Energy management in data centers is becoming intelligent and optimized with innovative, and technology-backed solutions.
FREMONT, CA: Data centers have been central to the transforming technological landscape. Every company of the present looks to leverage the power of data to drive smarter management and business decision-making. The data center facilities have evolved over the years to deliver increased processing and storage capabilities in various forms. One common aspect that remains unchanged is the fact that data centers are energy-intensive. The amount of energy that a data center requires on a regular basis can easily equate to around 100 to 200 times the consumption in conventional office spaces. Thus, optimizing the efficiency in use becomes vital for data centers. There are no set ways of ensuring energy efficiency and effective cooling in these facilities but through a range of basic changes in design, adoption of best practices and a range of technology-enabled solutions, data centers can become significantly consistent with better energy consumption.
• Intelligent Cooling Assistants
The development of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies is of great value to energy management in data centers. According to experts, data centers often end up using much more energy for maintenance of optimum conditions than what is actually needed. To overcome such inefficiencies, a high degree of accuracy in monitoring is essential. By adopting AI-based solutions and machine learning algorithms, service providers are creating smart assistants that help identify critical points in the energy flow and usage. These assistants significantly improve the precision and reliability of energy systems in data center facilities.
• Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Sensors
The rapidly expanding network capabilities have led to the development of IoT devices. Service providers have found many possible applications of IoT devices in improving the energy performance of data centers. By enabling smart monitoring capabilities with the help of sensor-enabled IoT endpoints, data center operators can conveniently allow better management of resources. A network of smart sensors in any data center facility can help detect essential parameters like temperature, humidity, and pressure. Since these smart sensors are connected to the internet, these can transfer the monitored data to monitoring platforms in real-time. Once data is available, operators can ensure full-time remote controls. Some solutions providers have gone one step ahead and successfully superimposed automation onto monitoring capabilities. Thus, software solutions can automatically take responsive action upon receiving inputs from sensors and maintain the data center facilities at optimum conditions without any requirement of human intervention. Such capabilities are highly reliable and minimize the chances of risk.
• Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Solutions
CFD is a modeling technique for the flow of fluids across surfaces and around 3D structures. It is an effective technique when it comes to the designing of data centers as it can help stimulate the thermal flow very accurately according to the arrangement of the components. Thus, data center designers can fine-tune the design of actual facilities after visualizing various room setups and comparing them from an energy efficiency perspective. Conventionally done, these dynamic simulations take a lot of time to process, and hence their applications were limited. However, service providers have now made CFD solutions cloud-based and thus supremely efficient and fast. The virtual tool that allows testing of various configurations is a crucial tool that is benefitting data centers.
• Free Cooling Solutions
Free cooling solutions in data centers make use of naturally cool air or water sources available in the vicinity to bring down the temperature. In many instances, data center facilities are adopting these methods after some degree of retrofitting. In this method, pumps, fans, and other equipment can effectively filter, humidify and introduce ambient cooling fluids into the data centers, thereby reducing dependence on computer room air conditioning units which require much more energy to function. Subsequently, the requirement for maintenance of installed air conditioners also gets minimized.
• Liquid Immersion Cooling (LCS)
A highly disruptive technology, liquid immersion cooling involves the use of dielectric coolants. By enabling direct exposure of components to dielectric cooling liquids, data centers effectively reduce the amount of energy required to achieve optimum temperatures. The properties of the coolants used in this method are far superior when compared to that of air. An LCS coolant is up to 1400 times more effective in absorbing and transporting heat than an equal volume of air. Since the coolants don’t carry charges, they can be safely used for data centers. The coolant is recycled in the cooling system after removing the heat at a heat-exchange facility.
• Geothermal Cooling Systems
Another exciting way of incorporating efficiency into energy spending of a data center is through the use of geothermal cooling systems. The use of the temperature or warmth of the earth for generating energy is well known. Similarly, the earth can also be used as a heat sink for data centers. The conditions and temperatures of subterranean water remain unchanged in most situations. Designers can leverage this water for cooling of data center facilities by adding some anti-freeze element into the streams. Only the circulating pumps require energy in such systems, thereby enhancing efficiency. Not only is such a geothermal cooling system energy efficient, but it also scores high in environmental friendliness.
Every aspect of a data center facility can contribute to enhanced energy performance. Integrated solutions with efficiently designed units, along with optimized hardware, can help data centers run at much less energy expenditure.