, 2013|Data Center Power|Comments Off on Flexible Colocation Power Options

Data Center Power Capacity Planning

Power Capacity Planning for Data Center Colocation. Power compromises a large percentage of the data center’s costs and understanding your power requirements will help determine what size circuits you will need to order. Server manufactures may provide different power figures like max, startup, and running wattage per server configuration.  Max wattage, also known as Power Supply Wattage is the maximum wattage the power supply can provide to the server.  Many times the server may have two power supplies for redundancy, thus max load is usually calculated to run with one power supply. Running loads are what is typically used to calculate power needs.  Startup load may run about 20% higher than the running load.  For power draw calculations best practices would be to add 20% to your calculated running load.  For example a server that averages a 200W running load should have a budget load of 240W to estimate max load during peak operations and planned server reboots.  See the chart below. The following example uses a 20amp 120V circuit breaker.  Accepting that the 20amp breaker has a potential of tripping at 80% or 16amps, it gives a trip point that you should be below.  How far below is subjective; and due to budgetary factors, many try to push the circuits to maximum capacity without the breaker tripping.  So what is safe for your mission critical environment?  50%, 60% 70% 80% of a circuit?  Let’s assume you want to maximize the circuit and leave 20% power margin available for high server loads and planned server reboots. For calculation purposes we will convert amps to watts. (120V x Amps = Watts) or (120V x 16amps = 1,920Watts).  If you plan to leave 20% safe ramp-up margin [...]

2015-04-23T08:53:00-04:00April 3rd, 2013|Data Center Power|Comments Off on Data Center Power Capacity Planning