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Time to recalibrate power consumption at data centers and make them more energy efficient

Data centers are energy-intensive enterprises and there is simply no escaping that fact. And demand is just growing exponentially in the increasingly digitalized data-intensive world of artificial intelligence.


Data centers are estimated to account for 1% of electricity use worldwide. From the total energy used by data centers, IT equipment and its major components consume around 50% of the energy while the cooling system consumes energy 37% of it. Therefore a prudent use of energy is the need of the hour at data centers. We look at three case studies.

Case 1: How Airtel got greener

Some enterprises are making an attempt in this direction. In India, Bharti Airtel, with its subsidiary Nxtra Data Limited, which operates 10 large and 120 edge data centers across India, has made moves towards energy efficiency and emission reduction.

Some of the measures Airtel took in its sustainability mission are sourcing hydroelectricity for its Delhi Data Centers as well as leveraging wind and hydro renewable energy for its Karnataka and Tamil Nadu data centers. Over the last few years, Airtel has installed 28 rooftop solar PV plants at Data Center locations with a total installed capacity of 1.57 MW.

Case 2: Monitoring power is key

Another case study shows how a global financial services firm moved towards greater energy efficiency in their data center environments through incremental and phased improvements in airflow management that were closely monitored. Through energy assessment and data hall air temperature surveys, operator education workshops, implementation of air management improvements, and optimization of cooling units power usage effectiveness was improved, resulting in significant energy and operational cost reductions.

Case 3: Google’s retrofit

A third case study, this one from Google, shows just how the company saves millions and avoids emitting tens of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide due to its data center sustainability efforts. Google has several small and medium-sized data centers around the world and the case study describes how the retrofit of one of them helped them save money and reduce emissions without incurring any downtime. For this retrofit, Google spent $25,000 to optimize this room’s airflow and reduce air conditioner use. A $25,000 investment in plastic curtains, air return extensions, and a new air conditioner controller returned a savings of $67,000/year.

PDUs are a step in the right direction

Power distribution units (PDUs) are important in maintaining energy efficiency as they distribute power as well as provide data about power usage. There are several types of PDUs available in the market today such as Basic, Metered, Monitored, Switched, and Dual Circuit.

While basic PDUs offer the easiest way to distribute and deliver power, metered and monitored PDUs can help prevent power overloads. Monitoring power consumption helps identify which parts of the data center are most power-intensive, thereby moving you closer to energy efficiency.

Hardy Racks manufactures switch PDUs, basic PDUs, and metered PDUs among other data center rack accessories. To learn more about PDUs and how to choose the right one for your data center, get in touch with the executives at Hardy Racks today.

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