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Is 400V DC the New 48V DC Replacement?

In response to the increasing interest in 400V within their industries, datacenter and telecom leaders Anderson Power Products, Emerson Network Power, IBM, Universal Electric, and Vicor demonstrated a 400V DC ecosystem during Intelec, Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, in Vancouver.

For more details see the article “Telecom/Datacom 48V: Have no fear; 400V is here” on EDN. The following are some examples of 400V DC in telecom and datacom applications from various suppliers and from the Intelec 2014 conference.

Please share your thoughts with us regarding the viability of 400V DC distribution.

Click on the slideshow image below to see photos that might give you a feel for 400V DC applications:

(Image: Vicor)

(Image: Vicor)

16 comments on “Is 400V DC the New 48V DC Replacement?

  1. etnapowers
    November 13, 2014

    The simple ideas are often the best ones. the distribution of the cables in a parallel mode is very effective in avoiding mutual interference and failures of cables due to the proximity.

  2. etnapowers
    November 13, 2014

    The IBM Power7 775 power module incorporates 3072 cores at 3.84 GHz. I think it is a very valuable module both for the  high number of cores and the operating frequency. The protection of the cores from the ESD and from the mutual interference is a item highly prioritary to ensure the effectivenees of the module.

  3. Steve Taranovich
    November 13, 2014

    @etnapowers—excellent observances–thanks for sharing your comments

  4. uchiha
    November 14, 2014

    @etnapowers: Well what about the cost ? Is it cost effective ? Anyone who has tried and implemented it already ? 

  5. amrutah
    November 16, 2014

    @Steve:  Thanks for the post, very interesting to know about the 400V DC equipments and applications.  Looks like most of it is used in server room, any other applications you know off?

  6. amrutah
    November 16, 2014

    “Well what about the cost ? Is it cost effective ?”

    @uchiha: Always any technology when it is at the introduction phase, its going to cost a lot of R&D investment and that's why cost might be more, but as practical applications and the depth of usage increases the cost will go down.  We have to assess how well this technology can be used.  The same is happening in the field of lighting (LED light bulbs), they are very costly.

  7. amrutah
    November 16, 2014

    @etnapowers:  I agree, this is simple and robust.  When you say “mutual interference”, what are you referring at, is it a mechanical obstruction and inteference or some kind of signal interference?

  8. amrutah
    November 16, 2014

    Having a DC would help

    – aviod the UPS

    – avoid big snubbers

    – help interconnect it to solar based generation and distribution units.  As @etnapowers mentioned, the bus distribution can be helpful in avoiding mutual inteference.

  9. Steve Taranovich
    November 16, 2014

    @amrutah—Yes in Server rooms for Data Centers and also in Telecom Central office to replace 48VDC ancient equipment transmission—-saves on copper for new installations—Higher V–lower I

  10. samicksha
    November 16, 2014

    I guess this was need of Telecom and Datacenters as both growing with nodes and devices in house, and with increasing numbers servers are getting more power hungary with demands of the blade processors in those servers .

  11. uchiha
    November 18, 2014

    @amrulah: Yes with time things will decide but there are certain items where the price does not get decreased in a big way purely because of its quality. Anyway those are exceptional items

  12. PCR
    November 18, 2014

    Yes you are right amrutah, sometimes it may be costly of implementing that but there may be other benefits of its and it may not be visible directly. 

  13. etnapowers
    November 19, 2014

    @amrutah: When I say “Mutual Interference” I mean signal interference between the signals, which is a common issue in this type of application.

  14. etnapowers
    November 19, 2014

    @uchiha: I think it is a cost effective solution because it increases the overall effectiveness of the energy distribution chain by avoiding interferences and by granting a good balance of the load for the power suppliers. This configuration will increase the efficiency, hence this solution is a cost effective solution on a long term basis.

  15. uchiha
    November 21, 2014

    @etnapowers: Yes if you are looking at that angle it is a worthy investment but with the current financial situation is it worth ? 

  16. etnapowers
    December 12, 2014

    @uchiha: the current financial situation may be a temporary issue that could be fixed by a long term plan. The future financial situation is the result of the strategy of the present time.

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