ABB to deliver direct current data center module

The rapid growth of data storage, combined with global networking, has resulted in a massive increase in data center capacity worldwide

Zurich, Switzerland, November 2, 2011 — ABB and IO, a provider of modular data center technology and services, have agreed to partner in the development of a new data center module based on direct current power. The data center will be complete by the end of the year.

The rapid growth of data storage, combined with global networking, has resulted in a massive increase in data center capacity worldwide. Data centers typically consume 15 times more energy per square foot than a typical office building and, in some cases, may be 100 times more energy intensive — running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

These facilities require large amounts of electricity and any improvement in efficiency can provide cost savings while lessening carbon dioxide emissions.

DC-powered technology is being increasingly adopted for electrical distribution in data centers as it reduces power conversion losses and is 10 to 20 percent more energy efficient than traditional alternating current technology. DC-powered systems also reduce complexity and require less space — decreasing equipment, installation and maintenance costs.

The project underlines ABB's goal to expand DC-power applications. ABB recently announced it will design and install an advanced DC-power distribution system for green.ch, an information and communications technology service provider in Switzerland. In May 2011, ABB gained a controlling interest in Validus DC Systems, a provider of DC power infrastructure equipment.

Modular data centers use standardized configurations that are packaged together and portable, and can be manufactured and deployed more rapidly than traditional data center build-outs. This new module expands IO's modular products to include a DC-power option supplied by ABB.

Similar to IO's AC-power distribution network, the new DC-powered module is manufactured by IO using the IO Anywhere standards-based hardware and software architecture. The AC- and DC-powered modules are managed and optimized by IO OS, a data center operating system.

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