Keysource Cuts Energy Use 45 Percent at U.K. Data Center

Keysource Cuts Energy Use 45 Percent at U.K. Data Center

With a PUE of 1.2, the new data center designed by Keysource for Petroleum Geo-Services has cut its energy costs almost in half using already-existing technologies.

The PUE, a metric developed the Green Grid, measures the amount of electricity entering a data center that is used for services other than computing. A PUE of 2 means that for every watt in the room that goes to powering servers or storage, another watt goes to cooling, lighting, or other non-computing needs.

Surprisingly, the new facility opened by PGS, and designed by Keysource, doesn't make use of the cool air in this city 30 miles outside London to achieve its big gains in energy use.

Instead, Keysource put in a closed-loop system that uses heat exchangers, rather than using outside air with air-filters to take out the contamination.

According to Mark West, Keysource's managing director, cooling is where the biggest gains in PUE and overall energy efficiency can come.

"Losses from UPS inefficiencies, and standby power, are all linear and predictable, but cooling is the area of biggest opportunity," West told eWeek Europe.

Last month, IBM broke ground on a new next-generation data center project in Syracuse, N.Y., which it predicts can cut energy use by 50 percent over existing data centers. And earlier this year, the Green Grid published a list of tools for free data center cooling.

A PUE of 1.2, as PGS achieved with its Surrey facility, is an exceptionally high number. Google announced earlier this year that it had achieved a 1.12 PUE at one data center, but the industry average remains much higher; the Green Grid says that a PUE of 3.0 or higher is not uncommon in corporate data centers.