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By: David Howard | G+

Control at data centers is critical

Control at data centers is critical

Modern data centers are engineered to extract the most processing power in the smallest footprint, using the least amount of energy.  Servers, storage, and miles upon miles of cables draw an enormous amount of power and generate a large amount of heat.

Power and cooling systems

The systems that provide continual, non-fluctuating energy and cool today’s data centers are as equally critical as the servers themselves.  Most data centers enlist multiple power feeds that need to be regulated and stepped down in voltage.  The power is fed to rows upon rows of racked servers and storage devices that all communicate via switching circuitry.  If you examine the power systems of modern data centers you’ll find an abundance of electrical control.

Power first

The utility feed will normally feed into an automatic transfer switch (ATS).  Primary power will then flow to various systems.  If power is lost, the ATS will “switch” to a secondary power supply - generally on-site generators.  Power from the primary or secondary source will generally flow through massive UPS units.  Large battery banks store power, clean and condition it.  From the UPS units, power flows to distribution units that step down the voltage and deliver power throughout the data center.

At each of these transition points, you’re likely to find electrical contacts that control and direct the flow of power.  The high voltage capabilities of contacts make them ideal for this purpose.

Cooling second

After power comes the cooling.  All that tightly packed electrical equipment generates a lot of heat.  This must be dissipated quickly to keep things working optimally.  In most situations air is kept circulating via fans and robust HVAC systems cool the data center. As in other designs, cooling and heat dissipation is handled via liquid cooling.  Much like a radiator in a car, liquid is passed by the servers absorbing heat that is then dissipated elsewhere.  Sometimes this heat is even recaptured for other uses.

In either scenario, you’ll find electrical contacts within the motor control solution that powers the HVAC or liquid cooling circulatory system.

Repco provides replacement contacts

You’ll find OEMs such as ABB, Schneider, Eaton, and others supplying data center equipment manufacturers or data centers directly with electrical control and other components.  Repco manufactures quality replacement electrical contacts that are engineered equivalents to the OEM’s contacts at a better cost.  This makes Repco a smart choice for data center maintenance.


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