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Can We Claim Victory over Data Center Energy Efficiency?

As the number of data centers continues to increase in the United States, they are becoming much more energy efficient.

A new report from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that electricity consumption by data centers nationwide, after rising rapidly for more than a decade, started to plateau in 2010 and has remained steady since, at just under 2 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.

The Berkeley Lab report on Data Center Energy Usage shows that various scenarios involving energy efficiency improvements translate into estimated annual savings of up to 33 billion kWh by 2020 (that's the equivalent of 3 million homes). Instead of consuming 106 billion kWh as initially thought, data centers are projected to consume only 73 billion kWh in 2020.  A 45% reduction in electricity demand when compared to current efficiency trends.

One of the efficiency improvements is the advanced cooling "best practices" strategy, which utilizes hot/cold aisle configurations, containment systems, and general airflow improvements.  General airflow improvements include the use of floor grommets to seal areas where cables enter and exit raised floor air plenums.  Less leakage helps direct more cold air to the equipment that needs cooling.

While we may want to claim victory in the war against energy waste, let's celebrate our success, but continue the fight to improve energy efficiency.

To increase static air pressure in your data center, close off unsealed raised floor cable openings with AirGuard cable seals and see an immediate gain in energy efficiency.