Reducing Data Center Loads for a Large-Scale, Low-Energy Office Building: NREL's Research Support Facility (Book)

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This publication detailing the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center. Data centers are energy-intensive spaces that facilitate the transmission, receipt, processing, and storage of digital data. These spaces require redundancies in power and storage, as well as infrastructure, to cool computing equipment and manage the resulting waste heat (Tschudi, Xu, Sartor, and Stein, 2003). Data center spaces can consume more than 100 times the energy of standard office spaces (VanGeet 2011). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that data centers used 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, which was 1.5% of ... continued below

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32 p.

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Sheppy, M.; Lobato, C.; Van Geet, O.; Pless, S.; Donovan, K. & Powers, C. December 1, 2011.

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Description

This publication detailing the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center. Data centers are energy-intensive spaces that facilitate the transmission, receipt, processing, and storage of digital data. These spaces require redundancies in power and storage, as well as infrastructure, to cool computing equipment and manage the resulting waste heat (Tschudi, Xu, Sartor, and Stein, 2003). Data center spaces can consume more than 100 times the energy of standard office spaces (VanGeet 2011). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that data centers used 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, which was 1.5% of the total electricity consumption in the U.S. (U.S. EPA, 2007). Worldwide, data centers now consume more energy annually than Sweden (New York Times, 2009). Given their high energy consumption and conventional operation practices, there is a potential for huge energy savings in data centers. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is world renowned for its commitment to green building construction. In June 2010, the laboratory finished construction of a 220,000-square-foot (ft{sup 2}), LEED Platinum, Research Support Facility (RSF), which included a 1,900-ft{sup 2} data center. The RSF will expand to 360,000 ft{sup 2} with the opening of an additional wing December, 2011. The project's request for proposals (RFP) set a whole-building demand-side energy use requirement of a nominal 35 kBtu/ft{sup 2} per year. On-site renewable energy generation will offset the annual energy consumption. To support the RSF's energy goals, NREL's new data center was designed to minimize its energy footprint without compromising service quality. Several implementation challenges emerged during the design, construction, and first 11 months of operation of the RSF data center. This document highlights these challenges and describes in detail how NREL successfully overcame them. The IT settings and strategies outlined in this document have been used to significantly reduce data center energy requirements in the RSF; however, these can also be used in existing buildings and retrofits.

Physical Description

32 p.

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  • Related Information: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

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  • Report No.: NREL/BK-7A40-52785
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1031393 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1031393
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc841585

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 5, 2017, 6:21 p.m.

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Sheppy, M.; Lobato, C.; Van Geet, O.; Pless, S.; Donovan, K. & Powers, C. Reducing Data Center Loads for a Large-Scale, Low-Energy Office Building: NREL's Research Support Facility (Book), report, December 1, 2011; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc841585/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.