Capping of Power Consumption in Data Centers through Load Shedding

Load shedding is a means of distributing electrical power demand across multiple power sources. When the demand for power is greater than what the primary power source can supply, load shedding helps to relieve stress on the primary power source. Every wish of an organization is to reduce power consumption while ensuring uninterrupted normal operations.

Most buildings including data centers Toronto, purchase power from a utility provider. Needless to say, data centers are power gluttons. This is because of the various functions that they perform from the explosion of digital content, big data, e-commerce and internet traffic which all contribute to making them the fastest growing power consumers in the world. At this stage, there may need to embark on load shedding as a data center solution of power consumption reduction. Here, the data center operator may negotiate an agreement with the power provider to voluntarily load shed on a pre-schedule or on-demand basis. Since all buildings have a secondary power source, when there is a load shedding the building sources power from the secondary such as on-site diesel generators, wind-based renewable power or even contracted solar photovoltaic.

With such a load shedding agreement, energy-intensive data centers may opt to load shed during peak usage periods. However, this may cause disruptions to the data center systems. To avoid this, data centers can install uninterruptible power supply systems and power distribution units that will always moderate the flow of power to data center sensitive equipment. Also, make sure that you have a high-quality power distribution control from secondary sources.

As now perceived, load shedding can be the solution to many data center problems that are power related. Rack circuit-failover failure is one of the most common problems that load shedding could provide a solution to. There is no need to put a hard power capacity limit on a rack or set of racks to ensure failover success.

PDUs are made in such a way that they have limits to the load capacity of a single device. Others may prefer to call them ‘floor PDU circuit breakers’. They work just like the normal circuit breakers. But when it comes to the capacity limit of a rack, it may be way much and exceed the limit of a single rack circuit. What does this mean?

Each circuit is always under a specific load capacity of its own. In some cases, you may be forced to load balance between two or more circuits by adding the loads together. This may happen because of loss of one failover or circuit. When load balancing happens, the capacity of the two circuits may exceed the capacity of one of those circuits. When this happens, the failover will not succeed and in most cases, you could lose the whole rack or set of racks that were being connected to load balance.

One way that is very effective in ensuring that you do not exceed the capacity of a single rack or any set of racks is load shedding.  When such cases arise, the outlets on a PDU will just be turned off thus disabling their usage.