Many data center operators find themselves stuck, as they don't know how to make their data centers more energy-efficient. They can't just look at industry norms; they also need some recommendations.
FREMONT, CA: While data centers have managed to keep their collective energy consumption to less than 2 percent of global electricity consumption, their energy consumption could grow exponentially if computationally intensive applications such as video on demand, autonomous vehicles, and advanced 5G technology gains widespread adoption, as is expected. To overcome these obstacles, data centers must employ every available approach to enhance their energy efficiency.
Below are some methods that will improve the energy efficiency of data centers as follows:
Place energy usage monitors throughout the space: Many legacy data centers do not have the sensors and instruments essential to perform ASHRAE standards compliance and gather the data to compute the PUE. Installation of the required monitoring hardware and software, which can quantify the data center's energy efficiency, is crucial to ensuring that all other energy-saving measures are in place.
Keep supply air temperatures at optimal levels: To produce an IT equipment environment compatible with the higher end of suggested temperature ranges, adjust HVAC supply air temperatures. Higher supply air temperatures will boost compressor efficiency if a DX-type unit is used for cooling. If chilled water air handling units are used for cooling, the efficiency of the chiller plant will be increased.
Enhance the quality of under floor air pressure control: Raised floor plenums can make it difficult to control data center energy use, as poorly sealed systems and blockages under the floor can both serve to leak valuable resources. Leakage under the elevated floor can be a problem, as it causes inadequately chilled air to reach the IT equipment. Obstructions like trapped air and dust can make the cold air in the facility inefficient, leading to problems with the equipment. Higher HVAC supply air temperatures and extra fan energy are required to handle the equipment cooling demands because of these circumstances.
Enhance the efficiency of CRAC units: Energy efficiency improvements to CRAC units, such as variable-speed control for supply air fans and the use of electronically commutated (EC) motors, are now standard features on modern CRAC units. Energy savings can be realized by retrofitting existing CRAC units or replacing older CRAC units with these features.
Improve transformer output: When an aging electrical distribution system exists in a data center, high-efficiency transformers may save energy costs. The high-efficiency transformers are more efficient in internal electrical losses and produce less waste heat that requires cooling. It is also possible to save energy by, for example, reconfiguring the facility's electrical distribution system to minimize the number of transformers as are necessary for replacement.
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