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OptiCool Saves Energy for University of Rochester Data Center

The University of Rochester has received $168,000 through New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG)’s and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E)’s Commercial and Industrial Rebate program for leadership in data center energy efficiency.

This rebate corresponds with the university’s use of OptiCool Technology’s modular cooling technology that has helped significantly reduce energy use and costs in the university’s second data center.  The OptiCool system cools the electronic equipment close to the source of heat by using rear-door units installed on the back of computer cabinets. The heat from the electronic equipment is captured by refrigerant that circulates to cooling units, and is eventually looped through coils to outdoor air condensers for final heat rejection.

Data centers consume nearly 3 percent of all electricity in New York State, according to OptiCool Technologies.

The university’s data centers are controlled access environments housing critical technology equipment, applications and data. The primary data center in Monroe County is the hub of the university’s computing resources, which are shared by the academic, medical, research, and administrative communities. The second data center in Ontario County serves as a hub backup, with both locations operating 24/7.

This is not the data centers’ first recognition for sustainability. In 2009, a $300,000 RG&E rebate recognized energy efficiencies within the primary data center’s construction, and in June 2010 NYSERDA awarded the University a $189,000 grant for energy efficiencies built into the design of the primary data center. In 2011, NYSERDA also recognized the primary data center as a High Performance Building, with energy-saving features that include a building management system that optimizes efficiency, and a cooling system that takes advantage of Rochester’s climate.

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