Energy Efficiency Audits

Often the biggest ongoing cost of any data centre is its power consumption. As data centres operate 24/7 the power used by even small facilities adds up to a significant number of kilowatt-hours and tonnes of CO2 every year. This is where a data centre energy efficiency audit should be used.

 If your organisation is focussed on reducing energy consumption and CO2 production, looking at your data centres in detail is likely to reap significant rewards.  This will certainly be the case with older facilities but also many new data centres can be better optimised to produce substantial operational savings.

By utilising “lost” capacity and increasing temperature set points, free cooling windows can be extended, providing you with a greater number of hours where your cooling plant is not using its compressors.

A data centre energy efficiency audit and report will help you understand where inefficiencies are and how they can be addressed without impacting the mission critical operations of your data centre.

Energy efficient data centre design is one of Convergent Technology ’s specialist areas of expertise. Over the last four years our designs have received 11 independent industry awards, from organisations such as the Uptime Institute, DatacentreDynamics and the British Computer Society, for class leading data centre energy efficiency.

We have worked with numerous clients to help them get the most out of their data centres and ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible. We typically save client between 30 and 67% on their infrastructure running costs. For some of our larger data centre operators we carry out such audits twice yearly to ensure efficiency is continually maximised.

 Methodology

Our energy audits and reports are bespoke and tailored to your facility, its size, age and operational function. Depending on a number of factors the data centre energy efficiency audit will be completed by; a Pre-Sales Consultant, Specific Discipline Design Engineer, Design Consultant or a combination of these.

The audit will involve a survey of the facility and its supporting infrastructure. During this survey, measurements, equipment details and photographs will be taken. This information will be included in the Energy Efficiency Report.  During and post survey the Convergent Technology  team will also work with key stakeholders from the organisation such as the Data Centre Manager, Facilities Manager and Energy Manager. The information gained from these sessions will help shape the strategies that will be suggested to improve the facility.

 Output

Findings of a data centre energy efficiency survey and audit are presented in the form of a comprehensive report. The first part of the report gives a description and evaluation of the data centre, its infrastructure and current operation including environment and equipment set points, capacities, utilisation and energy consumption. As part of this we will give you the facilities power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio.

The second part of the report describes what we refer to as, “quick wins”. These are changes that can be made to the facility for little or no cost and will have an immediate effect on its energy consumption and operation.

The third part of the report covers changes that involve a level of capital investment. Each solution is explained in detail with associated costs, savings and return on investment over time. Alterations that may have an impact on live services or introduce a temporary element of risk to the data centre are also explained, together with the associated pro’s and con’s.

Finally a table is provided giving solutions, associated costs and return on investments. This table is particularly useful for Senior Managers as it condenses the report in to one or two sheets.

Data Centre Energy Efficiency – Put it in Perspective

To give an example, a very small server room may have 10 cabinets in it, drawing 3kW per cabinet. Over a year these servers will use 262,800kWh of electricity. As these servers need to be supported by cooling equipment, UPS and other infrastructure the facility will use an additional circa 183,960kWh per year, if it has a PUE of 1.7. This gives a total of 446,760kWh of electricity. To put this in to perspective the average household uses 5000kWh per year. This means one small server room uses the same amount of electricity as 89.3 houses.

Making efficiency improvements in data centres can have a big impact on a business. Even small data centres use a great deal of electricity.