Data Center Optimization

Worldwide, data centers are estimated to use 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants, according to a recent New York Times article on data center energy use. Data centers in the United States account for one-quarter to one-third of that load, these estimates show.

Solutions Inc has deep expertise in data center airflow management and controls integration projects. Our team has developed and installed hundreds of projects, many of which have qualified for utility incentives, in both raised and slab floor data centers. Our services include:

LED Lighting upgrades

Optimizing the lighting platform itself would add highly to your data centers. In fact, by focusing on these capabilities, savings based on controlling the lighting in the data center can exceed 90 percent. Such optimization opportunities include:

  • Upgrading to LED technology, which is far more energy-efficient and has a longer operating lifetime than traditional fluorescent technology. The cost benefits are twofold: less power consumed for lighting, and reduced cooling requirements due to LED’s lower operating temperature.
  • Deploying an intelligent, high-density sensor network that can adjust lighting based on conditions such as occupancy, motion, or pre-set policies to vastly reduce wasted lighting energy.
  • Powering the LED lighting with low-voltage direct current (DC), which can be done over structured cabling. This makes any changes much simpler, less costly and less disruptive than using traditional alternating current (AC) mains power.
Overall these inclusions can account for the following:

Low-voltage wiring
The low-voltage wiring gives the option to move the fixtures when needed. That’s important not only from a cost standpoint, but more from a standpoint of flexibility and timing,

Low energy usage and low heat
We can even have motion activated LEDs that result in low energy usage, since they’re off until they’re needed. It can also results in low heat emission, which is a crucial benefit for data centers

Visually appealing
We would deliver aesthetically creative and softer designs with the new fixtures, as we are pioneers in the lighting field and have the best resources to come up with the products that suit you the most.

Space efficiency
The new fixtures can be set up in a way that they take up less space in the data center. Ceilings have a tendency to get congested with cable racks and cable trays, “and the lights we use can use a very small ceiling footprint, so that we can be space efficient as well.

Airflow management retrofit solutions

Blanking panels are key for making sure airflow goes where it’s needed. These panels block off other open space that air would pass through so that it can only go through the servers to cool them down, not bypass the servers to get back to the CRAC units.Improved cable management also enhances the airflow by eliminating the need for articulating or folding cable arms. These devices seem like a great idea, but the bundles of cables tied to them block air from getting out of the cabinet. A deeper, wider cabinet also gives you plenty of room for cable management and allows more airflow in it.

HVAC and power monitoring controls integration

Monitoring and controls are key to optimal energy management as they enable the ability to measure and manage the data. The two key elements of energy management are metrics and benchmarking performance. Key metrics include power usage effectiveness (PUE), HVAC, energy reuse (ERF), utilization etc.
Solution Incs designers work together from the schematic design stage forward to coordinate and optimize their design integration for the electrical and HVAC while also taking advantage of the opportunities to maximize integration beginning with a dedication to communication and a mutual understanding of each discipline’s terminology and systems.
A proper integration of the electrical and HVAC systems also comes with rightsizing of the systems and equipment. Then there are equipment like oversized chillers, generators, boilers, and transformers that do not operate at their highest efficiency, which obviously adds to the operating costs and also has extra space requirements, and other additional installed costs.

Energy Efficiency retro-commissioning of existing sites

Back in the day, when most existing buildings were built, energy efficiency was not a major factor that played front and center in people's minds. Even if the building automation system was correctly installed and commissioned when the building was new 20 years ago, it may not be programmed properly for today’s operations. Adding to the complexity, building documentation often is incomplete, with components and equipment missing or incorrectly installed.
The result is a building using more energy to accomplish less. A comprehensive testing of building systems with the goal of improving quality i.e. retrocommissioning, allows building deficiencies to be identified and corrected for optimum energy use.

Retrocommissioning is the systematic process that improves an existing building’s performance. Retrocommissioning seeks to identify operational improvements that will increase comfort and save energy. The process can be performed alone or with a retrofit project. Typical energy savings are between 5 percent and 20 percent often with paybacks of less than one year.

Retrocommissioning consists of four phases. In the planning phase, the building systems to be analyzed are identified. The next phase determines how those systems are supposed to operate, and a prioritized list of operating deficiencies is prepared. During the implementation phase, the highest priority deficiencies are corrected and proper operation is verified. In the hand-off phase, improvements are reported and facilities executives are shown how to sustain proper operation.

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