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


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.