This article will provide a brief overview of the United States Department of Energy’s Best Practices Guide for Energy Efficient Data Centers in Seattle. It will highlight best practices in the categories of Information Technology systems, air management, electrical and cooling systems and other opportunities for energy efficient design of data centers in Seattle.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, data centers in Seattle can consume up to 200 times as much electricity as standard office spaces. Because data centers in Seattle consume so much energy, they are prime targets for energy-efficiency that can reduce electricity and ultimately save money. However, data centers often house mission-critical applications and reliability and high power density capacity are far more important than energy efficiency.
The U.S. Department of Energy created their best practice guide to provide energy efficient alternatives to inefficient data centers in Seattle.
Information Technology Systems in Seattle Data Centers
A typical data center has a highly efficient cooling system and IT equipment can account for more than half of the data center facility’s energy use. If data centers implement efficient IT equipment, then they will reduce these loads which will ultimately reduce the equipment needed to cool them.
Purchasing servers equipped with fans, energy-efficient processors, and power supplies, consolidating storage devices, high-efficient network equipment, consolidating power supplies, and implementing virtualization are the best ways for data centers in Seattle to reduce IT equipment loads.
Air management for data centers in Seattle entails all of the designs and configurations required to minimize or eliminate mixing between the hot air rejected from the data center equipment and the cool air supplied to this equipment. Effective air management implementation reduces the bypass of cooling air and the recirculation of heat exhaust. A properly designed air management system can reduce first cost equipment investment, operating costs, increase the facility’s power density, as well as reduce heat related processing failures and interruptions. Key design issues include configuring of the equipment heat exhaust ports and air intake, the location of supply and returns, the temperature set points of the airflow, and the large-scale airflow patterns of the facility.
It is important to always consider initial and future electrical system loads, specifically part-and low load conditions when selecting and designing equipment for an electrical system in a data center.
Similar to electrical systems, it is important to always consider initial and future cooling systems in data centers in Seattle. Specifically focusing on part-and low-load conditions, as the need for digital data continues to expand.
Additional Opportunities for Energy Efficient Design
There are a number of additional best practices for energy efficient design in data centers in Seattle. According to the U.S. Department of energy the most effective of these practices include on-site power generation, co-generation plants, reduction of standby loss and the use of waste heat, which can be used directly by the facility or to supply cooling required by the data center.