World-class efficiency for new data center

A new energy-efficient dynamic data center run by NetApp in Research Triangle Park (RTP) boasts what's being called world-class efficiency.

NetApp estimates that the data center's power usage effectiveness (PUE)(1) will be 1.2, or 80% more efficient than the average data center PUE of 2.0(2), which will result in NetApp saving $7.3 million a year. NetApp's energy efficiency improvements will also result in reducing CO2 by 93,000 tons a year, which is equivalent to removing 15,400 cars from the road.

Following are key features that will contribute to the RTP data center's outstanding energy efficiency:

  • 74° F average supply air temperature: Using a higher temperature threshold on supply air (74° F instead of 55° to 60° F) allows NetApp to dramatically reduce cooling costs.

  • Airside economizer: The data center is cooled by using just outside air (free cooling) 67% of the time during the year.

  • Pressure-controlled room: Modulating fans, based on NetApp's proprietary technology, supply pressure-controlled rooms and regulate the volume of air to avoid oversupplying air and wasting energy.

  • Cold aisle containment: The cold room separates the cold and hot air streams to protect supply air temperatures from being affected by hot air returning from the racks.

  • Overhead air distribution: Instead of pumping cold air up through the floors (raised floors), overhead air distribution takes advantage of cold/hot air buoyancy and eliminates ductwork, reducing the energy needed for fans.

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