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  • Writer's pictureCorey L. Wilson

Improving Data Center Power Consumption & Energy Efficiency

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Data centers have become an indispensable part of modern computing infrastructures. With more and more organizations turning to them for colocation services, cloud solutions, and compliance assurances, it’s no surprise that the number of data centers is expected to grow significantly within the next two to five years.

In 2017, US based data centers alone used up more than 90 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. To give some perspective on how much energy that amounts to, it would take 34 massive coal-powered plants generating 500 megawatts each to equal the power demands of those data centers.

The Future of Data Center Power Usage: 7 Energy Saving Options

Smart data center facility managers are working tirelessly to meet the needs of consumers while keeping their energy usage at reasonable levels.

Unfortunately, recent energy efficiency improvements in Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) represent “low-hanging fruit” that has already been plucked. The easiest and most viable efficiency changes have long since been implemented, causing the overall efficiency trend to flatten in recent years.

Google, for instance, boasts an impressive PUE of 1.11 across its data centers worldwide, which is only slightly off the theoretically perfect score of 1.0. While this score is an undeniably laudable achievement, it does little to address overall data center power consumption, which continues to increase every year.

Many data centers have made a commitment to sustainable energy solutions by turning to sources of renewable power. Although the current nature of renewable power in the US makes it difficult for data center providers to rely on it as a primary source of energy and significantly reduce energy usage—there is one significant option below by MicroNOC that does—and six more that facility managers can utilize right now.

1 – Reduce Energy Costs with MicroNOC Clean Virtual Power (CVP™) Station

The number one energy savings opportunity (also approved by PG&E) is MicroNOC Inc.’s new 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program that provides the largest energy savings potential without the need for solar, demand response, or rebates.

One of the primary reasons MicroNOC’s energy cost savings program was approved in 2018 by America’s largest utility provider Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is because it saves 25% on peak rates using behind-the-meter (BTM) clean energy for all types of industries and facilities. MicroNOC’s unique Clean Virtual Power (CVP™) Station and their 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program provides the most reliable energy cost saving opportunity because they:

• Save 25% on peak electrical rates all year long • Require no ESS equipment to purchase, lease or maintain • Allow partners to save before they pay • Help balance electricity rates and the grid • Free-up funds for indirect spend costs (such as COVID-19) • Do not require solar, demand response, or rebates

As most FM’s already know, electricity rates will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, and on-peak demand and energy rates are already 3 to 4 times higher than off-peak rates due to a large spike in electricity demand gas ‘peaker’ plants utilization between 4 pm to 9 pm for added energy. Utilities providers such as PG&E, SCE and SDG&E drastically increased their peak time-of-use (TOU) rates between the hours of 4 pm and 9 pm and more so between June through September causing a large spike in electric costs.

There are other ways to cut down on data center power consumption, so it makes sense to improve efficiencies across the board, and here are six other options to consider as follows:

2 – Reduce Cooling Dependencies

3 – Experiment with Temperatures

4 – Synchronize Server Capacity and Load

5 – Identify and Kill Zombie Servers

6 – Decrease or Optimize Space

7 – Find Stronger Supplier Partnerships

Where data centers were once expected to push energy demands to unsustainable levels, developments in data center energy efficiency over the last decade and more recently with MicroNOC’s exclusive Property Based Clean Virtual Power (CVP™) Stations have created many opportunities to implement energy saving solutions that will continue to allow data centers to serve the needs of the companies and consumers who depend upon their services and be more sustainable.

Enroll in MicroNOC’s 25% Off Electricity Cost Partnering Program

If you would like to learn more about how to use less electricity and more efficiently to lower operation costs and improve cash flow, please check out the one-page flyer link at the Save 25% on Peak Rates Using Clean Energy flyer BUTTON below and then complete the one-minute Request for Preliminary Savings Report form BUTTON below and email it to Registration is simple as these 5 steps:

1. Complete a Request for Preliminary Savings Report form. 2. Submit the request form with provide copies of electric utility bills. 3. You will be provided a custom Preliminary Savings Report (PSR). 4. Submit a Service Registration Form along with the Registration Fee. 5. You’re on your way to lower electric energy rates. Article content provided by Ali Marashi of vXchnge on February 12, 2020 and supplemented by Corey Lee Wilson.

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