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Universal Power Distribution Panel

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015658D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jun-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a device that can standardize -48 Volt (V) Direct Current (DC) power distribution panels for telephone company computer installations. This standard device can replace the unique power distribution panels that are released to support specific configurations of computer drawers approved for -48V DC telephone company applications. Computer systems used for telephone companies commonly use -48 V DC power. In order to accommodate the DC power feeds, a power distribution panel (PDP) is used. This PDP is normally affixed to the rack containing the computer hardware. The rack generally contains several drawers of computer hardware, with each drawer requiring its own power supply. The purpose of the PDP is to distribute power, with the correct overload protection, to the different drawers of the computer. For example, a processor drawer may require a 15, 20, or 30 amp circuit breaker, and a disk storage drawer may require a 10 or 15 amp circuit breaker. The variety of overload limits makes it difficult to create one PDP that can cover all combinations of drawers. Complicating the issue, each computer drawer may employ a unique connector design. So, even if two different type drawers shared an overload current of 20 amps, for example, they likely would not share a common connector design. PDPs have traditionally been designed with hardwired circuit breakers. There is some physical limit to the number of breakers and, besides, cost would prohibit building a PDP that covered all possibilities. Adding the connector variations would exponentially increase the difficulty/cost. The proposed PDP has two significant differences with existing PDPs. The first difference is plug-able circuit breakers. Circuit breaker receivers are hardwired to the power bus bars in the PDP. Based on the drawer configuration in the rack the appropriate breakers are plugged. The second difference is standard connectors in the PDP, for the cables that run from the PDP to the drawer power supplies. It is beneficial if each drawer used the same standard connector. When this is not possible the drawer end of the cable would use a unique connector, but the PDP end of the cable would employs the standard connector. The benefits of this universal PDP are plenty. First is field flexibility. Reconfiguring or upgrading existing systems at the customer installation site becomes very easy. A second benefit is reduced order complexity. With one unit available, there is only one option to order, and one option to set up in your ordering systems. Finally, there is significant manufacturing benefit. Since only one unit is required, inventories and build complexity are reduced. 1