Cutting back on power consumption is becoming a top priority for facility managers, read more below about reducing power energy in Data Centers.
The most recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) shows that office buildings with data centers have significantly higher computing, cooling, and total electricity intensity (consumption per square foot) than office buildings without data centers. That is not a big surprise, given the large amounts of electricity needed to power the servers and cooling equipment that typically operate around the clock in data centersA.
The scale of energy consumption may be more of a surprise, though, as estimates show that data center spaces can consume up to 100-200 times as much electricity as standard office spaces. With that large amount of power being used by a growing number of data centers, the pressure is on to implement energy-efficient design measures that can save money and reduce electricity use.
Given the increasing focus on reducing energy use, ASHRAE recently created Standard 90.4-2016, “Energy Standard for Data Centers.”
“Energy use has probably not been the primary concern for data centers in the past, because many were built with greater attention given to the management of risk due to their mission-critical statuses,” said Ron Jarnagin, chair of the 90.4 committee.
Standard 90.4 is a code-intended performance standard designed to work in concert with Standard 90.1, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” which will still provide criteria, such as envelope, lighting, and water heating for data centers, said Jarnagin. “The heart of Standard 90.4 is contained in the mechanical and electrical sections and offers a performance-based compliance approach, which focuses on meeting targets for the mechanical and electrical equipment’s energy use. There is also an alternative compliance method that allows tradeoffs between the mechanical and electrical sections as long as the overall system’s design value is met.”