‘Optimised Cooling’

Data Centre Management 010310Yorkshire Water has reduced power consumption at its data centre in Bradford, South Yorkshire, by 25 per cent following an Energy Assessment undertaken by Keysource. Following implementation of key recommendations, Yorkshire Water was able to optimise the cooling processes within the facility and achieve annual cost savings of up to £70,000.

Keysource was appointed by Yorkshire Water to conduct the energy assessment to provide a review of its data centre’s energy use and see how the company could reduce the overall operating costs and environmental impact of the facility. It provided a performance snap shot for the 50-rack computer room and a recommendation report that outlined a number of suggested changes.

Utilising the Green Grid metrics for measurement, Keysource measured the facility’s Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) figure at 2.3, which meant that only 43 per cent of the total facility load was being used to power IT equipment. A second assessment that took place after a 12-month period found that the implementation of the recommendations had resulted in an improved PUE with 59 per cent of the total facility load being used to power IT equipment.

The improvements can be attributed to Keysource undertaking a full Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of Yorkshire Water’s data centre, which helped stakeholders understand airflow issues. As a result Keysource recommended the use of blanking panels, floor grille relocations, deployment of racks in hot and cold aisles to optimise airflow management and the introduction of a third cooling unit to improve efficiency.

Shakil Azam, IT Service Provisions & Data Centre Manager commented: “Keysource’s Energy Assessments and recommendations proved essential for our ongoing commitment to reducing energy consumption from our IT infrastructure. By working closely with Keysource, we have tapped into their extensive data centre knowledge and expertise, to achieve significant performance gains in terms of reduced costs and carbon emissions.”

Another industry award nomination for Keysource

Keysource has been shortlisted for a Green IT Award for the data centre designed and built for Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) in Weybridge, Surrey.

Keysource is one of five companies nominated in the category of Environmental Project of the Year Private Sector Under 100 employees, with the winner to be announced at an awards ceremony on the April 22nd at London Zoo.

The awards are organised by Green IT Magazine and are designed to reward the outstanding environmental products, suppliers and projects of 2009, as well as highlight companies and teams that have made a significant contribution to improving the IT industry’s environmental performance.

The PGS data centre facility is one of UK’s most efficient data centres, with a PUE of less than 1.2 compared to a typical UK figure for a conventionally designed data centre of 2.2. It has already scooped a host of awards in the past 12 months including a Data Centre Leaders Award, Information Age Award and UK IT Industry Award.

Computer power provides heat for Helsinki

Original article was published on the Times Online and can be found at  http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article7022488.ece#comment-have-your-say.

Outside, the temperature is a bone-chilling minus 14C and Helsinki is struggling with its iciest winter since 1982, but deep inside a former bomb shelter carved from the bedrock beneath an Orthodox cathedral, the city’s power company is building what will soon be the world’s most high-tech municipal heating system.

Here, surplus heat from hundreds of computer servers in a new data centre located beneath Uspenski Cathedral, one of the city’s main tourist attractions, will be captured and pumped to heat hundreds of homes and businesses across the Finnish capital.

“This will be the greenest and most energy-efficient data centre in the world,” Juha Sipila, the project manager for Helsingin Energia, the company behind the scheme, said.  In Helsinki, where winter temperatures often plunge to minus 30C, hardly anyone owns a domestic heating boiler. Instead, water is heated centrally at combined heat and power (CHP) plants to 115C and piped directly to tens of thousands of homes and public buildings.

Helsingin Energia is the operator of Helsinki’s district heating network, a 1,350km (850-mile) network of underground pipes, tunnels and pumping stations that supplies hot water to 450,000 people across one of the world’s coldest capital cities. The data centre will be cooled using seawater from the Baltic, which falls below 8C from November to May, with the excess heat pumped back into the city’s heating system — a solution that Mr Sipila hopes will help to crack a pressing problem for the world’s IT industry.

Data centres consume vast amounts of energy — about 3 per cent of all the electricity generated in Britain, for example. About two-thirds of the total is used simply for cooling. That figure is growing steadily with the brisk expansion of so-called cloud computing, whereby the internet is evolving into a central store for data and processing for millions of businesses around the world. Global emissions of carbon dioxide from data centres are now equivalent to about a third of the total from aviation and are rising by 10 per cent per year.

“For technology companies like Google and IBM, this is a very big issue,” Matti Roto, of Academica, a Finnish IT firm involved in the project, said. “The cost of paying for all that energy is huge — quite apart from the emissions — so it is very important to find solutions to improve efficiency.” Only about 40 per cent of the energy consumed by a typical data centre is used for computing, Mr Roto said, with the rest needed simply to cool down the computers. This centre’s power usage effectiveness — the central measurement of data centre efficiency — will be an unprecedented figure of less than one. The lowest figure for other centres has been 1.5.

The Academica server centre due to enter service in April is a pilot and will supply enough hot water to heat 1,000 flats. Mr Roto has plans for a much bigger scheme including 2,000 square metres of server racks.  He believes that Nordic countries may have stumbled across a lucrative new business opportunity to tap into the growing £7 billion global server market. A similar project is under way in Iceland, which will use geothermal energy to power servers and cold seawater for cooling. Google has also announced plans recently to site a giant server centre in Finland.

Keysource says:

Hats off to Helsingin Energia – It is a positive sign that more and more global businesses are recognising the impact that data centres are having on the environment.

Keysource have been proactive in the recovery of waste energy from the data centre to try and provide a level of heating to neighboring communities. So far it has been largely unsuccessful due to the difficulties in transporting the vast quantities of low grade heat produced by a large data centre over any distance. It would certainly be interesting to discover exactly how Helsingin Energia is overcoming this obstacle.

In consideration to the savings made and the PUE achievable, UK data centre design and build company Keysource have already built a data centre in the UK, which has been operational for 12 months with an annualised PUE 1.17. This has achieved a 6.7 million kWh reduction in annual power consumption and 2.9 million kg reduction in annual CO2 emissions in its first year. Visit our projects page for more details.

Keysource creates scalable Ecofris solution

ecofris_logo

Keysource has extended its award-winning Ecofris approach to data centre cooling with the launch of a solution designed for smaller facilities, colocation centres and multi-roomed sites.

Keysource has developed a new 125kW mechanical cooling system, complementing the existing 600kW module, to satisfy the cooling demands of new and existing data centres of any size. As a result, private and public sector organisations can drive down the energy cost of operating data centres by more than 45 per cent whatever their IT needs.

By creating a scalable solution, Ecofris can now meet the demands of a wider range of data centre requirements. Not only does the new cooling module make it possible to significantly reduce running costs and carbon footprint for lower capacity data centres, it offers greater flexibility for refurbishment projects where space may prevent the use of the larger solution. Furthermore, the system is ideal for colocation centres or public sector multi-roomed sites where a greater number of smaller modules may be required.

Mike West, Managing Director of Keysource commented:“When we devised the Ecofris philosophy to energy efficient data centre cooling, it was always our intention to develop a scalable approach to meet the needs of any type of facility. With a mix of clever thinking and precision engineering we have been able to create a smaller scale unit at the centre of the mechanical cooling system, and we have already secured two new clients from the education and co-lo sectors.”

Ecofris: The intelligent way to cool data centres

Keysource creates scalable Ecofris solution

Keysource has extended its award-winning Ecofris approach  to data centre cooling with the launch of a solution designed for smaller facilities, colocation centres and multi-roomed sites.

Keysource has developed a new 125kW mechanical cooling system, complementing the existing 600kW module, to satisfy the cooling demands of new and existing data centres of any size. As a result, private and public sector organisations can drive down the energy cost of operating data centres by more than 45 per cent whatever their IT needs.

By creating a scalable solution, Ecofris can now meet the demands of a wider range of data centre requirements. Not only does the new cooling module make it possible to significantly reduce running costs and carbon footprint for lower capacity data centres, it offers greater flexibility for refurbishment projects where space may prevent the use of the larger solution. Furthermore, the system is ideal for colocation centres or public sector multi-roomed sites where a greater number of smaller modules may be required.

Mike West, Managing Director of Keysource says: “When we devised the Ecofris philosophy to energy efficient data centre cooling, it was always our intention to develop a scalable approach to meet the needs of any type of facility. With a mix of clever thinking and precision engineering we have been able to create a smaller scale unit at the centre of the mechanical cooling system, and we have already secured two new clients from the education and co-lo sectors.”

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