Everyone knows that going green is better for the environment, but did you know it is also better for business? In the fast-growing data center industry, renewable energy solutions bring many advantages, such as providing stable sources of power. Continue reading to learn more about how today’s data centers are becoming more energy-efficient and tips on how to make your data center green.
Renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, is an energy source that is not depleted when used. While it was once very expensive and seen as a luxury, renewable energy is more widely available today. It also helps to keep PUEs, or Power Usage Efficiency (a leading efficiency metric,) low. Some leading data providers are even building an entire business model around green solutions, as a few companies are proud to be 100 percent wind or solar-powered. In fact, renewable energy of a percentage of total US energy generation has doubled since 2008.
In March, Microsoft signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to accelerate the adoption of green power in the data center industry. The PPA marked the largest corporate purchase of solar energy in the US and was for 315 MW of solar capacity in Virginia with US renewables company sPower. Microsoft has a goal to power 60 percent of its data centers with clean energy by 2020, and deals like this will help them reach that goal.
Tips To Turn Your Data Center Green
Data centers are responsible for about two percent of US energy consumption, so it’s vital to use energy-efficient solutions whenever possible. One way to turn your data center green is to install VFDs, or variable-frequency drives, on the air-cooled chillers. The VFDs improve efficiency by reducing the rotational speed of a compressor to lower-load conditions, which allows the chiller to consume less power.
Virtualization technology can be one of the most important parts of a green data center, as it reduces the number of physical servers and lowers power consumption needed to run IT infrastructure. The technology allows multiple server instances to run on one machine, helping to decrease energy output.
Another easy way to go green is by making a few data center enhancements, such as strip doors, row caps, and floor tile cuts fitted with “cold-lock” airlocks. These updates are inexpensive, yet help with air conditioning efficiency to keeps equipment cool while saving energy. Lastly, a simple way to reduce energy is to use motion-activated lights that turn off once a period of inactivity has occurred. All data center should strive to install efficient lighting since it is a very easy solution that reduces energy.
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