Software & Autonomous Cooling unlocks £0.8m annualised energy saving across 33 sites
July 29, 2019 12:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A UK and Ireland provider of broadband, TV, mobile and home phone services utilised the EkkoSoft® Critical software-driven thermal optimisation solution and fully autonomous cooling to help deliver significant and quantifiable energy savings across its data centre estate.

Removing the uncertainty from data centre cooling with thermal surveying

An initial benchmarking and improvement scoping exercise identified that some of the organisation’s data centre sites were consuming excessive energy when compared against earlier (2016) energy supplier data. The initial survey was extended across 33 data centre sites to identify key rooms that could benefit from cooling energy optimisation. 

The thermal survey drew on data from existing Modbus temperature sensors that was analysed using EkkoSoft Critical to show the precise thermal characteristics of each data centre room. The results showed that overall cooling utilisation across the estate was running at less than 50%. The client tasked EkkoSense and its partner to reduce mechanical cooling running times and to maximise energy savings. 

Applying a comprehensive blend of physical and operational improvements 

EkkoSense worked to address this challenge through a comprehensive blend of physical and operational improvements. At all times, energy reduction measures were delivered while remaining within the boundaries of the customer’s design and build standards. This process resulted in direct improvements in three key areas: 

Thermal Risk Removal – using EkkoSoft Critical to analyse potential risks, and both free air and sequenced operation to achieve large-scale energy savings 

Capacity Release – applying ‘Zones of Influence’ capability to pinpoint areas that had limited cooling capacity because of a mix of old and new cooling units. Using EkkoSoft Critical helped identify the right balance to ensure all areas received adequate cooling and redundancy 

Delivering Quantifiable Energy Savings – Adopting next generation autonomous cooling combined with EkkoSoft Critical has allowed the customer to undertake large scale energy savings, using both free air and sequenced AHU operation 

Taking things to the next level with Autonomous Cooling 

EkkoSense worked to deploy 65 control panels linked to its EkkoSoft Critical thermal optimisation software to effectively automate the control of the customer’s data centre cooling units. By applying a standard set of rules based on hard-wired sensors, this innovative and auditably secure approach enables cooling units to be held off, prioritising free air where possible and initialising mechanical cooling units only when needed. This approach unlocked a significant reduction in power usage and contributed directly to the project’s impressive energy savings. 

Ongoing software-based thermal optimisation 

As part of the project, EkkoSoft Critical was also deployed for power monitoring – to cover cooling power, site mains and IT power at a site or room level. For energy savings reporting, meter readings are taken in kWh from the client’s existing infrastructure management system to provide monthly actual performance measurements against cooling benchmark data – identifying monthly energy savings. 

EkkoSoft Critical produces comprehensive reporting at both an estate and individual site level. Monthly reports are produced for site load, cooling power and site IT & DC. Power usage graphs identify actual performance, while benchmark and optimisation reports are available across all sites to ensure ongoing energy optimisation. 

Case Study summary

EkkoSense deliverables – Intelligent hardware integration, thermal software analysis

Benefits to client – £0.8m annualised reduction in data centre cooling costs

Energy Reduction – 26% data centre cooling energy saving – average annual kW saving of 815 kW

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This post was written by Cheryl Billson

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