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Datacenter 110/120v Alternating Current Outlet Converted To 220v Alternating Current

Posted on 2014-11-23
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Last Modified: 2014-11-29
Hi Experts,

We are building a small datacenter and I want to know if the following is possible.

We have single phase service panels, lets take for example a 200 amp service panel, phase A and B in our panel.

QUESTION: Can we run 220v through regular (red hospital style) 110v outlets? Our gear all runs at 220v and it is much more efficient and produces less heat this way, but it is for american standard outlets, and we want to keep it american standard 110v style outlets.

I have looked up the specifics of 110v AC outlets, and they are rated at 20 amps. If we run 220v will it be rated at 10 amps? So we could run 2200 watts off a single rated outlet max?
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Question by:dr34m3rs
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13 Comments
 
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 1000 total points
ID: 40461472
A standard IEC power cord like you see on most computer equipment is only rated for 10 Amps.  While there are 20AMP outlets, 'standard' outlets are only rated for 15Amps @125VAC.

More info on sockets and ratings here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 1000 total points
ID: 40461599
The voltage rating of a connector relates to the insulation thickness, the current rating relates to the thickness of the conductor. If it's rated at 20A you an put 20A through it whatever the voltage without the cable/conductor getting too hot. If it's rated at 110V and you put 220V across the insulator it could break down and catch fire. Note though that such connectors are normally over-engineered, if a manufacturer makes 110 and 220v plugs they're likely to use the same thickness of insulation on both.
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by:dr34m3rs
ID: 40463763
Running 110v pulling 550 watts is 5 amps

Running 220v pulling 550 watts is 2.5 amps

AMPS is the key factor correct? So as long as we do not miscalculate anything should be doable?

The question is, the difference in VOLTS itself wont effect anything because the watts, amps, and heat load will all be within spec?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40463889
Not completely.  The insulation is rated in volts.  If you run 220 VAC thru devices only rated for 120VAC then any insurance that you have will be null and void.  If you looked at the page I linked above you will see that most NEMA outlets are only rated for 120VAC, not 220VAC.
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dr34m3rs earned 0 total points
ID: 40464025
Insulation is rated based on volts + amps = watts. Watts (heat generated) being the key energy factor. They just label them differently based on country used in.

You can have 1,000,000 volts running under the insulation as long as the amps are low enough. 1,000,000V * 0.0000012A = 1200 watts
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by:andyalder
ID: 40464333
Insulation is not rated in watts, just volts. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulator_%28electricity%29#Breakdown 

If an electrical insulator was rated in watts then electric sparks could not occur since before the spark started current is zero therefore by your reasoning watts = 0 and therefore moist air has an infinite breakdown (wattage???) so lightning just doesn't happen!
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by:dr34m3rs
ID: 40465206
The current has to be there to cause a large increase in current. ;)

Insulation is rated in both volts and amps which when combined leads to watts ;)

We resolved this by using rated materials anyways. Thankfully hydroponics was the answer and we are not talking merajuwannah. We found electrical receptacles that were rated for our needs, and will be sourcing appropriate cabling as well.

Thanks again for all the help!
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40465280
I'm glad you decided to use 'rated materials', that is the best solution for many reasons.  But insulation is Not rated in watts.  But it is rated for temperature and maximum temperature will be caused in part by the heating cause by current flow.  And the wire gauge specs are also for temperature rise.  Current carrying capacity for a specified temperature rise.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge
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by:dr34m3rs
ID: 40465322
Cool thanks
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by:andyalder
ID: 40465650
I'm impressed that you're growing the mains cables and plugs using hydroponics rather than buying them :)
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40465764
Andy, I think it's part of the 'green economy'.
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Author Comment

by:dr34m3rs
ID: 40466495
Hahahaha :)

The recipe is:

1 LB natural rubber partially enfused with black walnut seed
10 TONS of copper mined by solar powered ant robots
4.5 self replicated 3D printers to finish the task (the .5 is useless though, just wanders around the basement aimlessly)...
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Author Closing Comment

by:dr34m3rs
ID: 40471428
Thanks for pointing us in the right direction!
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