1. Start by virtualizing your servers
Virtual machines can run up to 20 times the number of applications. With fewer servers, you save on hardware, the number of required software licences, operations, maintenance and real estate.
2. Tune up or replace your chiller
While an old chiller may still work, it’s likely costing too much to operate. Over the past decade, technical improvements in chillers such as better heat transfer technology, digital controls and variable frequency drives (VFDs) have delivered vast improvements in energy efficiency.
Typically, a new chiller can reduce usage from 1.5 kW/ton to .7 kW/ton. Evaluate, then upgrade or replace.
Learn more about the benefits of upgrading or replacing your chiller >
3. Switch to VFDs to control fans and pumps
Upgrading to VFDs is a proven way to save energy, reduce maintenance costs and lower CO2 emissions.
There are many opportunities for VFD upgrades in a data centre. These include air supply fans, return fans, liquid cooler fans, condenser water pumps, chiller compressors and chilled water pumps.
VFDs adjust to run as required, rather than at a constant full speed. The energy savings can be between 10 to 40% and retrofits are relatively quick and simple. Paybacks typically range from two to four years.
Learn how VFDs can drive savings >
4. Limit mixing of hot and cold air to save
Sometimes simple is best. Separate hot and cold aisles with simple airflow management upgrades such as baffles and blanking panels to reduce cooling loads.
5. Choose ENERGY STAR® equipment
ENERGY STAR certified products are the best energy performers of all makes and models. They meet strict technical specifications for energy efficiency without compromising features or performance.
Because your data centre runs 24/7, a move to ENERGY STAR uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and Premium Efficiency Distribution Transformers can pay back quickly. Upgrade once, save every year.
Learn more about ENERGY STAR UPS >
6. Upgrade cooling system monitoring and control systems
Maintaining even temperature control is fundamental to operating a data centre. Today, sophisticated monitoring and control systems can keep temperatures to setpoints, while identifying both hot spots that need additional cooling, and cold spots where too much cooling is applied. Correcting cold spots allows operators to reduce airflow to those areas, which can result in new savings.
Also, keep in mind that new servers are designed to operate at warmer temperatures, which means you can increase the setpoint and let it fluctuate more. When replacing servers, be sure to specify higher-temperature models (ASHRAE Class A2 or higher).
7. Don’t miss out on free cooling and heating
Ontario’s climate is ideal to take advantage of water- or air-side economizers. Combine free cooling with an energy-efficient chiller to reduce chiller operation costs by up to 70%, especially during winter.
Also, consider opportunities for reclaiming exhaust air, which is typically at a constant flow and a high temperature.