Data center more effectively
March 8, 2023
What are cost centers?
A data center is a location for computers, storage systems, servers, and other computer equipment that businesses and other organizations use to organize, process, store, and share large amounts of information in the form of data. They typically include electrical distribution utilities and ancillary electrical equipment, stationary generators, and air conditioning and heating equipment.
Improving carbon footprint and cost centers?
Data centers need sustainable decarbonization logistics to appear to accelerate their emissions, increase their energy operability, command grid offsets, enhance resiliency and produce versus volatile electricity prices. Sustainable decarbonization logistics generally incorporate digital tools for reporting emissions and urinal bills that provide detailed information on energy payments, which helps to better the project. As a result, companies can identify the best way to implement flexible solutions, such as battery-packed storage solutions (BESS), demand response (DR) programs, green packaging swap agreements (PPAs), and charging stations for electric vehicles. The sustainability of data centers depends on many factors ranging from planning optimization to operational cost. Everything from storage packaging to solar panels is used to accelerate consumption and emissions.
Sustainability issues and cost centers
This is an issue of utmost importance and needs to be addressed, for example, the state of California in the US has more than 800 data centers and together they use about 400 billion liters of water per year, to get an idea of the magnitude, the Community of Madrid consumes annually about 474 billion liters.
There is a purely economic explanation, the interest in the use of energy in data centers and its metric (PUE) were not motivated at least initially by environmental sustainability, but by cost savings.
With the strong irruption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) affecting the reputation of companies in the market, energy efficiency is contemplated from a broader spectrum, and interest is generated using water in data centers and its metric, the WUE, purely motivated by environmental sustainability, and not by cost savings, since the cost of water is, compared to other costs, negligible.
This is why the industry, historically, has made great leaps in reducing electricity use and carbon footprint,(The origin of greenhouse gases is very diverse, as they are linked to multiple activities, both direct and indirect. From transportation, electricity consumption, and industries, there are many day-to-day activities and economic activities that generate greenhouse gases.) while operating water efficiency was a second-line goal.
Water and energy use in the data center are intrinsically linked. Water consumption can be reduced, for example, with closed-loop climate equipment. These consume more energy than evaporative systems, but evaporative cooling requires more water consumption. And, energy production also requires water, but renewable energies consume less water than fossil fuel or nuclear generation.
Therefore, it is time for data center design and operations managers to take WUE as seriously as PUE and adopt measures to minimize the related metric. These measures may include (among others) optimizing the use of air conditioning without overcooling at any point and consequently using less water to cool the data center, continuing to seek improvements in energy efficiency (whatever the source), and taking advantage of energy sources less dependent on water use, such as solar and wind. The use of AI tools that offer never-before-seen functionality is essential if we want to achieve development goals in this new era. When we talk about creativity, visibility, efficiency, and performance, we must talk about TycheTools and its ECOaaS solution.
Datacenter and circular economy
In a circular economy, waste and pollution are projected out of the economic model. So products, components, and materials are kept in circulation, reducing dependence on raw materials and minimizing residual waste. Many of the major players in the data center industry have seen the circular economy (the reuse, repair, and recycling of servers and electrical equipment) as a strategy for becoming sustainable. The circular economy is seen as one of six levers available to data centers to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, according to the Climate Neutral Data Center Compact. The European Commission has adopted eco-design regulations for data centers that consider aspects of the circular economy, such as measures to extend the useful life of servers by facilitating their refurbishment and reuse.
How is data center power measured?
Data center power consumption is measured in terms of power units (PUE). PUE (power consumption) is a very small number, an annual measure of actual area time divided by the capacity of the IT equipment, or the “money” measure of power going into it. not the IT equipment.
The ideal PUE is 1.0, meaning 100% efficient (i.e., all power used is used only for IT equipment with no power distribution loss). But finding this is nearly impossible. According to Uptime Center’s latest annual survey, the average data center PUE was 1.58 in 2020, slightly better than seven years ago.
In addition to PUE, other metrics have been proposed that consider heat recovery energy, such as PUE and ERE (Energy Reuse Efficiency). These units represent the energy use of the data center network after recovering the recycled energy.
Latin America and the Caribbean are regions where electricity generation is cleaner, thanks to hydroelectric, solar, or wind projects. However, according to a recent survey conducted by DatacenterDynamics among data center managers in Latin America, a total of 66% felt that the efficiency of energy consumption in the facilities could be improved; 53% felt that energy distribution technologies needed to be improved, and more than 50% felt that the efficiency of IT energy consumption needed to be improved. One of the aspects that are recognized in the region that can be optimized is the waste of energy in cooling and energy resilience in UPS and batteries. One of how this can be improved is through modularity in data centers and the search for smaller components to have more efficient spaces with lower consumption.