Why open-channel solutions are essential in data centres

Written By

Charles Mann
Sales Director DATABAR (EMEA/APAC)


Anord Mardix

According to industry experts, critical power solutions for large scale projects have evolved somewhat in the past decade.

As the demand for data storage increases worldwide, the need to innovate in the delivery of critical power distribution solutions is at the forefront of Data Centre construction.

Time to market and the need to deliver equipment faster has paved the way for new solutions to form part of the power distribution chain. We are seeing a transition towards modular power solutions and busway systems to support the power delivery to the rack.

Open channel busway provides a flexible method to distribute power to the rack and the power load can vary across the data hall. Tap-offs can be configured to suit the required load per rack and can then be positioned at any point along the open channel area of the busway.

As we explore the key benefits of open channel technology, it is clear to see why this is now becoming the preferred method for power distribution in the data hall. Anord Mardix in recent years has created a solution to support this method of distribution, the DATABAR, which has proven to go above and beyond for its clients in data centre projects.

Here are some key reasons why open-channel critical power solutions are best suited to most data centre projects:


A key safety feature of the DATABAR is the mechanical interlock system. the function of the interlock is to prevent a live-live connection when a tap-off is inserted onto the busway system. the first connection is always mechanical, and the technician will then have to activate the safety key to enable an electrical connection.

Charles Mann, Sales Director DATABAR (EMEA/ APAC) for Anord Mardix, comments:

“The ‘Mechanical Interlock” feature on the DATABAR ensures that the load can only become part of the electric circuit only when authorized – it’s not automatic. This safety feature gives our on-site installers the peace of mind that their safety is our top priority. The ‘mechanical interlock’ is a patented design of the DATABAR system and sets it apart from any other busway system on the market today.”


An important factor of any project is the flexibility of the products used. Open channel power solutions are considered the most flexible option because of their modular design. This means that tap off’s can be installed anywhere along the busway when required. The simplified design also reduces key development time of the project prior to installation.

Our DATABAR product permits the safe installation of Tap-off units on a live busway, and allowing for any of the open channel area to be used

Another key advantage is that a tap-off design change can be implemented to suit a customer’s requirements, whether it be a single or 3-phase power configuration.

Compact design

An integral part of implementing a busway system is the product’s profile, as this can affect the amount of space available for other elements of the data hall.

DATABAR has the smallest profile in the industry and the tap-offs can be designed to accommodate the space required by the client to meet the clearance levels required. The busway can also be mounted horizontally or vertically, again providing options when space becomes a challenge above the rack.

Installation speed

The faster the install, the quicker other aspects of the fit out can be enabled. The DATABAR busway system does not require any joint packs, which can reduce the total time of install by up to 80%. The DATABAR ‘no joint pack’ solution also reduces installation failure rates by 100%. This patented design, which supports the joining area of two busways, has been a game changer in the prevention of technical issues from the joining area.

The tap-off installation process has been made easier by the safety features and this allows for a quicker process all round.

Total Cost of Ownership

A future benefit of using an open channel busway system is the total cost of ownership. The plug and play aspect and maintenance free system provides huge savings to on-going the cost management of future deployments.

DATABAR can support power from 160A to 630A on the same busway, providing a unique modular approach to increasing capacity. The ability to scale up without the need to change out hardware is crucial towards optimising on the initial investment made in the Data Hall construction.

Environmental considerations

In a modern world, all projects now need to be built with environmental considerations in mind. For this industry, energy efficiency of the system is one consideration. For instance, busbars have a lower resistance, so the loss of energy due to transmission and distribution is lower.

Busway systems, thanks to their sleek design, also promote airflow, which allows the busway and its adjoined units to be cooled much more efficiently. This means that less energy is used to keep the datacentre cool.

The sustainability of the products and components in the project is important too. For instance, busway power distribution solutions have a significant reduction in insulation. This significant difference makes open channel busways the much more sustainable choice, because they are so much easier to recycle.

Overall, it’s clear to see how the flexibility, cost, design, safety, as well as its environmental considerations, have resulted in busway solutions becoming the market-leader. Anord Mardix’s DATABAR busway solution has grown from strength to strength in recent years, with regions worldwide choosing the product to be the critical power solution in data centre projects.

If you would like to speak to someone at Anord Mardix regarding your upcoming data centre project, please get in contact with us here.

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