New Industry Products

Validus DC Systems Launches End-to-End DC Power Infrastructure For Mission-Critical Data Centers

January 28, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Validus DC Systems, a provider of integrated dc power infrastructures for data centers and telecommunication facilities, announced the wide availability of its complete family of dc products that are claimed to reliably and efficiently distribute direct current dc power throughout mission-critical facilities.

Validus claims that its end-to-end solution is the first-ever, fully-integrated dc power infrastructure that delivers immediate energy-efficiency and reliability benefits along with significant long-term operational cost savings. The company also states that, by eliminating the inefficiencies inherent in legacy ac power infrastructures such as multiple energy-wasting power conversions, transformations and unnecessary heat-producing components needed for ac system reliability, its dc power infrastructure are said to enable customers to increase processing power and server densities in new and existing facilities at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) while reducing complexity, downtime, and power and cooling costs. Additionally, Validus’ "Hybrid Power" technology is designed to work alongside legacy ac systems, which allows customers to migrate from lower density ac infrastructures to higher density dc topologies at their own pace.

According to the company, compared with typical ac powered data centers with the same server processing capability, a Validus dc powered data center can save up to 50% of the raised floor space and significantly reduce the total energy consumption required for server power and cooling. In a typical system design, Validus’ end-to-end solution begins with the Power Quality Module (PQM), which is an air-cooled, mission-critical grade rectification system that converts alternating current ac power from the utility to high voltage -575V dc power.

From the PQM, high-voltage dc power is fed to the Power Distribution Module (PDM-575), which acts as a common interface for all system components in the power infrastructure of the data center. The PDM-575 is a scalable switchboard that simply integrates and controls power distribution from multiple system inputs such as the utility, stored energy devices, photovoltaic systems, distributed generation equipment, wind turbines and batteries and provides the necessary critical load distribution of -575 Vdc power to the Power Converter Units (PCU).

The enabling component of Validus’ dc power solution is the Power Converter Unit (PCU) 120, which uses patented technology to efficiently convert -575Vdc to safe, usable -54Vdc power, distributing 120 KW of power to the server row. Located at the mid-point of each server row, the PCU-120 consists of four 30KW integrated, hot-swappable Power Converter Modules, (PCM-030), which are highly efficient power conversion devices that deliver regulated output to power any load demand up to 120KW per PCU. An optional Power Distribution Module (PDM-055) designed specifically to distribute low voltage dc power short distances mounts adjacent to the PCU-120 and delivers -54Vdc to the point of use (server rack).

Normal or stored energy power in the Validus dc solution can be provided by batteries, photovoltaic devices, wind turbines, fuel cells, fly wheels or any dc source with the proper voltage. Typical modular battery cabinets with a battery charging system can be seamlessly integrated into the PDM-575 offering the equivalent functionality of a UPS system. The standard PBS battery cabinet system supports predefined battery backup run time and utilizes a ten year "maintenance free" battery system in a stand-alone or parallel configuration. Validus’ PQX is an air-cooled, ac powered, stand-alone battery charging system that includes an interactive LCD display for monitoring information and an automatic restart after a high-voltage shutdown event.

Validus received $10 million in Series A funding in December 2007 from Oak Hill Venture Partners.