At Technology Connection we pride ourselves on our ability to identify each of our client’s unique needs and challenges that are presented in today’s critical IT environments. We stand behind the belief that no two data centers are alike, and in order to deliver efficient solutions in the data center there are is no one-size fits all solution that works across the board. In order to implement the most efficient data center solutions, our Technology Connection team dedicates ourselves to properly analyzing each client thoroughly through our FlowLogix approach. One of our recent projects that this belief can be reflected in was with our client, Wright State University. We recently sat down with one of our TC team members who worked with the Wright State project, Mark H., to discuss the success story…
Q. What was the client’s situation when they reached out to Technology Connection?
A: Wright State University was operating an existing 6,500 sq. ft. data center that was primarily used a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration. They were using a total of 5 20-ton Liebert CRAC units to cool the data center, yet they were experiencing inefficient airflow and hot spots in the hot aisles. The cooling process wasn’t working at optimum capacity and was extremely inefficient. They were spending thousands of unnecessary dollars on energy consumption, which is why they came to us asking for solutions to help improve airflow and eliminate the hot spots.
Q: Was there an opportunity for TC to help improve efficiency?
A: When Wright State began working with us we were able to gain a clear understanding of how their IT environment was operating and where exactly we needed to take steps to improve overall data center efficiency. Our recommendation was to run a CFD model so we could identify their inefficiencies and design a solution that would best fit their unique needs and ongoing issues. By running the CFD model and monitoring power consumption we were able to identify that the 5 CRAC units were consuming a total of nearly 12,000 kWh with temperature set points of 68-69 degrees. It was apparent then that by implementing our FlowLogix solution we would be able to raise the temperature set points and significantly reduce the energy consumption of their data center.
Q: What was the solution?
A: The solution started with a complete rebalancing of air distribution under the raised floor to help provide optimum static pressure and proper air travel. After we rebalanced the floor and increased the pressure, new high-flow vented tiles were placed on the floor in conjunction with re-arrangement of the vented tile management. Once the proper footprint of vented tiles were laid out, we sealed all unmanaged openings, implemented blanking panels, and provided proper drop ceiling ventilation for the return air to properly find its way back to the CRAC units. All of these steps helped us deliver all the cold air the client was already paying for to the heat load, and more efficiently return the exhaust air to the CRAC units.
Q: What efficiencies were gained as a result of the solution?
A: After implementing our FlowLogix solution, we were able to reduce the energy consumption of the 5 CRAC units to just under 8,000 kWh. As we had hoped, we were also able to raise the temperature set points in the aisles by 5 degrees. In terms of actual dollars saved, Wright State was spending $4,300 per month on 87,760 kWh of energy to power and cool their data center. Following our implementation of FlowLogix, the university was spending only $3,000 per month on 61,269 kWh. This equaled a monthly savings of $1,300 per month, and over $15,500 annually.
If you operate a data center similar to that of our client Wright State University and are looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce energy costs, please contact our team. Technology Connection has a proven track record of providing the expertise to analyze your unique situation and challenges, and provide the best solutions that are right for you.