Green Grid Offers Tools for Free Data Center Cooling

Green Grid Offers Tools for Free Data Center Cooling

The Green Grid, a consortium of technology companies dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers, announced last week the launch of a new tool that makes it easy for IT professionals to determine how much energy and money they can save by using outside air and water to cool their data centers for free.

With the data at hand, data center managers can help lower their overall energy consumption, save on costs related to cooling those facilities, reduce the organization's overall carbon footprint, and potentially extend the productive life of their facilities.

“Data centers with increasing IT loads require more power to cool them, so finding cooling options that use less power is critical not only for organizations that don’t have resources to build new facilities but also for those that want to save money,” Mark Monroe, a director of The Green Grid, said in a statement. “For much of the year, the air outside data centers can be cooler than the air inside. The tool that The Green Grid has developed will help determine how much free cooling a specific data center can leverage.”

The new tool uses zip codes to take factors including local energy costs, IT load, and facility load to determine how much energy can be saved at individual facilities. On top of free cooling from outside air and water, the tool also provides data on potential savings from adopting water-side economizers.

Among the examples of savings the tool discovered is a 1 megawatt data center in zip code 95101 (San Jose, Calif.) that's paying 12.78 cents per kilowatt-hour could save $66,000 per year using free cooling, and $160,000 per year with a water-side economizer.

On the other side of the country, a similarly sized data center in zip code 20170 (Herndon, Va.) that pays 8.14 cents per kWh could save $20,000 with free cooling, and $130,000 by switching to a water-side economizer.

The tool is available for free to Green Grid members, and non-members can download a low-res version of the free cooling map from