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Bank’s Data Center Upgrade Yields $115,000 in Energy Savings Annually

LiebertfreecoolingAssociated Bank’s new data center expansion in Green Bay, Wisc., includes a new cooling system that will save the financial firm plenty of green – to the tune of $115,000 annually, reports American Banker.

The bank — with the help of a Wisconsin state energy that provided expertise and a $116,000 grant –challenged manufacturer Liebert to combine two technologies — gycol and chiller solutions — into one system that would deliver a glycol-based “free cooling” system at its two data centers.

Focus on Energy, an agency that runs Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program, estimates the data center upgrades cost about $500,000 each, which is about 30 percent less than if the bank had installed chiller and glycol systems separately. Plus, it saves space and can be used in other industries.

Liebert offers both a chiller system that can deliver an average annual energy savings of 40 to 60 percent and a glycol system that can reduce average annual energy savings use by 20 to 50 percent.

By moving the previous air-cooled systems to glycol free-cooling options the compressor hardly has to run at all, and the data centers now only cool when needed, which saves on cooling costs (PDF) and reduces the size of the fans and motors needed to move the air at the bank’s Green Bay and Stevens Point data centers, according to Focus on Energy.

The new system will save the bank 1.4 million kilowatt-hours annually, equivalent to almost 3,000 barrels of oil and prevents the emission of 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide. The company estimates that these savings will pay back the investment in about three years.

Geoff Overland, business development manager of IT and data centers at Focus on Energy, told American Banker that in addition to glycol’s ability to absorb the outdoor temperature to cool the data center, moving a liquid around is much more energy efficient than moving air.

Johnson Financial, which was recently named one of the greenest banks in the nation also received a little help from Focus on Energy this year. The bank is saving $40,000 a year by turning PCs off each year, in addition to a $16,000 rebate from the Focus on Energy program.

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