Energy, environmental and economical saving potential of data centers with various economizers across Australia
One of the main concerns in designing and operating data centers is the significant energy consumption of the cooling systems. Over the past years, developing and applying more energy efficient cooling strategies to reduce the environmental footprint and the total cost of ownership of data centers has drawn considerable attention. Cooling systems with air-side economizer cycle provide one of the most efficient methods. Their effectiveness in terms of energy and exergy, and the environmental and economical impact have been analyzed quantitatively in this research. Since the effectiveness highly depends on the local climate conditions, the analysis has been carried out for 23 locations across Australia. First, a detailed cooling load of the data center has been estimated by considering the workload and heat generation characteristics of the running IT equipment. Then, a comprehensive energy, exergy, environment and economic model of nine different air-side economizer cycles has been developed. Finally, the effectiveness and profitability of each economizer cycle has been compared to a conventional cooling system by evaluating the annual and monthly saving potential at each location. The air-side economizers can yield maximum savings of 84%, 80%, 75% and 85% in the annual cooling energy consumption, exergy destruction, CO2 emission and cooling costs, respectively. The power usage effectiveness (PUE) of the data centers can be also reduced from an average of 1.42 to 1.22. These savings and efficiency enhancements are highly correlated with the type and geographic location of the air-side economizers. In general, the saving potential increases as we move further south in Australia, due to more favorable climate conditions.