Packet Power Blog

Optimize your data center cooling safely, easily and cost effectively

Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by Alan Katz

Cooling represents one of the largest portions of data center energy usage -- 20-35% on average. Most data centers are overcooled with ambient temperatures kept at the lower end of ASHRAE guidelines.

ASHRAE thermal guidelines
ASHRAE 2011 Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments

This is done to account for any possible condition that may be occurring in any rack at any time. This "abundance of caution" comes at a high energy cost and it creates an opportunity for substantial cost savings for many data centers.

Confidence is key
If data center managers can see the temperature range for every rack in their data center in realtime, they can have a very high degree of confidence that they are providing adequate cooling for all racks. Achieving this degree of confidence requires that thermal monitoring be precisely placed in each rack. Given the ability to view rack temperature on a realtime basis permits the operator to see the effects of changing the ambient temperature at the intra rack level, while comfortably remaining in the recommended range.

A rack does not have a single temperature
One of the concerns with utilizing information from rack-based thermal monitoring is that it is often based on a single temperature point. This can overlook the large thermal gradients and temperature variations on high density racks. Packet Power's Environmental Monitors enable monitoring up to six points per rack. This high resolution monitoring means that hot spots are never overlooked and data center operators can see the true thermal range of each rack.

high heat panel

Not all racks are the same
Power density can vary widely from rack to rack. Packet Power makes it easy to vary the number of monitoring points per rack based on your needs. Target high density, known problem areas with more monitors. Use fewer monitors for lower density cabinets. 

temperature variance by rack

Less expensive and easier to install than you think
Most operators do not implement comprehensive high resolution thermal monitoring because of the perceived high cost and installation time. Packet Power delivers the flexibility to monitor only where needed at the lowest cost-per-monitoring-point in the industry.

And installation is easy. Prebuilt temperature probe kits take 40% less time to install than other solutions. The monitors automatically join our proven, self-configuring, secure wireless mesh network without any technical intervention and immediately deliver information to Packet Power's monitoring software or to any third-party system using standard SNMP or Modbus protocols.

Achieving the savings
While more elaborate and costly systems can adjust cooling automatically, manual temperature adjustments offer some of the biggest gains for the least expense and can be implemented in a fraction of the time -- with no risk. Automated cooling control systems can deliver additional gains but are often based on the premise of capitalizing on gains made on top of manual cooling savings.

Raising cooling temperature by as little as one-degree can have a 4-5% impact on energy costs. Read more about cooling optimization.

Email info@packetpower.com when you're ready to start saving time and money. 

Topics: data center temperature monitoring, data center cooling, environmental monitoring

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