Will Darby, Managing Director at metering, controls and automaon specialist Carlo Gavazzi UK, discusses trends in electrical distribuon in data centres and missioncrical applicaons and an innovave soluon to power quality monitoring.

plants can have devastating consequences and lead to financial losses, damage to reputation and reduced business.


Mission-critical applications have complex electrical distribution systems and it is essential that end- users monitor key parameters affecting power quality such as leakage currents, neutral-ground voltage, voltage stability, wave shape and harmonics. Equally, effective monitoring of power usage is essential to minimise energy consumption and running costs and meet environmental legislation and corporate social responsibility (CSR) targets.

Quality me

Why are power quality issues such as harmonics important? Let’s take data centres as an example. There are two key issues in any data centre: equipment reliability and running costs and problems with harmonics will have a detrimental impact on both. Harmonics can be

ower outages or power quality issues in mission-critical

environments such as data centres, hospitals and industrial process

caused by both current distortion and voltage distortion. Typically, current distortion will be caused by non-linear loads, while voltage distortion is most likely to be caused when an electrical device pulls current distortion through an impedance.

Harmonics can lead to a reduction in energy efficiency because harmonic currents increase losses on conductors and transformers, creating heat and increasing power and cooling costs. The heat generated by harmonics can increase equipment downtime and cause early equipment failure or breakdowns. Overall lifespan of electrical equipment can be shortened, leading to increased capital expenditure as companies are forced to purchase replacement equipment sooner than planned for. Capital costs can also be increased because data centre managers may opt to oversize equipment to compensate for the losses caused by heating and distortion.

Monitoring is essenal

So the ability for end users to quickly and cost-effectively monitor power quality is crucial. Today, large data centres are the norm with multiple

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ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION IN DATA CENTRES And why power quality monitoring is missioncritical

servers and data racks. Typically, groups of 48 servers are installed in rack panels in big data centres. Each server supply is protected by a dedicated breaker and it is necessary to monitor each branch for effective control of electrical variables and energy cost allocation. The mains supply to the distribution panel (located close to the server racks) must also be monitored and controlled. A device is needed that is able to monitor this amount of channels

uFollowing extensive market research Carlo Gavazzi has introduced its WM50 branch circuit monitoring system.

while keeping space and installation complexity under control. A traditional metering system requires too much space and a short installation time is also crucial as a single data centre can include 100 to 200 distribution panels.



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