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What Is A Power Distribution Unit?

Power Distribution Unit
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A Power Distribution Unit (PDU) is a device fitted with multiple outputs that are designed to evenly distribute electric power. They are especially used in data centers, which are facilities made up of networked computers and storage for businesses and organizations.

Power is one of the most important things to monitor when you are in a data center environment. Managing power is essential to maintain both cost-efficiency and optimal output from the equipment. Having an efficient power monitoring system in place helps avoid server downtime and optimizes power usage – leading to better financial and computational results.

Types Of Power Distribution Units

Different PDUs are all designed for specific purposes and spaces, with small variations that make them optimal wherever they’re installed. PDUs are available in AC and DC models – giving them the ability to fit into many different sites by matching the power they have in use.

  • Power Strip Without Surge Protection

    The most basic of PDUs, these provide standard outlets for data center equipment. They are not designed to have any monitoring or remote access capabilities.

  • Floor-Mounted Power Distribution Unit

    These are often called Main Distribution Units (MDUs), and provide a ‘bridge’ of management, linking a building’s main power with various equipment racks in a network operations center or data center.

  • Rack-Mountable Power Distribution Unit

    Sometimes called smart PDUs or intelligent PDUs, this form of PDU attaches to an equipment rack directly so that it can monitor and control power to servers, switches, and other devices found in data centers. They help to balance power loads and include remote management tools as well as three-phase displays for devices that share power.

    Rack-mountable PDUs enable you to activate, deactivate, or reboot your equipment without needing to be there in person since they can remotely switch power on or off to connected equipment. This is extremely useful, especially for distant sites. The more effort it takes you to reach the site, the more benefit you will get from installing a Power Distribution Unit.

Various Voltages

Depending on the environment they were designed for, Power Distribution Units can handle -48v, +24v DC, or 110v AC (typical of an IT environment). The power voltage that a PDU can support will not only affect the circuit design but also the connector type needed. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric’s technicians are trained to know exactly what voltage your PDU needs to accommodate and will ensure that the correct connectors are used throughout the installation.

Benefits Of Installing A Power Distribution Unit

  • Prevent Damage from Voltage Spikes

    Power surges or spikes in voltage can be a huge danger to servers, often leading to the need for expensive repairs. Downtime can also cost companies thousands and keep them from meeting deadlines. PDUs increase the uptime of data centers and help protect sensitive equipment from being damaged by voltage spikes.

  • Maximized Efficiency, Minimized Downtime

    PDUs are an essential part of the functioning of data centers. According to Energy Star, data centers that make use of intelligent power management systems have 2% to 3% more efficiency. With the proper distribution of power, data centers can ensure maximum uptime. This is partly because problems are able to be detected long before they have large consequences, and excessive energy consumption can be completely avoided when the power is monitored correctly.

Every network in the world is entirely unique, which is why it is important you have a monitoring system designed to fit your space. The risk of buying too much (or too little) is very high when it comes to power distribution units. The technicians at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric are trained to know exactly what type of PDU will best fit your space and will install a power management system that will match your business perfectly. Contact us today at 1-800-475-1504 to find out more.


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