Published March 23, 2022

Data — it’s the steady heartbeat that makes the world go-'round, and data centers? They’re the valves, the paths, pumping the data to and from the heart. And the usage of data is only increasing, but not without impacts on energy use and the direct increase of CO2 emissions because of it.

Sustainability for data centers has become an increasing concern and focus, and while strides have been made towards a greener future, there’s room for improvement. The entire sector is expected to own 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. With such a staggering statistic, it’s no surprise that customers of data center operators are looking for sustainable practices as terms for business, according to a recent study by 451 Research. Even more shocking is that only 43% of operators say they have a current strategy for implementing infrastructure efficiency initiatives.

While there are many actions that can be taken to execute greener operations, these solutions, such as MEP topology overhauls or infrastructure upgrades, aren’t always the most practical or best suited.

What happens next? The key is to recognize the availability of options and opportunities that don’t require extensive updates or significant investments to make a data center more eco-friendly. Finding efficiencies may be closer than they seem and doesn’t necessarily mean replacing legacy infrastructure with newer technologies. This starts with a good look within a facility, not outside of it.

Through a multi-year study, Ascent was able to identify five main areas of missed efficiency opportunities, all of which are based around data centers’ mechanical systems and include:

  • Unmanaged supply airflow delivery losses
  • Supply-to-load airflow capacity losses
  • Supply airflow to load ratio exceeded
  • Return setpoints too low and humidity setpoints too high
  • Lack of usage of built-in ‘ECO modes’

Download our latest white paper to read more about Ascent’s findings. Plus keep your eyes peeled for the launch of the industry book Greener Data where Robert Painter, President of Ascent, talks more to these points as a contributing author. The book launches Earth Day, April 22, 2022!