Using direct current (DC) power in data centres has long been an option, but the jury is still out on whether the downsides are worth it. This year, the industry is studying whether a direct current power topology is more energy efficient than traditional alternating-current (AC) power, and if so, whether the potential risks and expenses associated with it can be mitigated enough to make DC a truly viable data centre power choice. The Green Grid, for example, is taking a closer look at the use of a DC power, and Syracuse University is trying out DC-powered computing in a data centre facility.
Direct current power travels through a circuit in only one direction, whereas alternating-current power is an electrical current that frequently reverses direction. In a DC-powered system, there is only one conversion: from AC to DC. And with fewer conversions, there are fewer opportunities for power and energy loss. And, unlike their AC-powered counterparts, DC-powered servers don't need power supplies for extra conversion and thus save data center space. But the downside is that DC power can require much larger wires to carry the current, thus creating power buildup and arcing that can endanger IT equipment and staff.
Source: Search Data Centre