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Data Centers Save Energy Now Workshop

Monday, September 15
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Whether they are in a closet or a standalone building, data centers of all sizes and uses are growing in both quantity and importance in today's high-tech world. Energy use in these computer centers can be up to 100 times more intensive than other commercial/institutional buildings, eclipsing any gains in efficiency and renewable energy utilization. Significant opportunities are available for improving computational energy efficiency as well as the efficiency of the infrastructure that provides power and cooling to the computer equipment.

This one-day course provided information on state-of-the-art strategies to improve data center energy performance. While research and development (R&D) campus and laboratory facility planners were the primary target audiance, designers, engineers, managers, operators, information technology professionals, and project managers benefitted from attending as well. In fact some of the best opportunities for improved efficiency and performance are lost because of poor communications between these key groups. Optimum performance requires a holistic systems approach, as recommended by Labs21, and an integrated project team for implementation.

Attendees discussed:

  • Major energy use in data centers
  • Energy intensity growth
  • Opportunities to increase computational efficiency
  • Benchmarking opportunities (how do I stack up?)
  • Best practices to improve infrastructure efficiency
  • Extending the life and effective capacity of existing data centers
  • Technologies coming down the R&D pipeline and lessons learned from demonstrations
  • Information and technical assistance resources

Specific best practices that were described were:

  • Air management (hot and cold aisle isolation)
  • Right sizing (designing for high part load efficiency and growth)
  • Central plant optimization
  • Efficient air handling and controls
  • "Free" cooling
  • Humidity control
  • Liquid cooling
  • Power chain improvement

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