There is a significant push to provide energy efficient technologies for data centre applications to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce energy costs.
Consequently, data centres can save significantly in terms of energy and associated costs by ensuring their cooling solutions are designed correctly with reputable internationally recognised brands, says power solutions provider Master Power Technologies (MPT) sales and marketing manager Rory Reid.
He argues that many data centres in Africa do not adhere to crucial cooling concepts. This often results in cooling solutions being degraded over time and replaced with inappropriate equipment and maintenance procedures and contributes to inefficient energy use with higher costs.
“When cooling is done correctly in data centres, energy savings can be used to either improve the margin of a data centre’s business or increase its competitiveness by passing these savings on to customers.”
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), in particular, constantly improve their products to assist end-users, such as data centres, to become more efficient. Such HVAC equipment has been shown to have continuous advantages in improving energy efficiency, adds Reid.
He says a significant factor that affects energy efficiency in this regard is equipment sizing, technologies used and how it is implemented and maintained, to ensure that the most efficient configuration is used.
This, in turn, provides an opportunity for MPT to supply cost-effective solutions to data centres.
“MPT offers clients power and cooling audits designed for their specific needs. We build data centre solutions that focus on the current status of equipment and operating environments, and on what can be done to improve effectiveness and operational costs and expenses. We also consult with HVAC cooling OEMs to present the latest developments to consultants and end-users who would benefit.”
Reid adds that MPT has some of the most advanced software that is based on computational fluid dynamics and used to simulate HVAC configurations indoors and outdoors, as MPT focuses on ensuring that mechanical loads are as low as possible in data centres.
The company has an in-house research and development (R&D) division that specialises in solutions for real-time remote monitoring and reporting on all data-centre critical equipment and environments.
An MPT solution Reid highlights in this regard is the Universal Controller, designed specifically to monitor and pre-empt aspects in a data centre, including the monitoring of possible failures, the status of equipment, alarms and service intervals, as well as reporting on relevant decision-making criteria.
“The Universal Controller plays a vital role in reducing downtime and running costs and records the sequence of events leading up to failures. This provides value and insight into the type of failures that occur, and what solutions can be dispatched to fix them and reduce the chance of an error occurring again.”
The controller can also be used to not only monitor air temperature, quality and humidity in a data centre but also make the necessary changes to controlled equipment and processes to achieve desired results such as increased efficiency.
“In data centres, we monitor temperature, humidity and hydrogen levels in battery rooms to act when any of these values exceed predefined acceptable levels.”
Reid states that the R&D department is further developing the Universal Controller to integrate it with Google voice assistant Alexa, as this will provide a verbal list of alarms, events and the status of a company’s site or data centre.
“Should you like, you could use this as your wake-up call each morning, with a full verbal update on the site or data centre. This software is getting upgrades to the dashboards available to make them more intuitive, and graphically provide end-users with all the important information at a glance,” he concludes.