© Photo | ebm-papst, Gernot Walter

A fresh breeze in the data bank

A data centre in the United Kingdom switches to EC fans and reduces the energy consumption of cooling units by 50 percent


At the data centre of a major investment bank in the United Kingdom servers process astounding amounts of sensitive data every day. Reliability is everything, and failure is not an option. Therefore, good cooling is indispensable. Some 76 air-conditioning units ensure that this job is done well. As recently as 2006, facility management provider installed new air-conditioning units in the bank’s data centre. When just five years later, Emerson Network Power – which provides services focussed on business-critical processes – suggested replacing belt-driven AC fans with efficient GreenTech EC fans from ebm-papst, the customer was interested straight away. “Our customers are generally very open-minded towards projects in data centres, as these rooms use a great deal of energy, and the savings potential is extremely large,” explains Helen McHugh, Divisional Manager at ebm-papst United Kingdom. As a result, the customer decided in favour of the upgrade in this case. When switching from AC to efficient EC fans, Emerson Network Power had to meet a variety of criteria. The installation team was only allowed to take one air-conditioning unit off-line at a time, and at no point during the upgrade was the data centre to be shut off. Thus the air-conditioning units were successively retrofitted during operation with adapted GreenTech EC centrifugal fans made of aluminium, which were installed in the ground. The investment is paying off. Across all units, the end customer is now enjoying average energy savings of 50 percent and reducing annual CO2 emissions by about 1,500 tonnes. The financial savings are approximately 336,000 EUR per year. The data centre now operates both more quietly and more reliably. As a result of not using the belt-driven fans, the noise and maintenance effort are reduced. Ian Shaw, Energy Manager at the facility management provider, states with satisfaction: “Not only were the energy savings exactly as predicted, there was actually no reason to carry out more detailed analyses, since monthly energy consumption is obviously so much lower.”

Datacenter_sparstiftIn the United Kingdom alone, data centres use approx. 6.4 gigawatts of energy annually – this corresponds to the consumption of six million private households. The savings potential in the cooling system, which is responsible for half the energy consumption of a data centre, is enormous. On average, customers attain savings of 50 percent by upgrading to EC fans.

 

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