GE’s Critical Power business has launched its new Edge Cabinet and single-conversion power distribution unit (PDU), which helps data center designers make the most of their valuable cabinet space by designing in the negative space.

The interior of most server or telecommunications equipment cabinets is commonly 24 in. wide, but the installed servers only take up 19 in., leaving 5 inches of space unused. These cabinets also feature DC rectifiers to ensure that the proper power is provided to internal components and servers. By fitting the new Edge Cabinet PDU in the unused inside back corner of a cabinet and by enabling rectifiers — such as GE’s compact, three-phase GP100 units—to be integrated directly into the PDU’s available slots, GE is able to essentially free up, or give back, valuable space to datacenter and telecom facility managers.

With this recovered space, additional revenue-generating equipment such as server blades can be installed. This ultimately reduces the capital expenditure on each cabinet. Reduced hardware, use of floor space and installation costs, multiplied by hundreds of server bays per data center, equates to the potential for millions of dollars in savings per facility.

“Today, data centers are fighting for every inch of usable, productive space to improve their efficiency,” said Jim Montgomery, senior product manager — Embedded Power, GE’s Critical Power business. “By combining our new Edge Cabinet solution with our efficient GP100 rectifiers in a simple and compact solution, we are able to create up to 10 percent more information technology processing space in existing server bay footprints. It’s like getting an 11th floor added to a 10-story building — for free.”

GE’s Edge Cabinet PDU is able to accommodate five GP100 rectifiers outside of the server rack, each of which converts 380-480 volt three-phase AC power to the servers’ required 12-volt DC power or, alternatively, to a 48-volt DC distribution bus. The GP100 rectifiers enable the same phase-balanced power conversion capabilities as other rectifiers available today, but in half of the footprint, allowing users to create a more efficient power system. Once converted at the rectifier, the 12-volt power is then delivered to the servers via pairs of proven bullet-style power terminals. This configuration significantly reduces the distribution distance at 12 volts, minimizing loss and maximizing efficiency.

The new Edge Cabinet PDU also improves maintenance safety and processes. In many existing power systems, cables run down the back of servers making them hard to reach and potentially unsafe. By installing the Edge Cabinet PDU and equipped rectifiers in the rear corner and along the sides of the cabinet (away from the servers), power equipment is easier to access, making maintenance inherently more safe.