With the importance of improving the cooling and energy performance of the Data Centre, Upsite Technologies recently conducted a study and found that on average computer rooms today have a cooling capacity that is nearly four times their IT load.

On reviewing data from 45 sites Upsite Technologies has produced a white paper entitled “Cooling Capacity Factor (CCF) Reveals Stranded Capacity and Data Center Cost Savings”, written by Lars Strong & Kenneth G. Brill, which demonstrates how to calculate, benchmark, interpret and benefit from a simple, practical metric called the Cooling Capacity Factor.

An important focus for reducing the data centre’s energy consumption should be improving the cooling efficiency; this can also lead to lowering operating expenses, increasing density and reducing carbon emissions.  One popular metric for determining the overall efficiency of data centre infrastructure is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).  A study of PUE components reveals that the cooling infrastructure is the single largest consumer of power in the data centre.  Improvements to cooling infrastructure efficiency can have the biggest effect on reducing PUE.  However, PUE doesn’t reveal how well the cooling infrastructure is being utilised and how much potential there is to make improvements.

There are a number of solutions that can be implemented to improve cooling efficiency from sealing cable openings, fitting blanking panels to full cold aisle or hot aisle containment. But how do you know the potential there is to make a difference in your data centre or computer room? Will improved airflow management make a difference to your site and if so by how much and what do you implement first?

Before you can start making improvements you first need to know how well you are utilising your current resources.  The study conducted by Upsite Technologies revealed that of the 45 sites reviewed the average running cooling capacity was 390% of the heat load in the computer room.  When the running cooling capacity has been identified as excessively above the implemented, there is the potential to make large cost reductions by turning off cooling units or reducing fan speeds of the units.

With this in mind Upsite Technologies has developed a quick and easy way to determine the utilisation of cooling infrastructure and the potential gains that can be made by improvements to airflow management; they call it Cooling Capacity Factor (CCF).

Cooling Capacity Factor is the ratio of total running nameplate cooling capacity to 110% of the critical load.  This simple metric reveals the utilisation of the most expensive facilities infrastructure component within the Data Centre – cooling.

Calculating the Cooling Capacity Factor is the first step towards improving energy efficiency, reducing operating costs, improving the room environment and supporting ever increasing server density.

To discover more about how Cooling Capacity Factor can benefit you and the full depth of Upsite Technologies’ study, e-mail us to receive the full white paper “Cooling Capacity Factor (CCF) Reveals Stranded Capacity and Data Center Cost Savings”