Green IT France recently estimated that the 3,700 data centers scattered around the world account for around 2% of global electricity consumption. The millions of servers that these centers host account for 25% of the Internet-produced greenhouse gas emissions, in contrast to the 47% generated by actual users.
In many respects, it’s still an uphill battle, as data centers present a significant energy challenge. But New Orleans data centers like the ones featured in this article contribute to a greener environment by adopting measures like:
- Processors that use up less power
- Energy-efficient cooling fans
- Improved DC voltage regulators
- Minimizing building footprints
- Waste recycling
- Alternative energy technologies such as evaporative cooling and heat pumps
- Low-emission building materials
In general, bigger data centers managed by well-known Internet brands like Google and Yahoo tend to lead the way when it comes to energy-efficiency.
Small, medium, and corporately-owned facilities account for the greater percentage of energy consumed by data centers because in general they are less efficient, but that situation is slowly changing.
Fogo Data Centers
Located on the 10th floor of a 21-story high-rise, the Fogo Data Center in New Orleans occupies approximately 7,000 square feet and employs a variety of energy-saving technologies to reduce its carbon footprint.
Hosting services feature 100 kVA of redundant power, UPS systems with a single backup diesel generator, 1,500 tons of cooling with redundant cooling infrastructure specifically for the data center and lobby, and a backup chiller in case of a primary chiller failure. All Liebert precision cooling units have N+1 redundancy.
Cogent Colocation Solutions is situated in an office tower at the intersection of Poydras Street and St. Charles Avenue in downtown New Orleans. The data center has 7,812 square feet of colocation space and an energy-efficient HVAC system featuring Liebert units and rooftop condensers.
Both Fogo and Cogent arrange their server racks in alternating ‘hot / cold’ aisles. In one aisle, the machines face each other, while the next aisle has the rear of each machine facing out and blowing warm air into the space. This orientation is organized so that energy loss is heavily reduced and server life is prolonged.
These New Orleans data centers also employ power-saving technologies that lower server processor clock rates when the processor is inactive. This limits overall power consumption and reduces heat generation, which in turn allows cooling fans to operate more slowly.
The Bottom Line
Building a green data center or refurbishing an existing one to make it more eco-friendly can requires a significant financial investment in the beginning, but there will be cost savings in the long run, especially in terms of operations and equipment maintenance.
Employees also enjoy a healthier, more comfortable workplace, which reduces sick time and turnover. If copied, the green strategies employed by data centers in New Orleans can lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy bills, and contribute to a healthier community.
Does your data center make green strategies a priority? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
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