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Surprise! Data centers used less energy than expected

Data centers used less energy in the last five years than previously thought; and more data center facilities news in brief.

Data centers used less power than projected
Worldwide, data centers used less energy from 2005 to 2010 than anticipated, according to a new report. During that period, electricity consumption increased by 56% (36% in the U.S.) -- significantly less than the doubling of energy consumption predicted in a  2007 EPA report to Congress on data centers. The new report was researched by Jonathan Koomey, a consulting professor at Stanford University who specializes in the environmental effects of information technology.

Data centers used less energy than expected due to the global economic slowdown and virtualization, rather than because of real energy-efficiency improvements, Koomey said. Overall, data centers consume 1.3% of energy globally, and 2% in the U.S.

Power-monitoring software goes to the cloud
Power Distribution Inc. (PDI) added power-monitoring software to its repertoire of power-management equipment. PDI PowerMap uploads individual circuit-based power stats to the cloud. From there, users can access charts and graphs showing power consumption. The software also provides TCP/IP access to any branch circuit as well as energy consumption metering that includes voltage kilowatt, real power kilowatt, apparent power and energy kilowatt per hour. The data can be viewed graphically by the day, week or month, and can be exported into third-party packages. PowerMap can be configured to send email alerts if power loads exceed circuit levels.

Flywheel system adds batteries
VYCON introduced a new version of its flywheel-based power backup system that also includes a battery to provide power during extended downtimes. The flywheel in the Hybrid VDC XEB flywheel system provides protection from short-term power disturbances; the battery takes over for longer outages and transfers over to generator power if needed. The unit provides up to 300 kW of power and connects to most three-phase uninterrupted power supplies over its DC bus.

Overhead cable tray improves cabling density
A new cable tray rack from Siemon that mounts directly to an overhead ladder rack provides 4U of 19” rack-mount space without consuming valuable data center floor space. By moving patching fields out of the cabinet itself into overhead spaces, it is easier to change cabling configurations, the company said. It also improves data center thermal efficiency and airflow by minimizing obstructions in the cabinet. The rack can be mounted to most cable tray and ladder rack systems, and provides up to 60 pounds of load rating to accommodate many different panel types.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Alex Barrett, Executive Editor at, or follow @aebarrett on twitter.


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