For the application of electronics, unique challenges are presented by data center power systems. The challenges include multiple operating modes. Careful implementation must be done for the desired system to performance under all conditions, whether normal or abnormal. There is a possibility of analyzing power system by hand calculation but with datacenters power system, it is tedious as Homburg reports. Due to the high reliability of data centers consistency of power is crucial. They are designed to be able to support different power strategies with different power systems that may have completely different fault currents, arc-flash occurrence energy levels and power flows. Some strategies may call for protective relays to be integrated. Use of computer software is the best strategy to handle the issue in the cases of data centers that is economical and reduces chances of downtime occurrences (Homburg, 2009).
According to Homburg (2009), he states that nature of reliability accorded to data centers it is of dire importance to have power supply study. The study normally consists of short circuit, coordination, and arc-flash hazard studies. They are different but most integrated and it is advisable to conduct them together for precise results. All power configurations should be considered to predict operation and shortcomings to be identified.
The rationale for short circuit study is identifying the maximum fault current at all locations that can arise in the power system. Comparisons are then done against the power system components to identify whether they the equipment is satisfactorily rated to withstand or disrupt the calculated fault current as stated by Homburg (2009). These results are then used when considering both coordination and arc-flash study.
The aim of the coordination study is to establish the proper settings for over-current protective devices in the power system. Selecting the proper settings will help in protection of the power system in additional to removing only the least portion of the electrical system from the service when isolating a fault. For the best system reliability to be achieved, compromises have to be made. The results of coordination rely on short circuit findings (Homburg, 2009).
Homburg reports that hazard analysis for arc-flash has become a standard part of many studies carried on system. The reason behind this analysis is determining arc-flash incident energy in the power system at all locations. This will help the electrical workers to be aware of the potential hazard so that best decision can be made concerning protective equipment. Selection and configuration of the components in the power system extensively affect the arc flash study results (2009).
Homburg, K. A., (2009) Short-Circuit, Coordination, and Arc-Flash Studies for Data Centers: Best Practices and Pitfalls. Staff Power Systems Engineer, Square D Engineering Services, Schneider Electric. Print http://www.graybar.com/documents/short-circuit-coord-arcflash-studies.pdf