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ISO 50001 (50K1) : EnMS (Energy Management System)

Energy Management System

 Since long we have been understanding what damage we had created to nature in the name of industrialization and modernization. Though these changes were inevitable but somewhere we humans had been greedy investing only in these two fields and kept ignoring the impact on mother nature by releasing CO2 and other harmful gasses in air and dumping chemical/hazardous waste in water and soil. Ultimately we damaged all three bases of our existence i.e. air, soil and water and  now we have reached a stage that if we don't invest in restoring our nature our blue earth may not be suitable to supporting life in few hundred years. Now a days such programs are also run by the name of sustainability. 

It is said that we are the last generation who can start investing now in reviving the nature which off course will take long time from now, but if we don't start now then it will be too late and next generation onward will not be able to revive even by investing huge amount of money and time. Time is anyway too less even now and later generations even will don't have time to think on these aspects looking on the speed the technology is growing.

EnMS (Energy Management System) is one of the initiatives taken up by all organizations globally to work continuously and rigorously to identify ways to optimize energy consumption in all parts of organization. The certification which is awarded after audit related to EnMS is ISO:50001 or ISO:50K1.
This needs continuous focus of any organization to work on ways to optimize the energy usage to keep the certification live. 

When we talk about energy saving, its not only saving electrical energy required to run organization, rather it covers all type of non renewable energy source used to run all the functions of organization including fuel used in backup diesel generators, fuel used in vehicles for material transport etc. Electrical vehicles are good initiative taken up globally, but that would not be true energy saving if electricity used for charging vehicle batteries again come from power stations running on coal or other non renewable energy source. If we are able to user solar, wind and tidal power plants to fuel our electric power stations, that would be true energy conservation by use of electrical vehicles in place of traditional fuel vehicles. 

Similarly when we talk about Data Centers there are lots of opportunities to focus and improve energy utilization efficiency.

PUE calculation

We know PUE or Power Usage Efficiency is one of the globally accepted standards to calculate how efficiently cooling power is used to maintain required temperature and humidity inside Data Center and keep energy usage lower. 

PUE is calculated as: PUE = Total Load/ IT Load

PUE standard

Lower PUE is better which means we are saving power in cooling as IT load is business requirement hence we cannot shut any device just to save power. But here our aim is to minimize energy consumption which can be from both side IT load and cooling load. As PUE is a ratio hence even if cooling load increase in same proportion as IT load, then PUE will remain same but actually our power consumption is increasing. And the aim here is to reduce power consumption especially from non renewable energy and reduction of harmful gases emission in atmosphere.

So, what are the ways to optimize energy in Data Centers maintaining the recommended environment.

Tips to optimize IT load in DC: 

1- Power down and demount devices which are not in production
2- Replace old power hungry devices with new low power and small form factor devices
3- While procuring new IT equipment compare power consumption of similar configuration products from other vendors and go for lowest one
4- Instead of using different physical servers for running different DC services like AD, DNS, DHCP, Voice etc look for clubbing services one fewer hardware servers by using virtualization or VMs. This ensure maximum utilization of hardware resource or server box rather than utilizing them 30-40% by running individual services. 

Tips to optimize Cooling load in DC: 

1- Deploy blanking panels wherever device is not deployed to avoid cooling loss
2- Identify and close any leakages from side of devices toward back side
3- Creating cold aisle containment is also one of the step towards saving cooling power by containing the air volume only in front of racks where it is required and avoid spreading in whole room of DC. If our budget is less we can look for soft containment as well. To understand DC infra, you may like to see DC Infrastructure.
4- Identify and close any leakages in PAC room and ensure cold air is only pushed in DC
5- Avoid higher raised floors unless it is very necessary as more height will create more air volume to be cooled first and then cool the rack front.
6- If possible create insulated air ducts below raised floor which can directly take cold air from PAC outlet and feed directly to grilled tiles in front of racks without spreading anywhere else. 
7- Check for permitted temperature for different IT equipment deployed in racks and check if you can increase the set point of PACs to reduce power consumption.
8- Check for any metal pipe/duct/structure running from within DC room and is exposed outside building which is getting heated from outside temperature and transferring heat towards inside DC which again being cooled by PAC power.
9- At particular set PAC temperature if few racks have very low temperature and some have little higher in front, use dampers in grilled tiles to balance the cold air flow and maintain same temperature everywhere rather than changing PAC set point.
10- Implement reliable DCIM tool to monitor real time temperature and RH which helps in analysis of historical data and take necessary action.
11- If PACs are very old and power hungry/have low efficiency, invest in new high efficiency PACs.

These were few tips for saving energy used in IT and cooling load of Data Center
Apart from these initiatives look for regular maintenance of PACs, DGs and other power equipment so that their performance is always on top.

One of the common action plan comes in every ones mind is to go for green energy i.e. using solar power, wind power and tidal power which is above these tips to optimize energy. But yes, these green energy sources are not always and every where available in ample amount. Wind power and tidal power can be available near sea shores and solar power can be harvested more near tropical regions where sun light is available for most of the time in day time and through the year.

Even now a days scientists are also looking for using the thermal power from hot molten core of our earth to use as energy source. Though it is in huge amount as anticipated but not infinite and we should be careful to calculate the impact of using all energy of core during millions of years, will earth be stable when core gets cold? I am not sure.

Next, we will see more on energy saving, carbon emission and saving our planet earth's environment to sustain life for much longer time. So that our future generation will also be able to fulfill their requirements as we are able to do by using resource available on earth i.e. sustainability.

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