Reducing Data Center Loads for a Large-Scale, Net Zero Office Building (Brochure)

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Case study highlighting the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center. In constructing a new research facility for its campus, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) project team identified the opportunity to design a world-class, energy-efficient data center to support its operations. NREL's efforts resulted in a highly efficient data center that demonstrated considerable energy savings in its first 11 months of operations. Using legacy data center performance as a baseline, the new facility cut energy use by nearly 1,450,000 kWh, delivering cost savings of approximately $82,000. The data center's average total load ... continued below

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6 p.

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Creator: Unknown. December 1, 2011.

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Description

Case study highlighting the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center. In constructing a new research facility for its campus, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) project team identified the opportunity to design a world-class, energy-efficient data center to support its operations. NREL's efforts resulted in a highly efficient data center that demonstrated considerable energy savings in its first 11 months of operations. Using legacy data center performance as a baseline, the new facility cut energy use by nearly 1,450,000 kWh, delivering cost savings of approximately $82,000. The data center's average total load was 165 kW less than the legacy center's average total load, resulting in a 60% reduction in overall power. Finally, the limited use of cooling and fan energy enabled the new data center to achieve a 1.16 average power utilization effectiveness (PUE) rating, compared to the legacy data center's PUE of 2.28. The laboratory had been relying on individual servers with an energy utilization rate of less than 5%. NREL employed building best practices, innovative design techniques and energy-efficient technologies to support its energy goals for the new data center. To counteract the extensive heat generated by data center equipment, the laboratory implemented a cooling system using outdoor air and evaporative cooling to meet most of the center's needs. Inside the data center, NREL replaced much of its legacy equipment with new, energy-efficient technology. By exchanging this infrastructure for virtualized blade servers, NREL reduced its server energy footprint by 96%. Additionally, NREL replaced its 80%-efficient uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with a UPS that is 95% efficient; deployed ultra efficient power distribution units (PDU) to handle higher UPS voltages; and implemented vacancy sensors to drive down lighting loads. Using best practices and energy-efficient technology, NREL was able to successfully design an optimized data center with a minimal energy footprint. At 958,000 kWh, the annual energy use for the RSF data center is approximately 60% less than the legacy data center's annual energy use, surpassing the laboratory's project goal. As specified, the building is equipped with enough onsite renewable energy generation to offset annual energy consumption. The facility has achieved a PUE of 1.16 and ERE of 0.91 in its first 11 months of operation and is using PUE to as a metric to gauge success towards its ultimate goal. Based on the status of its RSF data center project, NREL is advising other government organizations on data center efficiency. The laboratory places great emphasis on the use of key metrics - such as PUE and ERE - to track performance. By carefully monitoring these metrics and making adjustments, NREL is able to continuously improve the performance of its data center operations.

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6 p.

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  • Related Information: Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO-102011-3459
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1031951 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1031951
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833844

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 12:51 p.m.

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Reducing Data Center Loads for a Large-Scale, Net Zero Office Building (Brochure), report, December 1, 2011; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833844/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.