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FAQs - Energy Efficiency Audits

Energy efficiency monitoring systems and audits for server rooms and datacentre environments.

When we look at a server room or datacentre in terms of energy efficiency, we are looking at loads on the demand-side of the electricity distribution infrastructure. Related terms include Demand Side Management (DSM) and Demand Side Response (DSR). Our objective is to find ways to improve the overall energy efficiency of the facility through behavioural changes, more efficient hardware use and where necessary hardware upgrade to more energy efficient infrastructure systems (uninterruptible power supplies and cooling systems). We can make recommendations for IT hardware upgrade but focus purely on the infrastructure and related systems.

We often find quick solutions to energy efficiency lie in critical cooling and air conditioning systems and the air flow path within the server room or datacentre. Typical issues are poorly sealed floor tiles or rack cabinets with missing or poorly fitted blanking plates. Other solutions to poor energy efficiency figures (leading to high PUEs) include not upgrading to the latest energy efficient solutions including file servers, cooling systems and uninterruptible power supplies.

We do not charge for an energy efficiency audit, if we can easily book the review into the diaries of our project managers. If a client requests an outside-working-hours audit or one that will involve us travelling over 250miles, we may have to make a special booking and will quote a reasonable price for this.

We provide a complete energy efficiency audit service. This can be booked through our projects team who can arrange a suitable time and date. During the visit, we will do a site walk through to gain an overall view of the project and to identify easy-fixes and the hardware systems that will require review. After the visit, we provide a detailed energy efficiency report with recommendations for improvement and where necessary training and system upgrades.

PUE standards for Power Usage Effectiveness and measures the energy efficiency of a server room or datacentre.

PUE = Total Facility Energy / IT Equipment Energy

The reciprocal measure of PUE is Data Center infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE)

DCIE = IT Equipment Power / Total Facility Power x 100%

PUE and DCiE were developed by the Green Grid (https://www.thegreengrid.org/) and are widely accepted energy efficiency measures that can also be used for bench marking.

It is important to note that PUE does not factor in sustainability and how the electricity used to power the facility is generated e.g. nuclear or renewable power sources. In addition, PUE does not consider energy reuse. Some larger datacentres may reuse heat created during the cooling process which in turns reduces the total energy consumption of the facility.

The energy efficiency of a computer or server room air conditioning unit is measured using the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER).

EER is a ratio of the cooling capacity measured in British Thermal Units (BTU or Btu) compared to the power input in Watts.

The higher the EER, the more energy efficient the air conditioner.

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