AC Generator for Data Cluster

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Old 11-26-08, 11:00 AM
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AC Generator for Data Cluster

I've got a few Cell Broadband Engine blades (315 watts max) and am getting an IBM Chassis Bladecenter E, which takes 2 2000 watt power modules @ 208-240 volts each, not sure single or triple phase yet. Trying to figure if I can use a generator plus power conditioning, as 4 modules are used for a fully populated chassis (only using half the chassis for now). So I dont trust the shared circuits of the house and would like to rig the shed to allow me to run the equipment off a generator and figure what I need for it. Any advice?
 
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Old 11-26-08, 04:51 PM
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So, your trying to figure out what size generator you need? Or are you wondering if you can use a power conditioner with a generator?
 
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Old 11-26-08, 06:07 PM
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If this is to your house, you probably have a single phase electric service.

As to a generator, just need to add up the total watts you will ever need including that to run a power line conditioner (which is a very good idea with electronics), then get a generator of a higher wattage than that.

Then also a transfer switch which needs to be installed to electrical code if you are going to use house power most of the time and use the generator for backup.

If the electronic equipment must be on at all times, then a UPS would be needed as a generator takes time to get going.

Many UPS come with power line conditioners included.

As to what type of plug your rack would have and what type of outlet you would need, I tried finding this basic information from IBM and was not disappointed in the least. Nothing has changed with this company. I could not find this information anywhere!

Computer room equipment can have all sorts of different plugs, so get a UPS with the correct plug(s)/outlets and a generator with the correct outlet(s). [Voltage, cycles, watts, phase, plugs/outlets]
 
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Old 12-02-08, 10:02 AM
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They've told me it will take single phase or triple phase off of a power distribution unit rated for 60 Amps. The connector appears to be IEC C19, C20 as they sell it with a cable for attaching to racks.not sure about cycles. I'm just trying to get this done the cheapest I can without damaging electronics until I can eke together a professional setup (ie, cluster the suckers and use their realtime rendering to do video effects editing in a few b2b projects).
 
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Old 12-02-08, 10:10 AM
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As mentioned...

50 Hz is double voltage right? But the cycles is independent of the voltage? So, I'll check with IBM just wondering if they designed equipment for dual cycle since they have international clientele in datacenters.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 11:24 AM
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Cycles is independent of voltage. 50Hz is the standard in Europe and parts of Asia; 60Hz is the standard in North America and other parts of Asia. A lot of computer gear can operate on both systems, although some is one or the other. Except for very high-end UPS systems, most data equipment is single-phase 208V-240V which means you can operate is on a standard residential electrical service.

IEC C19,C20 is a 20A cord.

When sizing a generator, you would add up the wattage draw of the connected equipment then multiply by 125%. If using a UPS and/or line conditioner it's a good idea to multiply by 135% to account for the efficiency loss in the conditioner.

It's also worth noting that nameplate ratings on computer equipment are usually much higher than actual power use because they figure in every possible add-on to the computer operating at 100% plus a margin. So before dropping some $$ on a generator, it would be a good idea to measure typical usage and size the generator to that rather than nameplates.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
So before dropping some $$ on a generator, it would be a good idea to measure typical usage and size the generator to that rather than nameplates.
I agree. Get your setup fully configured and power it from what you've got. Get an amp clamp and cord separator, or a regular ammeter, and see what your usage is. Then add a margin for expansion, inrush, safety, whatever, and look for a conditioned power system with those specs.
 
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