data center power cords

If your business relies on maintaining a robust, safe network, it’s important to understand the similarities and differences between NEC standards vs. data center best practices. Derated loads are another aspect that any data center manager should be aware of, as this helps protect hardware and individuals alike. Read on to learn why regulations are essential to safety within a data center.

NEC Standards

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the most widely used code worldwide for governing electrical installations. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approves NEC standards to ensure that businesses safely install electrical cords to protect infrastructure and individuals.

The NEC is also a part of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) National Fire Code series. Interestingly, the NFPA originally published these standards in 1911. All businesses should strive to meet the NEC standards, ensuring a safe data center free from dangerous hazards.

Derated Loads

Let’s take a moment to learn the importance of one aspect of the debate between NEC standards and data center best practices: derated loads, especially in data centers. When too much current pushes through a wire at one time, it can become hazardous– it can cause fires and damage structures and hardware. Businesses should install a dimming device to manage the output of currents within cords, typically by reducing a wire’s maximum capacity.

Current capacity should remain at 50-75 percent of the maximum rating – data center hardware will likely never require 100 percent output to function properly. A data center protects its equipment and employees (as per NEC standards) and even cuts energy costs and consumption by derating loads. It also ensures a backup boost of power in the event of outages.

Data Center Best Practices

Now that you understand what NEC standards are and how derated loads help maintain them let’s explore data center best practices. Specifically, how does it cooperate with or contradict the National Electrical Code? For starters, most of the best practices are entirely unrelated to NEC standards. Cooling equipment, proper design, and security are all required to maintain a healthy network – the NEC doesn’t refer to these features.

A data center that adheres to NEC standards installs and stores cords properly, along with proper derated loads. Ensuring your outlets are grounded, and data center power cords are secure underneath hardware or in overhead bus systems will also make your server room NEC approved.

As you can see, proper data center practices and NEC standards go hand in hand. They complement each other, ensuring your network is safe and functional. PowerWhips has the inventory and resources to ensure your data center is efficient and free of hazards.