Many influential companies are developing ways to save on energy costs and reduce waste by investing new hardware and streamlined services. Still, very little has been said about what data center managers can do to take control of their energy expenditure. Until recently, electricity spending has been treated like an inflexible overhead item, like zoning. But with ever increasing power costs, issues with reliability, capacity, and supply- electricity management requires a specific strategy.
You’re probably under the impression that either Google or Apple has the most energy efficient data centers in the world. But the truth is that distinction goes to a German start-up firm known as Cloud & Heat.
According to Cloud & Heat, they have bested the famously green data centers at Google on energy efficiency by more than 40%.
Nicolas Röhrs, the CEO of Cloud & Heat says,
“The most recent results measured in our data center in Dresden undercut the energy consumption values of even the most cutting edge server facilities by a significant margin, including those run by Google and Facebook.”
“We have achieved an incredible Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) value of 1.01 and an Energy Reuse Effectiveness (ERE) of 0.62 annually. These are the lowest values of the kind measured anywhere in the world,” Röhrs says.
“We are running the most cost-effective data center on Earth. Two years ago, nobody believed we would be able to achieve it”, says the company’s founder Dr. Jens Struckmeier.
Heat compares its data center with those of Facebook and Google
They estimate that they’re beating the software giants by just over 40%. Notably, a company the size of Google would stand to save millions were it to bridge the energy gap.
With this kind of efficiency, the Co2 emissions could be reduced by thousands of tons each year without even having to consider recycling used heat. The Cloud & Heat system meets all the standards of a fully functional IT operation and meets the steep data security demands of a modern tech company.
This level of efficiency is justified, in the main, by used water cooling and foregoing other more energy-intensive cooling systems.
But for the rest of the technological world, smaller firms and even households, there are simpler steps that can make a massive difference. The majority of IT departments today have no idea the amount of energy their systems are using. This means there’s a tremendous possibility for savings.
The best first step would be to investigate the energy consumption of individual devices to see if any changes could be made in the way each device is used. Many seemingly insignificant changes add up to considerable energy savings, even in a small household.
A simple and inexpensive device like a Kill A Watt measures the power consumption of individual electronic devices. How much energy is consumed by a microwave oven when not in use? How much energy is used when leaving a phone charger plugged in?
Taking this approach, even relatively low-tech small businesses and homes could cut energy consumption by as much as 10%. With the example of Cloud & Heat for inspiration, there’s a very long distance between where we are now and where we could be in five years.