Reducing data centre energy consumption

Recognising that our data centres consume a significant amount of energy, we implemented a number of initiatives in the UK and US to first determine how we could reduce consumption followed by implementing cost effective reduction measures.

Between May and September 2010 our UK data centres implemented:

  • A cold aisle containment system.
  • Variable speed drives to all the computer room air conditioning units.
  • Lighting controls in all data halls.
  • An increase of data hall room temperatures from 21°C to 24°C.
  • An increase in chilled water temperatures from 6°C to 9°C.

The total project cost was $278,000 but is producing annual energy savings of 2,400,000 kWh ($224,000), which will cut 1.3 thousand tonnes of CO2.

Our two data centres in the US (in McKinney and Allen, Texas) have also implemented a variety of energy use reduction measures, including:

  • computer room air conditioning unit humidifiers
  • increasing the temperature set point in common areas
  • changing the outside lighting schedule
  • turned off lighting where it wasn’t needed and installed motion activated lighting where it was needed

The total annual savings in the US were 879,056 kWh ($ 50,694) cutting about 478 tonnes of CO2.

The total electricity consumption has decreased by 5% since last year and these activities have been instrumental in creating this saving.