capitalizing on & conserving data center energy

Creative approaches are being developed to meet data center uptime expectations while meeting code requirements of these energy-intensive spaces. In planning new and retrofitting existing data centers we have capitalized opportunities to apply energy conservation strategies.

Snohomish County PUD

Administering and maintaining critical public infrastructure, the PUD recently invested in a new Energy Control Center and Data Center. As part of their project objective, the PUD also adopted a LEED® gold minimum design criteria. In designing the systems for the 3,000 sf space, the team developed an integrated approach that captured energy from the Tier II data center, coupled it with the geothermal central plant and distributed heating to the adjacent commercial office space via a hydronic condensing system. Integrated with a well-planned EMS and lighting system, the overall building achieved the LEED® Gold Certification goals while creating additional heating and cooling capacity beyond the current demand.

Puget Sound Energy

Integrating this 6,000 sf Tier II data center with support administrative spaces as a tenant improvement exemplified the team’s technical aptitude and conservation know-how. Completed with an aggressive 8-month design and construction schedule, the team programmed long-lead items to support the project’s schedule. Conservation strategies were applied through fan wall and hot aisle containment complimented by modular air cooled chillers.

Washington State Dept. of Ecology

A 9-year phased renovation of the department’s headquarters’ critical infrastructure was initiated as an assessment led by Hargis. The data center of the time was a repurposed space not designed to current-day data center standards. We developed an approach to upgrade the 4,000 sf space to infuse reliability and redundancy while maintaining the building’s LEED® Silver certification. Conservation strategies included modified rack configuration for "hot aisle/cold-aisle" cooling approach and new branch power as well as expanding the fluid cooler function to take advantage of evaporated cooling. Reliability upgrades included the incorporation of a parallel generator plant and N+1 rotary UPS system.

Washington State University

Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZ) Data Center is 4,000 sf space that serves the interest of public and private entities alike. Integrated into Washington State University’s Riverpoint Campus, ongoing energy conservation strategies were incorporated into the project’s design. Sustainable design applications included a dedicated HVAC system featuring Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units with VAV to maximize energy efficiency by drawing in ‘free cooling’ from the outside air when applicable. A contained hot aisle approach was incorporated, utilizing a barrier system to separate the cold supply air from the hot return air. This approach allows for more optimized energy performance, as well as flexibility in rack densities.

City of Tacoma

Housed in a historic high-rise, the city’s data center existing condition was evaluated and upgraded to improve system performance and energy efficiency. The city adopted the recommendation to reconfigure the existing floor plan and upgrade the mechanical and electrical infrastructure. This included a power distribution upgrade to align with a new N+1 UPS system and integration of infrastructure replacements with hot/cold aisle approach, including use of a contained hot aisle.