Cooling Data Center Costs

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2010-08-13

See also: Business Value Powers Green IT, Inside an Efficient Data Center.

One of the hottest opportunities for greening the data center lies in cooling.

According to Booz & Co., roughly 40 percent of the energy consumed in data centers is a result of cooling systems, and that figure is rising. Here’s what Booz recommends to increase cooling efficiency:

• Optimize airflow in the data center to reduce the mean gradient temperature and reduce cooling requirements.
• Use a hot/cold aisle configuration, in which equipment racks are arranged in alternating rows of hot and cold aisles.
• Rely on air handlers to better control airflow within the data center and enable more efficient cooling.
• Deploy smart cooling energy-management systems with sensors to reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 percent.
• Increase cooling temperature targets to slightly above the data center baseline temperature. Every added degree results in an estimated
4 percent reduction in energy consumption.
• Install renewable cooling sources such as outside air during the winter—where practicable—to minimize usage of internal cooling systems.