A preliminary test by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) of a direct current (DC) power system at a Duke Energy data center in Charlotte, N.C., found that the system uses 15% less electricity than the existing alternating current (AC) power system.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported to Congress that data center industry power consumption doubled from 2000 to 2006 and was expected to double again over the next 5 yr. If this trend continues to 2016, then reducing data centers’ energy consumption could reduce demand more than 25 billion kWh per year.

For the Duke Energy demonstration project, the data center’s 480VAC was converted to 380VDC and delivered to the equipment racks via a 380VDC bus. The 15% energy savings provides a good benchmark for the industry, because the 480VAC system configuration is typical for data centers across the United States.

Source: The Electric Power Research Institute