Best Strategies For Low Carbon Data Centers
Best practices such as using the most energy efficient equipment, consolidating applications and masking the identity of servers from its users will enable higher utilization of each server’s computing capacity and a lower carbon foot print for data centers, says an article published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Data centers consume huge amounts of energy and account for up to 2 percent of the world’s electricity, so they have been the focus of efforts to reduce their carbon intensity, however successful climate change policies need to focus not just on financial incentives to lower carbon footprint but also on reliable metrics to assess true carbon emissions, say researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Stanford University and Northwestern University.
Assessing the carbon intensity of a data center is not easy and there are many metrics in circulation today, so policy makers need to ascertain which metrics will actually help define a low-carbon data center, says one of the authors, Arman Shehabi.
In addition to best practice efficiency, tapping renewable energy will also help lower carbon footprint, but the authors caution that inefficient servers will end up consuming a lot more of renewable resources, so following the best practices to boost efficient usage is key.
The researchers suggest data centers should also be located in areas with cool outside air. The “free cooling” of appropriate climate zones reduces the need for mechanical cooling, and electricity use.
A few IT companies have already implemented some of these ideas. Facebook has located its latest data center in Sweden, to take advantage of its cool Nordic air and in addition, will also use hydroelectric energy to power the data center in Lulea.
Google recently opened up about its previously top-secret data centers, sharing 5 best practices to boost data center efficiency. Energy Manager Today guest columnist John Collins highlighted those practices in an April post. Tracking power usage effectiveness, managing air flow, turning up the thermostat (instead of believing it needs to be maintained at 70 degrees Fahrenheit), relying on free cooling and optimizing power distribution are Google’s recommendations, says Collins, who is with Eaton’s Data Centers.
Why bring buildings online? What information can operations teams glean from real-time data that they can’t just get from the monthly data provided by utility companies? Click to learn more.
- Essential Guide to Lighting Retrofits and Upgrades
- How to Use Lean Tools to Cash In On Environmental and Energy Savings
- Building Energy Intelligence
- Integrated Building Optimization
- Trends in Energy Management: Where Should Your Next Investment Be?
- Six Essential Steps to Drive Effective Energy Management
- Smart Companies Utilize Integrated Energy Solutions
- Mobility From The Plant Floor To The Store Door: Improve Safety, Accuracy, and Productivity
- Getting It Right: Evaluating, Deploying EMIS Software
- Alarms Management: The Future is Now
- Cut Costs and Improve Facility Operations with Energy Data
- Energy Procurement Strategies for Winter 2014 and 2015
- Energy Efficiency Requires Engineering Efficiency
- Integrated Building Optimization: A Crucial Convergence of Demand-side and Supply-Side Energy Management Strategies
- Driving Productivity and Profit with Industrial Energy Management