Data Center Energy Consumption has become a focal point since more and more industries are using its services and will continue to do so in the future. If a data center is designed without keeping energy efficiency and sustainability in mind, it can become a financial burden in the long run and create environmental issues. As per International Energy Agency, around 1% of all global energy is used by data centers and is poised to consume 1/5th of the worldwide power supply by 2025.
As data centers are necessary for most enterprises, making them energy efficient is not only a moral obligation but can also significantly reduce maintenance costs. However, making small tweaks in data center design and following best practices can simultaneously improve energy efficiency and save costs. Here are 4 ways to make data centers energy efficient and dramatically reduce costs.
4 Ways to make Energy-Efficient Data Centers
- Software-Based Smart Design
Most experts feel that improving the energy efficiency of a data center comes down to the fundamental question of which solution offers the greatest workload with the least amount of hardware. Software-based innovative data center designs can ensure better energy utilization and sustainability.
Data centers must find underutilized parts of the system and reduce power consumption. It would be beneficial to get rid of underused applications and replace them with cost-effective ones to serve the same needs. It is also ideal for modern IT equipment integrated with data centers to run safely in warmer environments. This will reduce the need to overcooling the equipment, thereby saving both energy and money. By deploying temperature sensors & DCIM (data center infrastructure management) software, one can maintain temperatures according to the needs without jeopardizing the safety and working of the data center.
- Geographical location
Choosing the right location for a data center is a key strategy for improving energy efficiency. Long-term factors like future expansion, technology upgradation servers, HVAC, etc., must be considered to ensure the chosen facility is ideal for both the present and the future. The other factors affecting operations must also be taken into account, like unlimited renewable power source availability, fresh/recycled water, moderate climate conditions, etc.
- Modern Cooling Systems
The cooling equipment alone in the data centers consumes 30 to 60 percent of the power, which is quite alarming. Firms can reduce utility loads by using simple and deployable cooling solutions. A constant air temperature can be maintained by exchanging the cold aisle with a hot air exhaust, which is possible with the help of hot or cold aisle configurations. To reduce the air mixing from the two aisles, you can utilize blanking panels within the data center’s space. Data centers can further speed up the cooling output by using chillers and air-handlers.
How Companies can Bring their PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) to 1
Typically data centers will have PUE ranging between 1-3. A PUE of 3 means your data centers need a lot of improvements. On the other hand, a PUE of 1 means your data center is highly efficient and can be termed as a green data center. Here are a few parameters that can be optimized to achieve a PUE of 1 for most companies that houses a data center.
- Modify your data center’s design
Usually, data center equipment is built in two types – top-charged & bottom charged. The air becomes hot during the equipment run and always rises. Hence converting or replacing the current top-charged equipment with a bottom-charged can significantly lower PUE towards 1.
The design and placement of racks in data center equipment directly affect your PUE. With slight customization, you can place fans on the ceiling to remove hot air from the system. In-rack cooling is also another way of improving PUE.
- Achieving PUE at the server level
It is crucial to assess the efficiency of your data center servers and the power usage in standby mode or under overload circumstances. Fix the computing type, temperature range, cooling, and power needs that the server has at various points. Modular data centers are useful for achieving higher PUE, where high-power servers are segregated and placed in different areas within the data center. Virtualization can also boost your PUE and make your data center equipment highly efficient.
- UPS level changes to help PUE
We must align the UPS load to the data center equipment load to improve your PUE. If your UPS load is only 30%, then efficiency will drop drastically. However, you can plug UPS on demand when you go for modular data centers. Here, If you are currently using a 500 KVA UPS and when an additional load is needed, you can add another 100 KVA UPS instead of purchasing new equipment.
The above methods don’t need significant investments for the most part, and we can start building energy-efficient data centers right from design and save both money and our environment. All you need is the vision of making our planet sustainable for future generations and making data centers a benchmark for energy-efficient and sustainable technology. So, start the ball rolling for building green data centers today!