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Data Centres and Sustainability

20 January, 2015

Data Centres and Sustainability

Data Centres and SustainabilityAccording to the latest research from Digital Power Group the global technology sector consumes over 10% of the world’s total electricity output. Much of this is chewed up by data centres which are incredibly important yet also consume a huge amount of electricity. As such, sustainable data centre design is critical. In fact under UK law any new data or e-commerce facility is required to submit an energy conservation report as part of the planning process. If you’re interested in how to plan an eco-friendly facility we’ve put together a list which highlights some of the key areas to consider when designing a data centre with minimal environmental impact.

Strategic placement of air conditioning equipment

The placement of chillers, dry coolers and condensers can significantly influence the energy efficiency of a data centre. All air conditioning equipment needs adequate air space to foster the efficient removal of heat. Any air that re-circulates from the air off to air on jeopardises efficiency and increases overall electricity use.

Correct positioning of air handling units and floor grilles

Failure to strategically position air handling units and floor grilles can result in premature air re-circulation and a build-up of hot spots. This consumes unnecessary energy and hinders the eco-friendly credentials of a data centre.

Energy efficient lighting

Data centres don’t usually feature windows which means that all light is artificially generated. One of the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption is to fit out a facility with energy efficient lighting options.

Segregating higher tolerance equipment

To ease the burden on air conditioning systems it’s advisable to consider segregating items of equipment that are more tolerant of running in higher ambient temperatures. These areas can then be supplied with vented non-air-conditioned air which will significantly reduce energy consumption.

Draw on outside air

When ambient temperature does not surpass a set level outside air can be used to assist the cooling process. This will instantly slash the running costs of air conditioning equipment.

Tactical arrangement of computer racking

The strategic configuration of computer racks into hot and cold aisles will create a direct path of hot air which is pushed back to the air handling equipment. This significantly boosts the efficiency of the air conditioning system and ensures that no energy is wasted.

As the global demand for data centres continues to rise it’s important to ensure that new build facilities incorporate energy efficient features.

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