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Data Centre Efficiency - Green Data Centres

BladeRoom energy efficient data centres have been designed from the outset to maximise data centre efficiency, using free cooling for over 99% of the year and delivering a proven PUE as low as 1.13 in temperate climates across a large load range from 40% to 100% capacity.

The PUE of the BladeRoom System varies depending on the climate in which the data centre is located, with PUEs as low as 1.13 for temperate climates like the UK and 1.31 for hot and humid climates like Dubai.

PUE figures have been calculated with all electrical loss through an external N+1 UPS system, N+1 standby generators, 2N transformers, plant ventilation systems and lighting. Independently the BladeRoom PUE for a data centre located in the UK is below 1.1.

A BladeRoom data centre with 1MW of IT will only require 130kW of additional power for everything else. This PUE delivers the lowest operating costs and carbon emissions available.

With such a small amount of power required for support systems and with mechanical cooling so rarely used, BladeRoom energy efficient data centres can allow a far greater proportion of site power to be dedicated to servers by running back-up cooling on generator power - maximising available power and increasing overall IT capacity on a power-constrained site.

The tables below show the cost savings and carbon reductions available by deploying BladeRoom energy efficient data centres compared to other systems, using the example of a 1MW data centre.

All PUE figures include calculated electrical losses based on an external N+1 UPS system, N+1 standby generators, 2N transformers, plant ventilation systems and lighting.

Quoted PUE statistics are often based on an unrealistic 100% IT load scenario. In reality traditional data centre efficiency rapidly deteriorates at lower IT loads.

This is not the case with the BladeRoom system.

» BladeRoom CO2 and cost saving calculations

Data centre efficiency remains consistent across varying loads by closely matching air volume and condition with IT demand.

The following graph shows a PUE comparison between a PUE 1.13 BladeRoom data centre and a PUE 1.8 data centre of a more typical design, both Tier 3 at 1MW IT load and in the same geographical location (in this example London: UK).

Interactive - click to view the savings with BladeRoom at different levels of occupancy

BladeRoom figures are from an independently witnessed testing process undertaken to assess the PUE. Figures are for Tier 3 data centres and include calculated UPS and transformer losses.

With 40% occupancy the BladeRoom system remains extremely efficient, with a PUE of just 1.13. Typical data centre efficiency on the other hand could see deterioration to PUE 3, 4 or even more.

Proven through extensive field-testing, the BladeRoom system offers the highest efficiency and has been proven to consistently deliver an extremely low data centre PUE over a range of IT loads.

BladeRoom Group invested over £500k in designing and manufacturing a 'climate emulator' to test the BladeRoom system's energy efficiency over an extensive range of loads and temperature bands.

Seven zones of the psychrometric chart (seven sets of climatic conditions with a variety of temperature and humidity levels) were tracked through weeks of testing, where a live BladeRoom system, housing 250kW of evenly distributed heat emulators, was tested with live loads ranging from 15% to 100%.

BladeRoom PUE figures are not calculated figures based upon very high loads, but are achieved in operation both partially and fully loaded.

Quoted PUE figures include allowances for site electrical infrastructure losses - the UK example achieved PUE 1.13 with electrical losses and the data centre in isolation was PUE 1.03 - 1.08 during live testing.

BladeRoom in Isolation

BladeRoom with all Electrical Losses

During these tests the back-up DX cooling system was also comprehensively tested and verified under all conditions, to test resilience and to prove the data centre PUE in recirculation mode, for example, or under emergency fire alarm conditions.

With a PUE of just 1.13 the BladeRoom system allows you to make the best use of available data centre power on-site, minimising power required for support systems and maximising the potential IT load.

Inefficient data centres with a PUE of 2 or more allow less than 50% of available site power to be allocated to IT, with the remaining data centre power consumed by supporting systems.

Maximising the available power for IT within a power-constrained site is essential.

Condensing units for back-up cooling

Because the BladeRoom system requires mechanical cooling less than 1% of the year it is possible to remove condensing units from mains power and run them on generators for the brief time they are required.

With the BladeRoom system, up to 80% of available site power can be dedicated to IT capacity, allowing you to increase the potential IT capacity of your data centre site without the need to acquire additional data centre power from the grid:

  • providing the best possible return on investment for a site
  • allowing growth of existing sites without the time and expense of upgrading site power
  • making some sites that were previously lacking power viable for immediate data centre deployment

The BladeRoom system is highly sustainable, offering significant advantages over a traditional facility throughout the operational lifecycle.

BladeRoom factory is a clean, safe and efficient production environment

Benefits of the Production Process

The factory production approach offers a sustainable data centre alternative to site based construction:

  • Materials are factory controlled so waste is dramatically reduced
  • A centralised production facility reduces transport and vehicle movements and associated CO2 emissions
  • Dust, noise and other pollution associated with site works is almost entirely eliminated
  • Speed of construction cannot be matched by traditional methods

Operational Benefits

With a fully tested and proven PUE of 1.13 in many countries the BladeRoom sustainable data centre reduces energy consumption and carbon emissions dramatically compared to other data centres of a similar size.

In comparison with a 1MW PUE 2 facility, it can produce carbon emission savings up to 40,000 tonnes and reduce energy costs by as much as £3.8m over a 10-year period.

In addition to reducing operating costs these savings provide a competitive advantage when compliance with environmental legislation such as carbon trading schemes and climate change levies is required.

End of Site Requirement

When a site is no longer required, the entire sustainable data centre can simply be relocated to another location, making the BladeRoom system a re-deployable, truly sustainable data centre asset.

Factory production offers a sustainable alternative to site-based construction and a more resource-efficient way to produce truly green data centre facilities.

In a factory environment materials are tightly controlled and waste is dramatically reduced.

Many of the engineering parts that make up the BladeRoom data centre are universal components - easy to source, mass produced and readily available.

By using a central production facility heavy vehicle movements and associated CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced.

The production approach allows deliveries to be made to the factory in bulk from local suppliers, minimising transport and enabling the greener manufacturing of a data centre.

Once complete the entire BladeRoom data centre is deployed in matter of days following a single delivery.

Production takes place in a clean controlled factory environment with only a fraction of the programme taking place on the client's site.

Electrical switchboards being installed in the BladeRoom factory

The reduction in noise, pollution and security concerns help rationalise operational risk to facilities already live on a site during installation of the new data centre.

The following demonstrates an example life cycle of a BladeRoom data centre over a number of years.

Annual carbon and cost savings shown are for a PUE 1.13 BladeRoom located in the UK in comparison with an example PUE 2 data centre of equal size located in the same climate and both at Tier 3.

Both the BladeRoom and example facilities PUE data include calculated electrical losses based on an external N+1 UPS system, N+1 standby generators, 2N transformers, plant ventilation systems and lighting.

BR90 400kW

This is the company's initial purchase, well suited to the start up needs of the business. It is anticipated that the data centre will be used in this format for three years.

A decision was made to choose a 400kW Air Optimiser for future flexibility and future expansion although in the initial stages only 90 racks with a 3kW capacity are required.

BladeRoom Summary

Rack space:90
Rack capacity:4.4 kW
Area capacity:2,380 w/m2
Overall IT capacity:400 kW

Cost & CO2 savings after 1 year

(compared to PUE 2 facility of equal size)
CO2 savings to date:1,658 tonnes
Energy cost savings to date: £152,424

BR120 400kW

In year 4 as originally forecast and planned by the business, the rack numbers increase by 25% with the addition of another IT Room and the BR90 becomes a BR120. This happens virtually overnight and without downtime thanks to the 'hot add' system and the earlier decision to start the business with a larger Air Optimiser.

BladeRoom Summary

Rack space:120
Rack capacity:3.3 kW
Area capacity:1,780 w/m2
Overall IT capacity:400 kW

Cost & CO2 savings after 4 years

(compared to PUE 2 facility of equal size)
CO2 savings to date:6,632 tonnes
Energy cost savings to date:£609,696

BR120 800kW

In year 8 the business is still expanding and operationally it makes sense to move to a newer site on the outskirts of the city to allow for future expansion. The BladeRoom data centre is readily relocated to the new site and another 800kW Air Optimiser is added because of the requirement for higher rack density as the business grows and gains more clients.

BladeRoom Summary

Rack space:120
Rack capacity:6.7 kW
Area capacity:3,570 w/m2
Overall IT capacity:800 kW

Cost & CO2 savings after 8 years

(compared to PUE 2 facility of equal size)
CO2 savings to date:14,923 tonnes
Energy cost savings to date:£1,371,816

BR120 800kW

In year 14 the decision is taken to relocate the BladeRoom data centre as part of a 500 rack new data centre to be built on part of the site. It is to be used as the high density zone of the new data centre. Incorporated into the new scheme it will save 25% of the new build costs as well as the ongoing carbon and energy savings.

BladeRoom Summary

Rack space:120
Rack capacity:6.7 kW
Area capacity:3,570 w/m2
Overall IT capacity:800 kW

Cost & CO2 savings after 14 years

(compared to PUE 2 facility of equal size)
CO2 savings to date:34,823 tonnes
Energy cost savings to date:£3,200,904

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