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A Look Back at 2018: Improving Efficiency and Sustainability in our Data Centers

By: Jenny Gerson, Senior Director, Sustainability & Strategy

At zColo, we focus on continual efficiency and conservation improvements while adding renewable power to our portfolio. In 2017, we purchased 87 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy certificates and became an EPA Green Power Partner. In 2018, we joined San Diego Gas and Electric’s EcoChoice program and are powering our San Diego data centers with 100 percent renewable power.

Other efforts we are undertaking to reduce the amount of energy we consume in our data centers include upgrading equipment to efficient technologies, LED lighting retrofits, and optimizing airflow. Partnering with Fairbanks Energy Systems, we completed projects in three data centers in Atlanta, New York, and Dallas mid-year. These projects will save an estimated 5.5 million kilowatt hours annually:

1100 White St, Atlanta: Mechanical Upgrades and Dynamic Airflow Management

In Atlanta, we added an integrated building management system that automatically controls power and cooling systems. We also incorporated cold aisle design and containment to ensure cold air is delivered optimally to the servers to minimize mixing of hot and cold air, and to maintain a stable environment. Additionally, heat exchangers, automated valves and new pumps were added to the cooling system, which allows us to minimize energy usage and reclaim 1,200 tons of mechanical capacity. These updates result in 4.4 million annual kilowatt hours of savings, reclaiming 45 percent of stranded mechanical capacity and N+1 redundancy.

60 Hudson St, New York: LED Lighting Retrofit

zColo’s landmark suites in the iconic 60 Hudson building received a lighting facelift. LED lighting and advanced controls were added to our spaces enabling occupancy and daylight harvesting capabilities. The “smart” LEDs will result in 230,000 kilowatt hours of savings a year.

6606 Lyndon B Johnson, Dallas: Dynamic Airflow Management

Similar to Atlanta, we augmented our Dallas data center with an integrated building management system and implemented airflow optimization to provide both operational improvements and reductions in energy consumption. The project allowed for 8 CRAC units to run on standby and resulted in savings of over 970,000 kilowatt hours annually.

Looking Ahead to 2019

As we move into 2019, many projects are in the works. We are finalizing four additional LED lighting retrofits at facilities in San Diego, Denver, McLean, and New York City which will lead to over a million kilowatt hours saved annually. We will be starting the year off with several new LED retrofit projects as well as HVAC equipment upgrades as we continue to strive towards optimizing efficiency and energy management in our facilities.

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