Ten ways to save money and lower data center energy consumption

6/11

Tesla vs. Edison: Is AC or DC power better for data centers?

Source:  Tanozzo/Flickr

AC or DC power? The debate has been going on since Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla competed over whether alternating current or direct current should power homes and businesses around the world. We know AC won the fight, but will DC win the war? For data centers, there is no definitive answer.

Direct current (DC) is more efficient because it results in fewer power conversions -- which means less energy loss -- than alternating current (AC); this is a huge draw to reduce operating costs in power-hungry data centers. Also, DC produces less heat, which saves on cooling costs.

One major drawback to DC power is that, without proper equipment, power buildups and arcing are possible. More recent data points to DC as the clear winner for efficiency in data centers. In spite of the disruption required to switch, the savings for businesses may be worth the trouble.

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