Monitoring and controls are essential to effective energy management as they enable the ability to measure and manage data. Two key aspects of energy management are metrics and benchmarking performance. Key metrics include power usage effectiveness (PUE), partial PUEs (e.g., HVAC, Electrical distribution), energy reuse (ERF), utilization, and in the future more computational metrics such as peak flops per watt and transactions/watt.
Benchmarking allows for a comparison to peers, the identification of opportunities and best practices, and to track performance over time. Data center energy and water use can be tracked and benchmarked through ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager, which also calculates PUE.
Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is a comprehensive approach that has received increasing attention in the last few years. DCIM enables data center stakeholders to monitor, manage, and control energy efficiency, inventory, design, procurement, and IT/infrastructure capacity and redundancy.
The DCIM approach is often complex and a standard definition does not exist. However, the term generally entails software that communicates with data center equipment (e.g., IT, cooling and power infrastructure) to collect data and turn that data into useful information. With the communication mechanism in place, controls can act on this information to efficiently reduce energy use while maintaining or improving reliability.
HIGH-LEVEL BEST PRACTICES
- Create Project Integration Team
- Establish Continual Improvement Goals
- Use Metrics to Measure Efficiency
- Benchmark Performance
- Evaluate Monitoring Systems to Enhance Real-Time Management and Efficiency
- Install Power Monitoring
- Use Visualization Tools
- Install an Enterprise Information System (EIS) to Manage and Sustain Energy Efficiency
- System Integration Including Building Automation System (BAS)
- Data Center Master List of Efficiency Actions provides more information on the high-level best practices outlined above as well as a more detailed list of best practices related to Energy Management.
- Data Center Metering and Resource Guide provides guidance on setting up metering and calculating power usage effectiveness (PUE).