GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms have announced that their new technologies will save energy used for cooling at their Ohio data centre. In addition, the new solution will save two to three million gallons of water or 20%, while also reducing use of water treatment chemicals at the facility by 50%. According to Greg Simpson, Chief Technology Officer, GE Technology can address 50% of data centre energy usage from power supply, distribution, cooling and lighting, and their solutions can result in a 40% annual improvement in energy savings for non-IT systems.
GE Technology combines cutting-edge products and technologies with an expertise in building management systems and provide customers a solid foundation for any high technology infrastructure.
GE’s Ohio-based data centre features 29,000 square feet of raised floor, equivalent to six professional basketball courts and includes 3800 IT systems. The data centre consumes 24 million kW/h of power each year. To reduce water and energy, GE are updating the data centre with 30 products from nine different GE businesses, including power quality, chilled water, electrical, security and IT services equipment.
This Ohio-based data centre effort is part of GE’s ecomagination business strategy, designed to build innovative technologies and solutions that help customers to address environmental and financial needs and help GE grow. As part of the initiative, GE are committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. Since ecomagination's inception in 2005, GE have saved energy costs, developed ecomagination-certified products and have earned more revenue in 2008.
The automation solution installed at the Ohio-based data centre provides a simple view of all operations with drill-down capabilities into specific functional elements and equipment. Through a dashboard application, the data centre is provided with summary, comparative, and location operational performance data, so that challenges and improvement opportunities can be quickly identified, quantified and acted upon. Compliance reporting and the ability to address future requirements, as well as provide easy modifications to these reporting needs, was a necessity.
The Dashboard will have two main running views that can then be drilled down to the sensor level:
- A simple visualisation of all data centres that indicates both alarm condition by function, and various key performance indicators including KW usage versus capacity.
- A more detailed look at an individual site, with deeper information by operational function including a 13-month running trend of key operating metrics.
The immediate goal was to reduce cost and they needed to reduce water and electrical consumption or leverage ambient air for cooling during the winter months, reduce waste water and improve survivability to ensure the data centre does not go down. Other goals were to increase cooling capacity to keep pace with the growth of the number of servers, improve the centre personnel’s ability to maintain it efficiently, and automate manual processes.
To meet these needs, a team of professionals led by GE’s high-tech automation specialists, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, and including GE Water & Process Technologies, GE Lighting Systems, GE Digital Energy and GE Security, provided the following solutions that can be replicated in other centres around GE and in other companies around the world.
- Water – GE are providing a reverse osmosis system that transforms drinking water into high purity water for industrial use at the data centre. The new water solution reduces water usage and chemical treatment.
- Security – GE’s system includes access control, fire and life safety systems and video surveillance.
- Power – Digital energy contributed power management systems, power quality, and power supplies to make sure that there is always electricity flowing to the centre.
- Lighting - With lamp and ballast changes plus lighting control the changes made will payback investment over one year resulting in savings.
- Control – As automating processes was a key goal of the data centre team, a contemporary GE Fanuc process solution that combines advanced hardware and software was installed as the automation infrastructure for the whole system.
The first phase of the data centre solution will be completed soon with further functionality being added. The planned rollout will continue with implementations in major GE data centres in Georgia, Connecticut and Budapest.