Green Data Centers: 11 Ways Data Centers Energy Efficiency

The most innovative 11 ways to improve data center energy efficiency and substantially lower operating expenses are discussed in this blog article.

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    Because of the ever-increasing demand for online and mobile services, data centers have become more vital to modern society. For a long time, the only machines able to connect to the internet were those with feeble connections. However, in the modern world, all electronic devices can hook up to the web, and their connection speeds are astounding compared to those of even a few decades ago. That's why the global supply of data centers is growing steadily to meet the ever-increasing demand. Unlike other types of buildings, data centers have the highest power consumption rates, earning them the nickname "high consumption locations." The fast proliferation of data centers threatens the power grid's reliability since their ever-increasing electrical needs might overwhelm data center operators and significantly strain the system's capacity.

    With the expansion of the data center business comes increased scrutiny of the industry's energy use. Inefficient or outdated data center power infrastructure can increase the cost of running a data center.

    • Data centers often use more than 100 times as much power as an equivalent commercial office space due to their unique purpose of storing energy-demanding IT equipment and running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Data centers now use 1% of global energy, and by 2025 they are projected to use 20% of worldwide electricity.

    Since data centers use so much electricity, putting in place effective energy conservation measures can cut energy use and the cost of utilities by a significant amount. Even a modest data center efficiency can save thousands of dollars by applying a series of intelligent management decisions. To keep the data center's operating costs low, it is essential to investigate and evaluate all potential avenues for reducing energy use.

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    Some of the most innovative ways to improve data center energy efficiency and substantially lower operating expenses are discussed in this blog article.

    We will answer the most frequently asked questions, such as:

    • How can data centers be more sustainable?
    • How to improve data center efficiency?
    • How Can You Make A Warehouse More Energy Efficient?

    For Green Data Centers: Maximize the Efficiency of Air Flow

    Raise the temperature of the HVAC system's supply air to meet the upper end of the temperature ranges suggested by ASHRAE's Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments.

    Using a DX-type unit for chilling will increase the efficiency of the compressor, and using chilled water air handling units will increase the efficiency of the chiller plant.

    Enhance Control of Underfloor Air Pressure

    The energy efficiency of data centers with raised floor plenums can be improved by effectively sealing the expanded floor system and clearing any obstructions from beneath the floor.

    The IT equipment may not get enough chilled air if air leaks from the elevated floor are not managed. It's also possible for insufficient cold air flows to the equipment to be caused by bottlenecks and impediments under the floor. To accommodate the cooling demands of the equipment, the HVAC system must increase the supply air temperature and run the fans for longer under these circumstances.

    You can also check out our blog article about sustainable IT.

    Modern Cooling Systems

    Concerningly, cooling equipment accounts for 30–60% of the electricity cost at most data centers. Since most of the wasted electricity is the consequence of inefficient practices and the inability to achieve the recommended parameters for equipment operation given by ASHRAE, the statistics do not have to be so bad. Saving only 25 percent on cooling expenses for a hypothetical data center with a thousand servers might result in tens of thousands of dollars.

    Reduce "bypass airflow," which wastes around 60% of the available cold air. You should ensure that the data center doesn't waste its cool air by letting it circulate all over the place. For optimal cooling, the air conditioning units in the server room should be positioned perpendicular to the hot lanes and pointed toward the enclosures.

    By installing air handlers and chillers, data centers can boost cooling output. The latter may modify its humidity, temperature, and driving frequency to maximize efficiency.

    Separate the Hot Air from the Cold Hold

    Companies can reduce their massive electricity consumption by adopting simple and implementable cooling solutions. The first step is for data centers to use hot aisle/cold aisle layouts. Ensure that the IT equipment is laid out in a hot-aisle/cold-aisle configuration that allows for the maximum circulation of cool air to the intakes and the ultimate exhaust of heated air from the racks. Aisles can be designated as hot or cold by separating them with walls or ceilings to prevent the transfer of heat or cold.

    By periodically switching on the hot air exhaust, you can make the temperature in the room seem more consistent. Blanking panels within equipment enclosures may be used to avoid cross-contamination between airflows in the two aisles.

    Install Equipment for Monitoring Energy Consumption

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    Legacy data centers may lack the sophisticated energy use monitoring hardware and sensors required to comply with ASHRAE requirements and collect the measurements needed to compute the data center PUE. Installing energy monitoring components and systems to determine the data center's energy efficiency is crucial for adequately implementing all other energy-saving measures.

    Enhance CRAC Regulations

    The standalone CRAC units used in traditional data centers often have their controls and set points, which causes the units to "battle" over the temperature and humidity settings, resulting in unnecessary and wasteful energy use. The likelihood of these devices behaving in this manner will be reduced by increasing the deadband for the temperature and humidity settings. Consideration might be given to more advanced control situations for extra energy savings.

    Raise The Performance Of CRAC Systems

    Variable speed control for supply air fans and electronically commutated (EC) motors are examples of how modern CRAC machines have improved their energy efficiency. Savings on energy can be realized by retrofitting or replacing older CRAC units with newer models that have these enhancements.

    Inventive Tax Structures

    Another method to improve data center efficiency is to use inventive pricing. Many businesses have implemented green data center programs to encourage energy-saving habits among their staff and customers. The most important thing is making sure everyone follows the rules.

    Data centers can promote a culture of awareness and responsibility around energy efficiency by charging clients costs that are tariffed based on the energy used.

    Improve Transformer Efficacy

    When replacing standard-efficiency transformers with high-efficiency transformers in a data center with older electrical distribution parts nearing the end of their expected useful lives, energy costs can be cut cost-effectively. High-efficiency transformers not only lose less electricity on the inside but also produce less heat that needs to be cooled mechanically.

    At the time of replacement, if it is possible, the facility's power distribution system can be changed so that fewer transformers are needed. This can also save energy.

    Increase the Lighting Efficiency

    Replacing or retrofitting fluorescent-lamp-powered light fixtures with LED-type fixtures will save a lot of energy in places that are currently lit with fluorescent lamps. Installing better lighting controls, like occupancy/motion sensors, or more manual controls that allow lights to be turned off when a room is empty, can also be a cost-effective way to save energy.

    By using any of these ways to save energy, operators of old data centers can lower the overall cost of running their facilities. There should be a close look at each opportunity's projected savings and expenses to determine which ones are the most cost-effective, and money should be spent on those. As with all retrofitting projects, flexibility should be considered for possible changes in technology and business operating conditions in the future.

    Increase Storage Usage via Tiering

    When replacing short-stroked disks with SSDs for high performance, utilization increases, increasing your data stored per watts of power used. Shifting the correct data to high-efficiency, lower-performance spinning drives and moving archive material to offline tape systems are both essential parts of the tiering process, which is otherwise focused on improving energy efficiency for high-performance objectives.

    How Can You Make A Warehouse More Energy Efficient?

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    Energy consumption is high in warehouses since they are massive industrial buildings. However, there are several measures you can take, both significant and minor, to reduce energy use in the warehouse and save costs.

    If you are trying to make a warehouse more energy efficient, consider the following suggestions.

    Check The Energy Efficiency Regularly

    The best way to reduce warehouse energy consumption is to track how you use energy. Regularly checking your warehouse's energy efficiency will help your business control how much energy it operates throughout the year. Your return on investment (ROI) will go up if you take the time to check your industrial building thoroughly.

    Install Destratification Fans

    Stratified air can raise heating bills by up to 26%, so a destratification fan is a great way to heat a warehouse in a way that saves energy. In the winter, when the heat is on, a lot of the heat rises to the ceiling, making it useless for keeping employees and goods at a comfortable temperature. Installing a high-quality, low-speed fan with ample airflow is a great way to control how heated air moves through your warehouse.

    HVLS fans work with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to move that warm air back down to the ground. This keeps the temperature in your warehouse even.

    Put Sealant Around Trailer Doors At Docks

    Different industrial places need other ways to seal the loading dock. A good loading dock seal is one of the best industrial products that save energy. When the trailer pulls into the warehouse, they make a seal like a gasket around the top and side edges. This is great for warehouses that control the temperature.

    If the loading dock door is not closed and locked, air can get out through the gaps. When you use an excellent dock seal, less air from outside will get into the warehouse. This means you will not have to use as much energy to keep the temperature inside the stable.

    Install Industrial Doors With Insulation

    This is especially important if your warehouse's freezer and cooler doors need to be insulated. Low cycle time doors are one of the quickest ways to let more air in, which drives up energy consumption.

    Getting high-speed insulated industrial doors will make it less likely that warm air will get in and cool air will get out, saving you energy on cooling.

    Organize The Warehouse By The Temperature

    When different products in a warehouse need to be stored at very different temperatures, keeping cool storage close to other cool storage and warm storage together is a good idea. This makes it less likely that the temperature will leak from one room to another.

    Keeping identical goods together decreases air leakage and energy expenses. Any contaminated air will be the same temperature as the room it leaks into, reducing heating and cooling costs.

    Replace Your Outdated Lights

    Now is a great time to start using fluorescent lights in your warehouse if you haven't already. Switching from traditional incandescent lights to fluorescent or LED lights is one of the fastest ways to save up to 80 percent on energy costs. LED options use less energy and can last up to 25 percent longer than your older incandescent lights.

    Not only does good lighting have a direct effect on your energy costs, but it can also make your employees more productive. A warehouse with good lighting creates a pleasant workplace, which has made people work harder, which means that the overall ROI is higher.

    More Green Energy-Saving Techniques

    You can make a warehouse more energy efficient by using the following tips:

    In the summer, your building will stay cooler if there is less exposed paving and other surfaces like that. These surfaces reflect the sun's rays and store heat, which they then let out later in the day. This can change the temperature of your warehouse in a big way.

    Planting trees around the building and making shaded areas will cut down on some of the heat from the outside. This will lower your cooling bill and make your warehouse less environmentally harmful.

    Reducing emissions by using battery-powered forklifts can help you reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption and save you money on repairs. The lack of exhaust fumes will make your exhaust fans and ventilation systems last longer and work better because they won't have to work as hard.

    If you choose building materials that are made close to where you live, your carbon footprint will be smaller because the materials will have to travel less distance.

    Using recycled steel and wood in your building can save money and make it less harmful to the environment. If you can not use recycled materials in the main building, you could use them in the cafeteria or other private areas.

    Energy Efficiency with Ronwell

    Ronwell Digital offers sustainability consulting services that enable companies to make healthier decisions about energy efficiency and green data centers.

    We help businesses consider their options for adjusting to the shifting regulatory environments in which they operate.

    Check our sustainability services page for further details.

    Contact Us

    Writer:

    Halime Yılmaz

    Content Marketing Specialist

    12 min read

    22 November 2022, Tuesday

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