Data Center   Latest

How to Avoid Excessive Data Center Power Charges

Failing to fully utilize or “load” power circuits to their rated capacity may not result in downtime but could inflate power subscription costs.

Avoid excessive power charges from underutilization through proper power planning and budgeting. This involves loading every circuit to the rated capacity while respecting safety margins.

Many colocation providers deliver power on a subscription basis. In a dual powered data center, the customer pays a flat rate per A-B whip pair. This rate is calculated based on a proportionate cost for the infrastructure required to condition and distribute the power, as well as the electricity consumed at the full 80% load rating. If the circuits are not fully loaded, the customer ends up paying for unused power.

While this may sound like an easy pitfall to avoid, in application, it is often ignored. This is especially true when migrating from a legacy owned facility to a modern colocation facility. Customers simply specify a set number of circuits for each cabinet while neglecting to analyze and evaluate their exact needs.

This can be a costly mistake resulting in leasing more square footage than is absolutely necessary to support the load at the facility’s design power density while paying for subscribed power that is never used.

Another common pitfall is specifying the number of required circuits based on the number of PDUs or power trips in the cabinets. Data center power circuits are an expensive way to handle power distribution and care should be used to order only what is required.

FOR EXAMPLE – When you have gear with low power requirements…

Solve the dilemma of loading each circuit to its rated capacity by using double gang outlets on the ends of the power whips. For example, a 30 amp whip can be outfitted with two 15 amp receptacles in a double gang box. Provided the PDUs plugged in to the outlets are outfitted with 15 amp circuit breakers, this could result in an economical way to safely deliver 15 amps to two different cabinets on a single 30 amp whip pair.

While dual powered facilities provide concurrent maintainability and high availability when coupled with dual powered devices, proper power distribution planning is still required to achieve the ultimate goal of zero downtime and realize the cost benefits of outsourcing.