Where Does the Power Used by a Data Center Come From?

Keeping a data center supplied with the power required for ongoing function is a more complex undertaking than many people realize. Since a data center has to operate without interruption, careful engineering is required to meet this particular requirement. While household appliances such as refrigerators are able to sustain constant operation, sustaining a data center is not quite as simple as plugging it in to a building’s power supply. The power that keeps a company’s data center operational can come from a range of sources and the inflow must be regulated by the center’s own power monitors. These monitors detect minute fluctuations in available power and will switch to backup supplies if the primary source of electricity becomes unreliable in any way. Though the whole system works together in a harmonious manner, there are several stages that the power passes through on its way to the data center.


Municipal Power Grids


In nearly every case, a data center’s power will come from a municipal power grid that is supplied by coal, solar, nuclear, or wind energy producers. The electricity dispersed through the grid is an alternating current – AC power. Though some DC power exists, converters are required to modulate the strength of direct currents before it can be put to use. However, DC energy is still likely to play a role in the supply of a data center, as we will see.


A Backup Power Supply


Many data centers include a power converter that transforms AC energy into DC energy for storage in the battery cells. These batteries provide a stable and reliable source of power in case the main supply fails or becomes unreliable. Several things take place in these circumstances:


  • The monitor detects any fluctuation in power supply beyond a certain threshold limit
  • The transfer switch reroutes the power supply to draw from the backup power source, such as a bank of battery cells
  • The normal flow of power is reinstated once the supply returns to normal levels
  • Storage batteries are recharged from the power grid or other source in order to be ready for the next outage, power spike, or power drop


Switching from the main power supply to a backup source takes less than a second thanks to state of the art transfer switches. The rapid transfer from one power source to another ensures continuous operation.


Preserving Vital Function


A data center’s power supply maintains the function of systems essential to company operations. With the right design and support services, your company’s valuable center will be protected. You can depend on Titan Power to supply the services required to develop a data center that meets and exceeds your expectations.



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