GE Outifts its Data Center with New Technologies
GE on Feb. 2 announced that its new technologies will save the company more than 11 percent of the current annual energy used for cooling at its Ohio data center. In addition, the new solution will save two to three million gallons of water – or 20 percent – while also reducing use of water treatment chemicals at the facility by 50 percent.
"GE technology can address more than 50 percent of data center energy usage from power supply, distribution, cooling and lighting, and its solutions can result in a 40 percent annual improvement in energy savings for non-IT systems," said Greg Simpson, chief technology officer.
GE's Ohio-based data center features 29,000 square feet of raised floor and includes more than 3,800 IT systems. The data center consumes 24 million kWh of power each year. To help with the reduction of water and energy, GE is updating the data center with nearly 30 products from nine different GE businesses, including power quality, chilled water, electrical, security, and IT services equipment.
The automation solution installed at the data center will provide a simple view of all operations with drill-down capabilities into specific functional elements and equipment. Through a dashboard application, the data center 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.
"Our immediate goal was to reduce cost," said Simpson. "We needed to reduce water and electrical consumption and leverage ambient air for cooling during the winter months, reduce waste water, and improve survivability to ensure the data center doesn't go down." Other goals were to increase cooling capacity to keep pace with the growth of the number of servers, improve the center personnel's ability to maintain the center 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 a comprehensive solution that can be replicated in other centers.
• Water – GE is providing a reverse osmosis system that transforms drinking water into high purity water for industrial use at the data center. The new water solution reduces water usage and chemical treatment, which is equal to $6,000 per year.
• 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 there is always electricity flowing to the center.
• Lighting - With lamp and ballast changes plus lighting control, the changes made will pay back investment just over one year, then the savings go right to the bottom line each year after.
• Control – As automating processes was a key goal of the Data Center team, a contemporary GE Fanuc process solution that combines state-of-the-art hardware and software was installed as the automation infrastructure for the whole system.