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Energy Efficiency Part II — Why Do Data Centers Miss Low Hanging Fruit?

Part I of this two-part blog series discussed what opportunities lie ahead for data centers to execute greener operations and five main areas that are most often missed including:

  • 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’

    While these opportunities were identified as being the most missed solutions, we drill down into the why of how data centers miss these low-hanging fruits — efficiency solutions that already exist within a facility’s infrastructure, that are waiting to be activated. Here are the obstacles that Ascent has identified:

    • Overprioritization of IT components – Technology is constantly evolving and at a pace that’s hard to keep up with. Because of this, data centers tend to put all of their eggs into technological developments over infrastructure efficiency improvements.
    • Risk Aversion – The fear of downtime during changes can affect operational behavior.
    • Time Allotment – Optimizing operations becomes an overall behavioral challenge.
    • Payback Analysis – Easily obtained gains can get neglected or lost in the shuffle of such complex approval processes that leave little room for non-financial factors.
    • Staffing Constraints – When an operating system changes, it often requires skilled staff to learn how to work with it, which can be an involved process.

      As mentioned in our previous blog, data is the lifeline, the heartbeat, of how the world operates. However, the world cannot continue to function as we’ve known without changes to the direct impacts data usage is making on it.

      In Ascent’s most recent white paper, we discuss how data centers can take proactive steps to save energy and reduce carbon emissions today.

      Additionally, you won’t want to miss the release of the industry book, Greener Data, where Robert Painter, President of Ascent, explores more about these points as a contributing author. The book launches on Earth Day, April 22, 2022!

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