Arizona has certain advantages that set it apart from other colocation centers, like strong network connections to the West Coast, enhanced disaster recovery, and lower occurrences of natural disasters. However, when it comes to colocation, the region has had difficulties with power and cooling.
Unlike colocation centers up north, Arizona data centers do not come with the benefit of natural free cooling.
As a result, these massive storage spaces require more power to run the equipment and to keep them cool. Data centers in the area have been innovative to tackle this issue by installing huge rooftop solar panels to make the most of the sunlight.
These gigantic solar panels can generate up to 4.5 megawatts of energy for these facilities. Further, companies are also installing thermal storage systems that will run cooling systems at night when electricity rates are lower.
Here are some other methods used by colocation centers to increase efficiency:
- Low-power LED lighting
- Ultrasonic humidifiers (climate control)
- Highly efficient computer room air handlers (CRAHs) plus fans
- Highly efficient chillers
- Perimeter flooring (recycled car tires)
State Government Tax Incentives
Arizona is a leading market for colocation center development and the state government is looking to make it further attractive by offering a new series of tax abatement rule programs. This will be beneficially not only to new data centers but also those that are already established in the state.
When the state first introduced a 10-year tax break in 2013, 27 tenants with 12 data center operators took advantage of it. The new rules will be an addition to the tax abatement of 2013.
At the moment, the tech giant Apple is building a massive data center in Arizona and Microsoft has shown interest in building in the state if it receives the required tax breaks.
Solar Farms and Wind Farms
Under the new rules, there could be a possible investment of $2 billion with the construction of solar farms in the area.
However, this will not be the only source of power as data centers will require reliable and sustainable power sources. That means they will need to draw from the local grid as data centers need uninterrupted power, round the clock, not just when the sun shines or when the wind is blowing steadily.
Combined Heat and Power Plants (CHPs)
So there are issues with power and cooling in Arizona, but colocation providers are meeting these issues head-on. The shared use of combined heat and power plants (CHPs) have also been adopted by Arizona data centers.
CHPs basically take in natural gas and convert it into energy. When they’re paired with absorption chillers, CHPs can deliver as much chilled water as needed by a data center. Further, CHPs also can serve as redundancy if there’s a failure in the utility feed.
All these measures in turn will lower the overall footprint of greenhouse gas. This is not the case for facilities on conventional utility company power. Sure there might be cooling and power issues in 115 degrees of sweltering heat, but Arizona data centers have adapted and solved these problems.
What power and cooling innovations most entice you? What else should data centers in Arizona consider? Let us know your input in the Comments below.
And if you are responsible for recruiting new clients and growing the revenue of a data center in Arizona, take a moment now and download this free eBook on “Lead Generation Best Practices for Colocation Data Centers.”