Cooling power technology helps Fujitsu’s data centres save enough power for 350 homes. How an Australian cooling technology business helped Fujitsu save over $230,000 every year on its power bills, and help achieve ambitious sustainability targets
The role data centres play in a bid for nations to become more sustainable cannot be ignored. Everyone is aware of the impact technology has on the way we live, from smart appliances to smart cars and application of big data on almost every sector, but not everyone realises that ‘the cloud’ is the world embracing a network of physical servers, most of them located in data centres. Fewer understand how much power is used to run them. Today, data centres account for around three per cent of global electricity supply and have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry. Some studies have predicted that IT could account for up to 14% of worldwide emissions by 2040, around the same proportion as the US today.
Australia’s leading cooling technology solutions company, STULZ, knows only too well the sustainability challenges that lie ahead for all businesses. STULZ is pioneering a more sustainable future by helping companies such as Fujitsu improve their data centre energy efficiencies and by doing so their global carbon footprint, with the application of their auditing and optimisation tool - EMOS (Environmental Monitoring and Optimisation System).
Fujitsu entered the Australia market in 1973 and today provides key IT infrastructure to both public and private sectors. Globally, Fujitsu has more than 100 data centres, six of these are in Australia, and each accommodates Fujitsu’s own servers and cloud infrastructure as well as a large amount of space dedicated to colocation of customer IT equipment. In Australia, Fujitsu’s 17,500 square metres of data centres accounts over 95% of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.. Fujitsu is unique in having its entire data centre portfolio externally rated to the NABERS Energy for Data Centre standard, providing transparency on energy efficiency claims for their customers. With a target to achieve an average 4.5 Star NABERS rating across their data centre portfolio, Fujitsu were on the lookout for new solutions to help them achieve this ambitious goal.
John Jakovcevic, Managing Director at STULZ ANZ, says: “Over the last couple of years, an increasing number of companies have moved their IT infrastructure to external data centres, as data centres on the whole are usually a much greener option than most IT solutions on location. But, this has truly put a scrutinising spotlight on the data centres and their owners, and their energy consumption and pollution. Helping ambitious companies like Fujitsu is key to addressing the emissions challenge the IT sector faces.
“We analysed two of Fujitsu’s six Data Centres, on closer inspection we realised there were a number of opportunities to optimise the cooling infrastructure of the Data Centres. These included improving the balancing of CRAC units, optimisation the air flow through the raised floor grilles and enhancing the CRAC units operating configuration for the specific characteristics of the individual Data Centre.”
STULZ proposed an audit and optimisation approach - EMOS. The first stage of the process involved deploying and distributing non-intrusive, sophisticated wireless sensors to comprehensively record in real time key environmental conditions. The sensors record the CRAC return and supply air temperature and humidity, the rack intake and exhaust temperature and humidity, the raised floor differential pressure as well as the conditions at the BMS SLA (Service Level Agreement) sensors.
Once installation of the sensors is complete the conditions are recorded for an average of one week to form the historical “baseline”. This provides an opportunity to examine the characteristics and behaviour of the servers at different times, determine whether the heat load is static or dynamic and the environmental conditions supporting the equipment.
Following this phase of the installation, Stulz completed the phase one optimisation process and compiled a comprehensive engineering and financial analysis report. This report also detailed the phase two recommendations required for additional energy savings.
STULZ has completed phase one of the optimisation program across two Data Centres, and Fujitsu is now in the process of implementing phase two based on the further recommendations.
The results were outstanding. Across the two Data Centres, Fujitsu saved $230,000 per annum in energy costs or an average of a 48% reduction in fan energy consumption. The energy saved could power approximately 350 homes for one year!
STULZ also proposed a number of further action measures to improve Fujitsu’s operation which was estimated to provide a further 12% reduction in fan energy consumption ($60,000 per annum). These are currently being implemented by Fujitsu in Phase 2.
“Initiatives like these are key to helping Fujitsu improve our NABERS Energy for Data Centre ratings” says Blaise Porter, Fujitsu’s Director of Responsible Business in the Oceania region. “With all six of our Data Centre’ ratings publicly available, our customers can have confidence that Fujitsu not only provides the operational value and performance they expect, but is also delivering on commitments to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Being transparent about our performance shows our customers that Fujitsu takes their environmental concerns seriously”.
Chris Flanagan, Head of Data Centre Services at Fujitsu Oceania, says sustainability is a core part of Fujitsu’s DNA. He says: “Fujitsu are constantly looking to improve the efficiency of our Data Centres. Utilising STULZ’s EMOS strategic tool enabled us to easily identify opportunities for improvement, and give us the real-time data required to optimise the DC environment whilst ensuring we maintain our standards of customer service.”
“The results have been beyond what we could have imagined. Not only have we saved huge amounts of power, we have saved a lot money in the process, which can be reinvested into further improvements in the efficiencies of our Data Centres. And to top it off we’re continuing our position as Data Centre sustainability leaders in the market.”
1 Andrae, Anders. (2017). Total Consumer Power Consumption Forecast. www.researchgate.net/publication/320225452_Total_Consumer_Power_Consumption_Forecast
2 Australian scope 1 and 2 emissions, Jun 2018 – July2019.