Increasing Data Center Efficiency via an Increase in Switchgear Power Systems

The Information Technology (IT) industry, which is one of the fastest growing and most profitable sectors in the contemporary business world, relies upon data centers for the implementation of most essential computational processes. The majority of data centers however, are currently facing a growing number of issues which threaten their survival, the foremost of which, is increasing energy consumption and cost with which switchgear power systems could help.

switchgear power systems in Data Centers

Data centers have recently been reported as consuming up to 50 times more energy than office facilities of equal size (Aylin, 2008). This is seen in the current ‘green IT’ climate as unsustainable from a financial viewpoint, and unacceptable from an environmental perspective. Suggestions and proposals regarding how to deal with this problem are consequently plentiful, with many authors suggesting: changes to cooling processes; equipment upgrades; and basic reconfigurations of IT components and electrical switchgear power systems.

One of the most interesting reconfiguration proposals to date has been put forward by Oracle (2010). Oracle (2010) has proposed an ‘efficiency through density’ method, which basically involves an increase in the density of data center components per unit space. This scheme is contrary to many previous energy conservation suggestions, as it is generally understood that a higher equipment density in a given space, increases the amount of heat produced, and therefore causes a center to become less efficient.

Through the utilization of this plan however Oracle (2010) found that they could consolidate cooling and power systems, as well as reduce their cabling system, making operations much more efficient. It was also reported that through the consolidation of servers, higher per watt performance could be attained from components. Overall, expenses were reduced by 30 percent, which is extremely significant considering the general, ever rising cost of energy.

Oracle (2010) also upgraded the equipment present within their data center to aid with the consolidation of their IT components. This was undertaken due to the fact that more modern IT components are able to deal with higher temperatures than older equipment, consequently cutting down on cooling requirements. Numerous other studies have also reported that by replacing, or simply retrofitting components within an existing establishment, facilities can conserve large amounts of energy. Many authors additionally focus on redesigning the floor layout of an installation so as to maximize cooler efficacy.

Energy Efficiency and switchgear power systems

As data centers generally have a finite lifetime of approximately 10 to 20 years, and many of the centers currently in use are reaching the end of their era. It would be fair to say that billions of dollars a year could potentially be saved via a combination of the previously discussed energy conservation measures including switchgear power systems. As it is estimated that 70 percent of a companies’ energy is utilized to cool IT components; and IT facilities in the United States spend in excess of 4.5 billion dollars annually on energy, the savings acquired could potentially amount to 3.15 billion dollars per year in America alone.

In conclusion, it can be noted that new and inventive ways of approaching the growing problem of data center energy efficiency such as the ‘efficiency through density’ scheme, are resulting in some interesting and productive solutions. It can only be assumed that future advances in technology will help fuel these positive changes.