Advanced Energy: Open standards for data centres

Precision power conversion company, Advanced Energy, provides power solutions for several industries as well as a 48 V Open Rack for data centres

Founded in 1981 in Colorado, Advanced Energy is a global leader in the design and manufacture of highly-engineered precision power conversion, measurement, and control solutions for mission-critical applications and processes.

Advanced Energy’s power solutions enable customer innovation in complex applications for a wide range of industries including semiconductor equipment, industrial, manufacturing, telecommunications, data centre computing and healthcare.

48 V Open Rack power shelf brings energy savings, interoperability, and enhanced reliability to data centres. As the demand for cloud computing and AI applications grows, data centres are evolving to accommodate industry requirements. New types of processors with high power requirements – both provided by traditional vendors and start-ups that offer processors designed specifically for cloud and edge computing – are increasingly being used in data centres. Processors such as GPUs and FPGAs run on very high current, which drives demand for high-efficiency, high density AC-DC voltage conversion. 

These processors are one reason that average data centre power-per-rack is expected to rise from the current 10-15 kW to between 20-40 kW, with 50 kW (and beyond) racks already under discussion.

While today’s data centres almost exclusively use 12 V power in server and storage racks, the industry is transitioning to 48 V architecture as higher performance platforms demand more power. By increasing rack voltages from 12 V to 48 V, the current draw for the same power level is reduced by 4x, which translates to 16x lower I2R or copper distribution losses.

Advanced Energy is leading the charge for this transition with a range of AE Artesyn 48 V power supplies. In addition, Advanced Energy is a longstanding contributor to the Open Compute Project (OCP), including the Open Rack version 3 (ORv3) standard, which promotes interoperability to support the industry’s transition to 48 V data centre infrastructure. Advanced Energy collaborates with major OCP users and leaders in the data centre industry to create a standard power platform for customers across deployments. Advanced Energy’s latest power shelf is compliant with the Open Rack version 3 (ORv3) specification. It optimises power consumption and improves the reliability of compute, storage and switching applications in hyperscale and enterprise data centres.

The power shelf incorporates a hot-swappable controller, and can accommodate up to six 48 V, 3 kW open rack rectifiers, supplying total power of up to 15 kW (N+1) per rack. As Open Compute Project (OCP) racks demand more power to serve the latest processors, Advanced Energy has a roadmap to increase the power shelf capacity. ORv3 shelf performance and efficiency

There’s no doubt that greater efficiency will be required as data centres continue to grow in both individual size and the number of installations.

According to Advanced Energy’s Harry Soin, the transition to 48 V architectures is increasing, with up to 50% of hyperscalers predicted to implement the architecture by the end of the decade.

“Minimising power consumption and driving down costs are key challenges for data centre operators as they look to meet the increased power demands of the latest high-performance processors,” said Harry Soin, Senior Director of Technical Marketing for Hyperscale Data Centres at Advanced Energy.

Advanced Energy’s Open Rack power shelf and rectifiers directly address these requirements, supporting best-in-class 98.75% efficiency.

Power inputs can be configured as star, delta or single phase and include a hot-pluggable, DMTF Redfish-compatible Shelf Controller for simple, secure monitoring and control over Ethernet.

The power shelf’s 48 V, 3 kW rectifiers are highline single-phase AC-DC power supplies that convert input voltages of between 200 Vac and 277 Vac into 48 Vdc output. A narrow output voltage band eliminates oversize design and enables a 4:1 ratio DC-DC conversion for downstream 12 V loads.

Advanced Energy has a long history of supplying data centres with power management solutions, working with the world’s largest hyperscale data centre operators, but also companies building their own open compute hardware, to drive and enable interoperability, open-source innovation, and transparency across its data centre operations, which the company’s Open Rack power shelf aims to optimise.



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