Deployment Rate of 400VAC Architecture in Data Centers on the Rise

Deployment Rate of 400VAC Architecture in Data Centers on the Rise

Because of the lower standard voltages in the Americas, this region has transitioned from single-phase rack PDUs to three-phase rack PDUs sooner than other regions.

According to a recently published IHS report (Rack Power Distribution Units Report – 2015), rack power distribution unit (PDU) data shows that some data centers in North America have begun deploying higher voltage power architectures. Because of the lower standard voltages in the Americas, this region has transitioned from single-phase rack PDUs to three-phase rack PDUs sooner than other regions. Traditionally, North American three-phase power is 208VAC whereas European three phase is 400VAC. However, new statistics from this study show that there has been some adoption of 400VAC rack PDUs in North America where they accounted for more than 5% of revenue in 2014.

Data centers in North America have begun adopting 400VAC because it requires reduced electrical drops, can lead to electrical and infrastructure savings, and contributes to overall increases in efficiency. While the efficiencies gained aren’t enough to justify retrofitting an existing facility with a new power architecture, adoption has been seen in new large data centers. The fact that some legacy or specialized data center equipment cannot be powered in 400/230VAC scheme and would require additional step-downs is a barrier to adoption. According to IHS analyst Sarah McElroy, “The more granular data on three-phase rack PDUs in the report this year will allow us to better understand and track this trend going forward. We anticipate seeing an uptick in the adoption of three-phase 400VAC rack PDUs if new data center build outs continue to pursue the higher voltage power architecture.”

IHS regularly analyzes all aspects of the data center infrastructure market. The Rack Power Distribution Units Report – 2015 provides in-depth analysis across three world regions: the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. Unit shipments, average unit prices and revenue are estimated for 2013 and 2014 and forecast through 2018. The market is segmented by sub-region, product type, intelligence, power rating, input phase, form factor, vertical market, and sales channel. Supplier market share estimates, and an analysis of the competitive environment, are also provided. Additionally, IHS analyzes the market for rack power distribution units quarterly in the company’s free-to-participants “Rack PDU Tracker,” which complements the annual report.

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