PlanIT Impact: reducing data centre water usage by 30%
In 2018, the data centre industry was responsible for 1% of the world’s energy consumption. By 2030 - as demand for digital infrastructure continues to rise in response to the growth of Industry 4.0 and the ongoing pandemic - that figure could rise as high as 10%.
Founded in 2014, PlanIT Impact is a cloud-based SaaS startup working to provide a bolt-on solution for architects, designers, engineers and building operators across multiple industries. The tool uses 3D visualisation, artificial intelligence (AI) and open source site data in order to gather large amounts of data on buildings and facilities, which it then uses to make powerful early-stage performance calculations relating to energy and water usage.
So far, the startup has raised more than $1.7mn in venture capital funding.
“By incorporating our technology, data centres can simplify their path to net-zero, and potentially netpositive, energy design,” adds Davison.
This month, PlanIT Impact revealed a suite of new updates and enhancements to its platform designed to give architects and designers greater insight into sustainability metrics. The updates are scheduled to roll out over the course of Q1 2021 and include:
PI Regenerate, which provides operational carbon footprint data for customer projects and energy scenarios; PI Adapt, which allows customers to upload their own cost data into the platform for exclusive use on their projects; PI Recapture, which is part of a research partnership with the National Science Foundation's Centre for Big Learning (CBL) and is intended to enhance the company’s current discovery engine through integration of a deep neural network into its prediction process; and PI Blocks, which allows PlanIT customers to apply its services to the data centre building type as an option for projects.
PlanIT Impact reportedly sees data centres as an area with great potential for increased sustainable practice. The company believes its services can help data centre operators reduce energy and water usage by as much as 30%, or 40 MW per facility. A reduction of this scope and size would result in an average data centre reducing its carbon emissions by as much as 28 metric tonnes.
“By incorporating PlanIT Impact’s technology into our data centre builds, we are pleased to provide all of our tenants with the ability to maximise energy and water savings — and deliver a competitive advantage for hyperscalers in particular,” commented Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer at .
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.