Data Center Energy Efficiency: What You Need to Know
- February 24, 2017
- Commercial Air Conditioning
Data center energy use has increased steadily over time. In 2014, data centers in the United States consumed about 70 billion kWh. This is expected to increase to 73 billion kWh by 2020. This is a massive amount of energy, but much can be mitigated. Data center energy efficiency strategies have the potential to save up to 33 billion kWh by 2020. Make sure your Tampa company is keeping up with these efforts by brushing up on the most important points on data cooling services.
Where Energy Use Happens
Data centers use energy differently than other commercial buildings. To maximize your data center energy efficiency, you should understand where the most power is going. While you might expect the servers and other IT equipment to consume most the electricity in your data center, it’s actually the cooling equipment that uses the lion’s share. Data centers produce an immense amount of heat, and keeping the equipment cool is a major expense for property managers.
How to Handle Airflow
Airflow is essential to data center energy efficiency. If you have disorganized cabling, the masses of wires will prevent air from flowing freely throughout the space. If you have cables running beneath a raised floor, installing floor grommets can allow more air to flow through. Arrange your cabinets so they face one another, with alternating hot and cold aisles. Place cooling vents over the hot aisles and this setup will maximize your efficiency.
Server Consolidation Tactics
It’s more energy efficient to run a small number of servers at high loads than to run several at part loads. Utilize the highest load available to you, but cut back on the overall number of servers where possible. When you remove servers from a rack, install a blanking panel in their place to keep cold air from seeping into this area and short-circuiting the slot.
Which Standards to Measure By
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed a set of guidelines for implementing efficient data center cooling services. While ASHRAE doesn’t enforce compliance, theirs are the gold standard that other inspectors will use for permitting purposes. Review these standards closely and use them as smart guidance for setting up your own data center.
Among the ASHRAE recommendations is a suggested temperature between 80.6 and 95 degrees F. This is much warmer than what some companies are used to but perfectly acceptable for maintaining an efficient and highly functioning data center. While ASHRAE doesn’t use power usage effectiveness (PUE) to measure efficiency, the U.S. government does. The government recommends keeping PUE at or below 1.4.
The Implications of Ignoring Energy Use
It’s crucial for business owners to understand the full implications of running an inefficient data center. High utility expenses are the most obvious hazard associated with a poorly managed facility, but the consequences can go far beyond that. Data is becoming increasingly important around the world, and massive banks of servers are powering this. The energy consumed by these data centers will have a major impact on the environment. If data centers can’t be maintained efficiently, some speculate that data rationing will be the result.
If you need to improve your data center cooling services to maximize efficiency and minimize your energy costs, contact Tropic-Kool Engineering at 727-581-2824. We can help you choose the best commercial cooling equipment for your data center’s distinctive needs.
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We are a Commercial HVAC company serving the greater Tampa Bay area. This blog covers issues relating to Commercial HVAC.
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