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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    165

    Can all newer power supplies handle running straight 208v?

    Currently we are running some equipment on a 208v 30amp circuit and using APC step down transformers to take it to 110v.

    All the servers running on that circuit are Dell PE1950's so they are pretty new. There is also a newer dell switch and a Cisco Pix 515E on there.

    I am getting rid of the step down transformers and everything that I have read says that all the PSU's are auto switching and there will be no problem with them running off of straight 208v power without any step down taking place.

    Can everyone just confirm for me so I can be 100%. Also any advice on things to look for or problems that might crop up based on your past experience.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by intrikrakin View Post
    Currently we are running some equipment on a 208v 30amp circuit and using APC step down transformers to take it to 110v.

    All the servers running on that circuit are Dell PE1950's so they are pretty new. There is also a newer dell switch and a Cisco Pix 515E on there.

    I am getting rid of the step down transformers and everything that I have read says that all the PSU's are auto switching and there will be no problem with them running off of straight 208v power without any step down taking place.

    Can everyone just confirm for me so I can be 100%. Also any advice on things to look for or problems that might crop up based on your past experience.
    I couldn't confirm for certain, but you can either look at the spec sheets on Dell's web site, or look at the labels on the servers or the individual PSU's for details. Usually systems delivered in North America do accept 110-125v or 208-240v at 60Hz, though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    North Hollywood, CA
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    those dells should just fine, they will run cooler too.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    462
    Hello,

    Your Dell (and most if not all) SuperMicro's will be perfectly happy with 208v power.

    Good Luck!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    New York, NY
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    4,612
    You may find that all of your equipment can accept 208V. Check the plate on the power supply to verify. They'll run more efficiently on 208V compared to 120V. You were also losing additional power by doing an additional stepdown yourself!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet View Post
    You were also losing additional power by doing an additional stepdown yourself!
    Which is exactly the reason I am pulling out the transformers.
    I need more power in the rack, but because of the power density limitation of the colo I can't add another circuit. So I've got to get more with less.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,218
    Quote Originally Posted by intrikrakin View Post
    Currently we are running some equipment on a 208v 30amp circuit and using APC step down transformers to take it to 110v.

    All the servers running on that circuit are Dell PE1950's so they are pretty new. There is also a newer dell switch and a Cisco Pix 515E on there.

    I am getting rid of the step down transformers and everything that I have read says that all the PSU's are auto switching and there will be no problem with them running off of straight 208v power without any step down taking place.

    Can everyone just confirm for me so I can be 100%. Also any advice on things to look for or problems that might crop up based on your past experience.
    Pretty much any normal server will have power supplies that will run on 100-240 volts, and at any normal frequency.

    That's a consequence of the use of switch-mode power supplies, which are more efficient than linear power supplies.

    See the Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-mode_power_supply

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Just take care of some things:

    1. Check the sticker or plastic engraving - the rectangle one full with information, patents, etc - on the PSUs. Most shall say 100-127V / 200-240V. If they say only 100-127V but not mention 200-240V then it's not auto-switching. Once I burned a domestic Netgear wireless router with that, it's PSU was 120V only and I put it into a 220V socket, frying it.
    If you find any 100-127V only PSUs, throw them away and buy new ones. These last are usually more efficient than non-switching ones.

    2. Some not-designed-for-servers PSUs (especially on whitebox servers, or those brick ones you find on desktops) have a button to manually switch between 100 and 200V ranges. So take a look on these cases and be sure to have the button set at the correct rate, else "smoke will own you" ;-)

    3. Usually Dell, HP and SuperMicro PSUs are auto-switching and need no button.
    Last edited by cresci; 11-01-2009 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    I agree with what's been said here overall.

    Another thing to take note of, if you're running up on the limits of the power you can use, take a look to see if your power supplies are particularly efficient. An 80+ gold certified power supply is supposed to be 87-90% efficient or better (depending on level of load), whereas a normal 80+ PSU is at least 80% efficient at all levels of load. A psu not rated to 80+, 80+ bronze, 80+ silver, or 80+ gold, will be less efficient than this, possibly substantially so.

    Going to 80+ gold, from a psu that doesn't even qualify for basic 80+, should save you at least 10% on your power usage.
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