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A Data Center Electrical System Essay

1709 words - 7 pages

The idea of mission critical is that a facility runs all day, every day. There is essentially no downtime within a data center. If the electrical system were to fail at any time, users of the system would lose data that had been stored. It is up to data centers and the mission critical idea to prevent the loss of power and keep systems running. The key to this is having division of electrical rooms. Breaking an electrical system into different rooms helps to provide a better organization of systems. This insures quick turn around on equipment failures and ease of access to perform maintenance. There is not only a separation of electrical rooms within a data center; there is also a separation of electrical systems. Systems are broken into different phases, which consist of A and B sections of the building. The sections are then broke off into different mechanical, server, and smaller component systems. A data centers system breakdown is what allows for such tight requirements to keep the server equipment running. Redundancy is crucial when it comes to an electrical system in this kind of facility, without it, the system would crash in the time of a power outage and the server data would be lost.
There are three types of electrical rooms within the Riker Data Center, located in Quincy, Washington. The three types are medium voltage rooms, battery rooms, and switchboard rooms. The data center is essentially split in half into different phases. One half of the facility is the A side and the other half is the B side. A way of picturing this is if you were to place a mirror in the center of the facility’s drawing, the same rooms would be symmetrical on either side.
The two medium voltage rooms, A and B, are where the main utility power is brought into the building and is terminated on the main distribution switchgear. Alongside the main utility power is where the backup generator power is terminated as well. The main distribution gear then has an automatic transfer switch within it that will switch from utility power over to generator power in the case of a power outage from the city. The main distribution gear then goes through a series of transformers to step the power down from 13,200 volts to 480/277 volts. The electricity is then run over to the coordinating A and B switchboard rooms (Drawing E5.03).
Within each switchboard room there are five switchboards with CX, EX, and DX designations. Each switchboard has a series of breakers, ranging from 400 amps up to 4000 amps. The CX switchboards feed the DX switchboards in parallel. One run passes through a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) and the other run goes directly to the DX switchboard. The UPS is in line with this transition because if power were to fail, the UPS would sustain power for up to 5 minutes to the DX boards. This allows the DX boards to provide full support to its equipment in the case of a power outage. Just after the two runs combine there is an autotransformer that steps...

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