Data centre energy efficiency

Data centre energy efficiency

Energy efficiency in datacentres

Servers and associated equipment required to run websites and general internet communication is housed in data centers. Electricity consumed in data centres, including enterprise servers, ICT equipment, cooling, power equipment is expected to contribute substantially to the electricity consumed in Western Europe commercial sector in the near future.

Between 2007 and 2020 electricity consumption is expected to increase from 56 Terawatt hour (TWh) to 104 TWh. In order to reduce carbon emissions and reduce costs through creation of this electricity demand for data center efficiency should be maximised.

In contrast to many conventional buildings, cooling is one of the largest energy users and as such represents the biggest opportunity to improve efficiency.

Metro Commercial has experience in providing EPCs for data & telecom centres. In addition to meeting legislative requirements, an EPC for a data center can begin to identify opportunities to reduce energy and carbon emissions. Within a data center there are a number of energy efficiency measures than can be taken to reduce energy consumption over and above those that may be identified in a conventional EPC report. These can be provided in addition to the EPC.

More interesting information about energy efficiency in data centers.

Two metrics that have been introduced to the data center industry to measure the energy efficiency of data centres are Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Datacenter Efficiency (DCE).

One of the most widely quoted figures is the  PUE which is defined as  Total facility power divided by IT equipment power. 

IT Equipment Power is equipment  used to manage, process, store and related power for  routing data within the raised floor space. Total Facility Power is everything that supports the IT equipment load such as cooling systems. including chillers and air conditioning, and lighting.

The PUE can be used as a quick way to compare energy allocation in a  datacenter.  If a PUE is determined to be 2, this suggests that demand is two times greater than the  energy necessary to power the actual IT equipment. A PUE can range from 1.0 to infinity with a PUE value approaching 1.0 would indicating 100% efficiency showing that all power is used by IT equipment only). 

At time of writing for example Google advise of their PUE for their data centres as:

"Our fleet-wide PUE has dropped significantly since we first started reporting our numbers in 2008. As of Q4 2013, the TTM energy-weighted average PUE for all Google data centers is 1.12, making our data centers among the most efficient in the world."

Google also advise that "According to the Uptime Institute's 2012 Data Center Survey, the global average of respondents' largest data centers is between 1.8 and 1.89."

Metro Commercial specialise in producing Energy Performance Certificates for non-domestic buildings and we have experience in producing EPCs for data centre type buildings. 


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