SANTA CLARA, CA-Over 80 attendees attended the DC for Data Centers Workshop hosted by the Intel Corporation in Santa Clara on July 12th. The participants, drawn from more than 40 companies, convened to examine the viability of direct current-powered data centers and begin resolving technical issues preventing widespread adoption of this topology.

The technical issues tackled by the group related to establishing the optimum voltage level for energy efficiency and safety. According to the final meeting minutes, “Rationales for different voltage levels were presented from industry leaders. There were differing opinions, but most of the discussions favored an eventual voltage between 350 and 400 V. The demonstration team including Sun, Intel, and others were strong proponents of a 380-V solution for the future of dc data centers.” Rudy Kraus of Validus presented a 550/575-V alternative, which he says offers numerous advantages over the lower voltages and advanced towards commercialization. The panel also examined safety and grounding, contacts and connectors, and distribution.

A final panel presentation discussed how to advance the issue of energy efficiency and direct current distribution. Stakeholders agreed to take action in finding options for the project site and assemble product map/design for the pilot project.