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Online tools for free cooling from the Green Grid

Portland, OR — The Green Grid last week announced the availability of a free online tool and maps designed to help North American data centre and facilities managers easily determine how much outside air – also known as free cooling – is available for individual data centres. The use of free cooling can help data centre managers lower energy consumption and related costs, and potentially can extend the life of data centre facilities.


April 17, 2009
April 17, 2009
By Newswire

Founded in 2007, The Green Grid is a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centres and business computing ecosystems.
 
“Data centres with increasing IT loads require more power to cool them, so finding cooling options that use less power is critical not only for organizations that don’t have resources to build new facilities but also for those that want to save money,” said Mark Monroe, a director of The Green Grid. “For much of the year, the air outside data centres can be cooler than the air inside. The tool that The Green Grid has developed will help determine how much free cooling a specific data centre can leverage.”  
 
Using postal codes and zip codes, the tool allows users in the United States and Canada to input their specific variables — such as local energy costs, IT load, and facility load — to determine the energy savings for individual facilities. In addition to free cooling from outside air, the tool provides information about savings that could be obtained using water-side economizers. For example:
 
A 1 megawatt (1000kW) data centre in San Jose, zip code 95101,with power at a cost of 12.78 cents per kW hour, could save $66,000 per year using free cooling, or $160,000 per year using a water-side economizer.
 
A 1 megawatt (1000kW) data center in Herndon, VA, zip code 20170, with power at 8.14 cents per kW hour, could save $20,000 per year using free cooling, or $130,000 per year using a water-side economizer.
 
Members of The Green Grid will have access to a high-resolution graphical map of free cooling throughout the U.S. and Canada, while non-members can download a low-resolution version in the “Library and Tools” section of The Green Grid Web site. Maps by specific zip or postal code can be obtained by contacting Weatherbank, Inc.
 
Methodology
The Green Grid’s free cooling tool contains information from 2,186 weather stations throughout the United States and Canada. The database consists of all hourly observations taken during the period extending from 1999 through 2008. This count of hours is then divided by 10 (total years of data) to provide a result of the "normal" number of occurrences during a given year. The total number of hours of available free cooling will always range from 0 to 8760 hours.
 
The Next Step In Data Center Efficiency
Following on the introduction last year of PUE and DCiE metrics which help end-users separate and measure their facility power consumption from their IT power consumption, The Green Grid is exploring different methods for measuring and reporting energy efficiency and data centre productivity (DCP).  Potential measurements of useful work in data centers, the “Proxies for Estimating Data Center Productivity,” are open for public comment.
 
All white papers that are available to the general public can be downloaded at no cost from the “Library and Tools” section of The Green Grid’s Web site.  
 
About The Green Grid
The Green Grid is a global consortium of companies dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centres and computing ecosystems. The Green Grid does not endorse any vendor-specific products or solutions, and will seek to provide industry-wide recommendations on best practices, metrics and technologies that will improve overall data center energy efficiencies. Membership is open to companies interested in data centre operational efficiency at the Contributing or General Member level. General members attend and participate in general meetings of The Green Grid, review proposals for specifications and have access to specifications for test suites and design guidelines and IP licensing. Additional benefits for contributor members include participation and voting rights in committees and working groups. Additional information is available at www.thegreengrid.org.