The Elements of a Green Data Centre
A green data centre is developed with one thing in mind: ensuring that everything is designed for maximum efficiency and with the least amount of environmental impact. This may involve a host of strategies, some of which may require advanced technologies. It can start with smart procurement and the extension of IT product life cycles. It can then extend to the optimisation of IT infrastructure and developing green best practices.
Building and operating a green data centre typically has reduced OPEX (operating expenses) and does not necessarily have higher CAPEX (capital expenses). There are long-term cost savings to be realised from an operational and maintenance standpoint.
Needless to say, such a facility can also offer a healthy work environment and the company would be well-positioned as an environmentally responsible enterprise.
Here are nine features of a green data centre.
1. Use of photovoltaic panels
Photovoltaic (PV) panels which are also known as solar panels capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. As such, electricity costs are reduced and energy efficiency is enhanced.
2. Be mindful of the building orientation
It is important to pay attention to this issue, ensuring that the building faces the north-south direction. Doing this avoids the rising and setting sun which keeps the building naturally cool.
3. Pay attention to wall insulation and thickness
Certain elements can assist in rendering a building almost impenetrable to heat.
This includes the use of double clay brick cavity walls, fortified with rock wool insulation, 18mm thick plaster and 50mm insulation paint. Implementing this at our data centre enabled us to achieve a four-hour fire-resistance rating.
4. Implement a ducted fresh air system
Natural ventilation in all the common corridors can be achieved through a ducted fresh air fan intake system.
There are a number of data centre issues which relate to the circulation of air such as local pressure differences, short cuts in air circulation and also, hotspots. These often stem from the design of the data centre.
5. Ensure glassworks are tinted and laminated
Glassworks tinted with emerald green allow the building to provide a soothing natural light while simultaneously reducing heat discharged into the common areas. Even if you are not faced with severe weather condition risks, the fact remains that large expanses of glass can lead to compromise caused by saboteurs or vandals. So glassworks should be kept to a minimum.
6. Bathtub roof design
The Basis Bay data centres incorporate the ingenious ‘bathtub” roof design. This prevents direct exposure to the sun and heat which in turn, reduces heat absorption into the floors below.
7. Incorporate storm/rainwater management
This enables you to store rainwater in a holding or retention tank underground. The water can be used for watering the greenery in the building and surrounding compound as well as for the water closets and urinals in the building.
8. Ensure energy efficiency of the computer room air conditioning
Install energy-efficient Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) at your data centre. The CRAC comes equipped with special features that consume 45 per cent less power on average while using environmentally friendly recycled materials and an eco-compatible refrigerant.
9. Use sensor lighting
Senor lighting ensures lights are managed automatically. They are switched on and off as required, this adding to energy savings. This fits in well when combined with the use of energy-efficient lighting options.
These are merely a handful of elements that can contribute to a green data centre. Companies around the world have begun to take greater notice of energy needs, climate change and embrace a more responsible approach. As such, a data centre that takes a green approach not only reduces energy consumption but ultimately improves the company’s efficiency and productivity altogether.
If you are looking to de-risk your business, protect your brand and more importantly, keep your business running day and night, leave us a comment. We will be happy to get in touch to discuss how a data centre solution can support your enterprise needs.