|[April 21, 2014]
Why Data Center Efficiency in the 2000s is like Paper Recycling in 1970s
DALLAS --(Business Wire)--
On the first
Earth Day on April 22, 1970, the World Wide Web existed
only in research labs, "texting" was something you wrote in a notebook
and the closest thing to a data center was the public library. On that
day, millions of people gathered at events around the country to learn,
share and work toward innovative solutions to protect our natural
resources. In advance of Earth Day, Jeff Schnitzer, general manager,
GE's Critical Power business (NYSE: GE), discussed recent trends in data
center energy efficiency.
"In 1970, we worried about landfills and paper waste, some 44,310,000
tons of it annually1. Today, those things that were on paper
now are in digital format, with an estimated 639,800 gigabytes of that
digital information2 passing through data centers every
minute. Forty-four years later, Earth Day 2014 reminds us to examine the
impact data centers have on our natural resources and sustainability and
the strides being made by businesses and governments to meet new data
center energy efficiency levels," said Schnitzer.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, data centers
account for up to 2.5 percent of the total electricity generated in the
United States. Schnitzer added, "There are a number of technology
innovations that contribute to the overall energy efficiency of data
centers." Some examples include:
Capturing Free Cooling: About 30 percent of all data center
energy is used to cool servers and information technology equipment
with power-hungry air conditioning chiller units, which are used at
both the server rack and printed circuit board levels. Many companies
today are investing in "free cooling" technology to draw in exterior
ambient temperatures to keep data center systems cool and to reduce
energy. In 2013, Facebook unveiled a new data center in Sweden that
uses free cooling technology that harnesses the average exterior
temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit3.
A Few Percent Matters: According to Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), raising
energy efficiency levels of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems
in data centers from 90 to 98 percent can save the United States $3
billion annually in energy costs. CoreSpace, a GE customer in Dallas,
is saving an estimated $25,000 a year with its eBoost*-equipped,
multi-mode UPS systems operating at 99 percent efficiency.
Overnight Ice: To lower the temperature at its 538,000
square foot data center in Phoenix, i/o Data Centers engineered a set
of cooling tanks filled with a mix of ice
balls and glycol that are chilled during the night when
electricity is less expensive and used to cool data center equipment
during the day4.
Modular Power: With data center capacity expected to
expand by 33 percent over each of the next five years5,
squeezing more capacity and efficiency from existing data facilities
is vital to sustain growth. Containerized, or modular, data center and
power protection units-such as GE's PowerMod* technology-connected to
existing facilities lets companies scale the capacity and energy use
they need. These outside units use ambient air to reduce excess
heating and energy consumption.
Mining Energy: To save energy costs, Iron Mountain (News - Alert) built its
data center in a former limestone mine in Pennsylvania. It keeps the
data operation cool by letting the subterranean walls absorb as much
1.5 British thermal units of energy per square foot4.
Powering the World's Cell Towers: Powering the world's 640,000
off-grid cell towers with diesel generators burns more than 11 billion
liters of diesel a year. Hybridizing a cell tower using GE's
innovative sodium nickel chloride Durathon* batteries cuts fuel
consumption at sites by up to 50 percent and can enable more towers
worldwide to be powered by renewable sources such as solar. Cutting
fuel consumption by up to 50 percent delivers significant cost savings
for the industry and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from each
off-grid cell tower.
"As we create, share and use more and more data in our business and
personal lives, data center energy efficiency will remain one of the
great challenges facing the industry," continued Schnitzer. "The
innovations we're deploying today not only provide real and immediate
benefits, they are leading the way to new solutions for tomorrow."
GE's Critical Power business provides mission-critical applications with
end-to-end power product and service solutions that maximize uptime and
power efficiency. The solutions add to GE's broader Industrial Solutions
portfolio of leading technologies designed for the delivery, management
and optimization of electrical power for customers across multiple
industries. To learn more about GE's Critical Power business visit: www.gecriticalpower.com.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best
technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in
energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering,
moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For
more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
Follow GE's Critical Power business on Twitter (News - Alert) @GEcriticalpower.
The figures cited in this release unless otherwise noted, are based on
industry-standard information or data collected by GE in the deployment
of critical power systems. The results cited are not a guarantee of
performance or specific results, and individual results may vary based
on specifications and operating conditions.
*Trademark of the General Electric Company; may be registered in one or
1 Earth 911 - United
States Waste in Numbers then and Now�
2 Intel (News - Alert) - What
Happens in an Internet Minute?�
the Arctic Circle, Where Your Facebook Data Lives�
CIO - 7
Innovative Data Center Designs�
5 IHS (News - Alert) - Containerized
Data Centers - World - 2012
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