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Saving power in the data centre

February 19, 2010 • Features

Philip Hampton, CTO Powermode

Philip Hampton, chief technology officer at Powermode, a specialist power management company in South Africa, explains how switching off idle electronic equipment can save electricity in the data center or server rooms and save up to 1,68 tones of carbon.

South African companies are bracing themselves for the distinct possibility of a 33% hike in electricity costs which could have a significant impact on bottom line profitability.

It is possible to cut electricity bills by reducing power consumption in critical areas of the business – such as the data centre or server room – without compromising performance or the availability of critical components.

By making small, but critical changes in the way electronic components are managed and energy saving strategies formulated significant savings can be realized at little or no cost in overhead.

One of the first steps to take towards realizing electricity saving goals is to program equipment, from file servers to uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and PCs, to switch to ‘eco-mode’.

Electronic equipment can account for as much as 70% of the electricity used in a typical business. For example, a 3 kVA UPS – common in small businesses – can use the same energy as needed to power forty 60W globes every day.

However, in ‘eco-mode’, significant savings can be realized – up to R 1000 in electricity costs per year from this single device. This is the equivalent of 1.68 tons of carbon.

South African businesses are wasting millions of kWh of energy each year by not switching off electronic equipment lying idle, or at least switching to eco-mode when applicable. By ignoring the eco-mode switch, South Africans are increasing the country’s carbon footprint by many million tons annually.

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