North American data center and facilities managers now have a “free cooling” tool to help them lower their energy consumption and related costs. The Green Grid has released free online maps and a tool designed to help data managers determine how much outside air — also known as free cooling — is available for individual data centers.
The average data center consumes the same amount of energy as 25,000 households, and may surpass the airline industry as a top greenhouse gas polluter by 2020, according to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and the Uptime Institute.
Mark Monroe, a director of The Green Grid, said air outside data centers can be cooler than the air inside, and this new tool will help data managers leverage this free cooling. The Green Grid is a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems.
Using zip codes, the tool allows users in the United States and Canada to input their specific variables — such as local energy costs, IT load and facility load — to determine the energy savings for individual facilities. In addition to free cooling from outside air, the tool provides information about savings that could be obtained using water-side economizers.
Members of The Green Grid will have access to a high-resolution graphical map of free cooling throughout the U.S. and Canada, while non-members can download a low-resolution version in the “Library and Tools” section at The Green Grid website. Maps by specific zip code can be obtained by contacting WeatherBank, Inc.
Earlier in the year, The Green Grid launched new data center energy efficiency reporting guidelines and a “data center 2.0” program at its second annual technical forum.