Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Xcel Energy's Data Center Efficiency program

Xcel Energy, an electricity and natural gas energy company with operations in eight Western and Midwestern US states, has announced a programme designed to help IT managers make energy efficiency a priority.

The Data Center Efficiency program offers businesses cash rebates for commissioning a study to determine energy-saving measures and additional incentives for implementing the recommended changes.

The program considers a number of factors that can reduce energy consumption:

* High-efficiency servers – Servers with a more efficient power supply can be around 25% more efficient than 'standard' servers.

* Server virtualization.

* Airflow improvements – Proper placement of equipment and management of cable raceways can reduce temperature hot spots in the data center and reduce the cooling needed.

* High-efficiency cooling equipment.

* High-efficiency lighting equipment – Although only around 5% of energy usage in data centres, there is opportunity to install higher-efficiency lighting. (I've never understood why the lights are on in server rooms in the first place).

* Humidity controls – Servers don't require tight humidity control and can be placed in rooms with relative high humidity without adverse effects.

* Power systems – Selecting a higher efficiency uninterruptable power supply (UPS) can save tens of thousands of dollars a year.

There's nothing rocket science about all this, but it's interesting to see a power company directly addressing the IT operation in this way. Most that I've seen is fairly low-level business and consumer advice along the lines of 'don't forget to turn off your PC'. We could do with something like this in the UK, particularly as the Carbon Reduction Commitment looms.

© The Green IT Review

No comments:

Post a Comment