Data Centers

Wireless Sensor Networks for Green Data Centers

Data CenterThe ability to reduce energy consumption is critical in data centers, which are among the largest consumers of energy in the world. In fact, data centers collectively represent the fifth largest use of electricity in the US. One-third to one-half of the electricity consumed by the data center comes from air conditioners, fans, dehumidifiers, and pumps.

Benefits of wireless sensor networks, (WSN) for data center energy management:

  • Lowers data center operating costs by reducing energy consumption up to $9 per square foot
  • Delivers improved availability by reducing data center downtime
  • Eliminates installation of cable or conduit and reduces costs association with rewiring and reconfiguration
  • Simplifies data center reconfiguration and retrofits

SmartMesh-enabled WSNs are uniquely able to be deployed in a data center without requiring any cable or conduit—an entire temperature, pressure and humidity sensing network can be deployed without a moments disruption to data center operations, and with no construction required. The ability to get better information about the thermal condition of the data center is critical to manage this environment, and allows IT managers to operate the data center at lower overall cost and higher availability than ever before. 

For example, a SmartMesh-enabled sensing and control system developed by Vigilent measures temperatures at critical locations throughout the data center, and can automatically adjust the amount of cold air produced by cooling units, directing that cold air to the proper locations through variable speed fans and remote vent controls. Read the case study.

Only wire-free solutions based on SmartMesh allow sensors to be placed in exactly the right location to optimize energy performance and ensure reliability of the thermal environment while preserving the flexibility required for IT equipment upgrades.

Adding an intelligent sensing system to the data center can reduce the energy consumption in an average data center by hundreds of thousands of kilowatt-hours annually.  With data centers expected to increase by 40 to 50 percent nationally in the next four years, the imperative to change is upon us.