Electrical Contracting News (ECN) March 2017 - Page 48





Electrical contractors are potentially leaving money on the table . With businesses needing better visibility of power usage and management , there is an opportunity for contractors to increase project value by thinking beyond UPSs and extending the support they can offer to include power distribution . Here Scott Bailey , IT / DC segment manager for Eaton UK , explores the latest in rack based power distribution unit ( PDU ) technology and offers some practical advice on what contractors should be looking for when selecting and specifying PDUs .

With information

increasingly being the driving force behind many enterprises , the successful management of a company ’ s facilities infrastructure , combined with its IT infrastructure ( be that via a data centre or network closet ) is now the foundation of successful business operations . Peak operating efficiency and reliability are , of course , necessities . If the facility falters the business suffers as a result and consequently , these demands are changing the way companies view their infrastructure . As a result , there is a need now in many businesses to monitor every piece of power-drawing equipment and to do so with high accuracy and detail . For both enterprise network closets and multi-tenant data centres , the ability to stay up and running often requires advanced rack power distribution units ( PDUs ) that can precisely monitor every aspect of power , as well as enabling the management of distribution . Without advanced rack power distribution technologies , the IT infrastructure is at risk of being unable to keep up with the ever expanding business requirements and demands .
Changing demands
Data centres function much like a utility , providing computing capacity in response to changing demands . High level power distribution strategies are needed for peak efficiency but businesses that are contending with a variety of pressure inducing factors must keep an eye on all aspects of power distribution at a granular level too . The latest in advanced rack PDU technology offers devices with monitoring and management capabilities and comprehensive functionality that addresses the most pressing operational needs .
Let ’ s start with cooling costs , which have to be controlled as density increases . Modern hot air containment solutions require higher rack PDU operating temperatures . Therefore , rack PDUs that have the ability to function at high operating temperatures , ( 60 ° C ) UL and CE rated , can help reduce overall costs . Adding temperature monitoring can also control cost by accurately identifying where heat and humidity is building , this allows operators to respond accordingly . Such environmental monitoring is particularly suited for containment or network closets where excessive heat can create reliability issues . Additionally , as outside air is used more frequently to reduce cost , it
Data centres function much like a utility , providing computing capacity in response to changing demands .
becomes increasingly necessary to monitor temperature . Environmental tracking also includes switch closure monitoring to connect door switches or water sensors .
Given budget and resource constraints , administrative overhead is another critical area that electrical contractors should bear in mind when suggesting rack based power distribution units . With operational staff stretched to the limit , rack PDUs designed to reduce administrative overhead are key in creating an efficient operation . Rack PDUs that enable mass configuration and updating capabilities free up staff to concentrate on more strategic tasks . What ’ s more , rack PDUs with branch circuit colour-coding , that match corresponding outlet sections , can make it easy to know which branch circuit breaker connects to which specific outlet . This can reduce the

Power distribution from the smallest to the largest .