Power management for data centers is an area where operational changes can result in significant cost reductions and efficiencies. With some data centers pulling in more energy than a small town, targeted reductions in usage can have a large impact. Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring and data collection systems are at the forefront of technologies to help data centers manage their power usage. In this article, we’ll outline 5 ways that an IoT management system can help a data center optimize power management, and by doing so have an impact on energy usage and operational costs.
1. Identify inefficiencies
An IoT power management system will identify inefficiencies. By combining the power of big data and analytics, an IoT management system is able to provide targeted areas for improvement. The broad base of an IoT system also means that you will be able to identify and target inefficiencies across the entirety of your data center, whether it be a door left open regularly or an HVAC system not running optimally. The aggregate result of a number of small changes to increase efficiency will be an overall reduction in power costs and wastage. This will in turn lead to longer equipment life span.
2. Prevent losses before they occur
Not only will your IoT system be able to identify a broad range of inefficiencies, you will also be able to see where potential losses may occur before they happen. For example, your IoT management system may notice anomalies with your HVAC system (key indicators that the unit is running sub-optimally.) Because these are detected by your system days or even weeks before the problem arises, you can perform preventative maintenance on the unit before it even begins to malfunction. By doing so, you keep your system running optimally and experience no wastage because of a unit malfunction down the line.
3. Provide full integration
Your IoT power management system can be fully integrated into other systems. If your IoT sensors determine that a server stack needs cooling, they can communicate with your HVAC system to either bring in outside air or air-conditioned air, depending on which is needed and which will most efficiently address the problem. For lighting systems, your IoT sensors can reduce lighting when staff is not present, or even turn off lights that staff have left on overnight. The seamless integration of an IoT power management system into your key equipment results in the constant monitoring of inefficiencies within your system.
4. Determine equipment repair or replacement
Aging or malfunctioning equipment can have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of your organization. IoT power management analytics will be able to determine when specific equipment is failing to run optimally. If a piece of equipment is running less efficiently than others, it may be an indicator that it’s time for an upgrade or replacement of that unit. When applied to the scope of a large data center, these types of indicators can often be missed for long periods of time. Static maintenance schedules for equipment may result in that unit being replaced eventually, but up until that point your company is running less efficiently. An IoT power management system will identify anomalies within equipment as they happen, reducing the time between when problems arise and when they can be addressed.
5. Synergize power plant and data center systems
If your data center has a dedicated power plant to provide off-grid power, your IoT power management system can work across both systems to optimally control and manage your power usage and supply. Your IoT system can also optimize power supply levels based on usage data from your data center, ensuring that your system always has exactly the amount of power it needs. This type of system can also identify problem indicators at either end of the system, allowing your team to address potential problems in power supply before they affect your operations. The end result is an overall power management system that ensures that your power plant and data center are synergizing to provide continuous uptime and performance while maximizing efficiency.