Wireless Sensors Improve Data Center Energy Efficiency
As data center energy densities, measured in power per square foot, increase, energy savings for cooling can be realized by applying wireless sensor network (WSN) technology and using the gathered information to efficiently manage the data center. A wireless sensor technology system is a network of sending and receiving devices that provides the data center operator with a real-time tool to observe and manage space-conditioning energy. A wireless sensor array and receiving devices were installed in an older legacy data center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) as part of a comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit. Numerous performance improvements were identified that contributed to cooling energy reduction. These improvements were facilitated by real-time feedback from the meshed sensor network that enhanced and verified floor-tile tuning, blanking-plate installations, and identification of redundant cooling units. This technical bulletin includes an overview of wireless sensor technology and the implementation experience and lessons learned from the wireless network installation project at LBNL.