Page 57 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2016 publication
P. 57

Spring 2016 European Energy Innovation   57

                                                             DATA CENTRES

Energy efficient technologies for data

Data centre design was
                originally focussed on
                reliability, however today
                there is greater awareness
 of the need to make them more
 sustainable. Life Cycle Assessment
 (LCA) studies have identified that a
 data centre’s energy use, embodied
 impact and source energy are all
 important factors in its environmental

Increasing policy and cost pressures        responsibility of the IT infrastructure  is important to allow cooling
have forced the data centre industry to     team, however, the racks they choose,    performance to be optimised.
look at how to become more energy           their layout and their management will
efficient. Cooling is usually the largest   impact the air delivery. Collaborative   The temperature and humidity
energy consumer after IT load in a          working and sharing of knowledge         requirements for IT hardware have
legacy facility and the area with the
greatest potential for improvement.

Most IT equipment in the data centre is
air-cooled. Better understanding and
management of the environmental
requirements for IT equipment
enables significant improvements to
both the performance of cooling and
the potential reduction in its energy

The results from several surveys in
legacy facilities has identified poor
delivery of cold air to IT equipment,
caused by both bypass of air from the
cooling units and recirculation of hot
server air [as illustrated in the diagrams
on the right]. The typical solution is
to reduce temperature set points and
increase cooling unit fan speeds, both
of which result in increased energy
consumption and do not address the
root causes of the problem.

This is in part caused by the different
stakeholders and contractual
requirements: the designer must
ensure the cooling units deliver the
required amount of cooling to the
room but are usually not responsible
for the delivery path of the cold air to
the IT equipment. This is also not the
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