Data centre sustainability: why is it so important?
Sustainability is increasingly becoming one of the top concerns and priorities for many companies, not just in the data centre industry. In recent years there has been a major shift towards sustainability and the importance of using reusable energy.
Data centres can use up a significant amount of the world's energy resources as well as omitting vast amounts of heat. Therefore many data centre facilities and companies are trying to strive towards a greener future.
Issues facing the data centre industry
One of the main issues that data centres face is the amount of heat produced at the facilities. Overheating can cause performance to deteriorate and can also permanently damage the infrastructure and hardware. Not only does the heat cause serious issues for the facilities themselves but it also has a detrimental effect on the environment too.
Therefore, cooling solutions play a vital role in reducing these effects on the environment and the infrastructure. However, cooling solutions and systems create the most energy consumption throughout the centres as well as costing a significant amount to implement and run. These systems consist of industrial equipment such as chillers, cooling towers and pumps.
This has been the age old issue at these sites, as the infrastructure needed to reduce the environmental impact are some of the most costly and energy consuming solutions available.
With the ever increasing need for data centres, as more and more of our services and businesses move online, the amount of energy consumed also increases. A recent report has suggested that with this increasing demand for more data centres, they will be set to consume one-fifth of all global energy.
The future of data centre sustainability
In order to tackle the issues of the rising energy consumption, many companies have already started to take the necessary measures and steps towards a greener future using natural cooling and sustainable energy.
A recently published article by The Green Grid, a non profit organisation working towards improving data centre efficiency, suggested that around half of all US-based data centre facilities are already utilising natural cooling to reduce their energy consumption. It also suggested that another quarter of US-based facilities are considering turning towards natural cooling solutions in the future.
Natural cooling is the process of filtering the outside air to provide optimal temperatures in order to keep the infrastructure cool and working efficiently. This doesn’t mean that data centres need to be located in regions with extreme temperatures, as the cooling process is complex and innovative.
Whatever process is chosen, there is no doubt that our data centres must become more sustainable in order to avoid the extreme and negative environmental effects. With data traffic only set to rise it is important that these measures are put in place now so we can strive towards a greener future.
Sustainability and PUE reduction in data centres
The data centre industry is at a crossroads. As demand for colocation, hyperscale cloud, and edge solutions continues to rise, operators and enterprises are also facing up to the reality that sustainable design and operating practice are a mission critical component of the modern data centre. Going green is no longer an optional extra.
Data centres are becoming an increasingly critical foundation that underpins the modern world, and the demand for them continues to grow exponentially each year. Data centres must remain in constant operation in order to provide the services for which customers depend on them.
This mission critical need, combined with the sector-wide push towards reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint throughout the industry, is making the search for innovative evaporative media solutions that keep systems running at peak efficiency an equally mission critical priority.
The two main sources of energy consumption in a modern data centre are its IT equipment and the cooling infrastructure used to keep that equipment cool. A 2017 study found that energy consumption as the direct result of cooling data centre IT equipment can amount to over 40% of the total energy consumption in a facility. From air cooling to liquid and evaporative chillers, data centre operators, finding the right cooling solution for your facility is a top-of-mind goal for any data centre operator.
Portacool: keeping it Kuul
Based in Center, Texas, Portacool is a portable evaporative cooling solutions firm that has been pushing the boundaries of mission critical infrastructure cooling technology since it entered the market in 1990.
Through constant embodiment of its five brand pillars - Safety & Liability, Total Cost of Ownership, Productivity & Performance, Sustainability & Social Responsibility, and Life & Comfort Enhancing Solutions - Portacool has grown steadily over the past 30 years, continually reinforcing its reputation for industry-leading cooling solutions.
Portacool’s solutions have been successfully applied throughout the agricultural and horticultural, manufacturing, industrial, business, entertainment, sports, home, and hobby industries - “anywhere cooling is needed and traditional air conditioning is impractical or cost prohibitive.”
The company’s sub-brand, Kuul, is Portacool’s answer to the growing need for reliable, sustainable cooling solutions in the data centre sector. Portacool manufactures three series of evaporative media – Kuul Control, Kuul Vitality and Kuul Comfort. Kuul Control is used in data centres, power generation and HVAC systems. Kuul Vitality is utilised primarily in the horticulture, poultry and swine industries. Kuul Comfort is exclusively made for usage in Portacool-branded portable evaporative coolers.
Kuul can help data centre operators lower their PUE dramatically, increasing the environmental sustainability of their facilities significantly as a result of its rigid evaporative media solutions.