By: Jim Harmon, President, MCFS (Mission Critical Facility Services) at EEC

EECIt’s no secret, data centers are some of the largest and fastest-growing power consumers, contributing to high energy expenses, decreased efficiency, and even environmental concerns.  Many operators spend millions to keep their facilities cool and running without interruptions, but have you ever considered what a 10 percent improvement in Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) can save?

At Electronic Environments Co. (EEC), we specialize in identifying problem areas and providing engineering-driven solutions to save customers money in the long-term – and efficiency is one of our specialties.  What is your strategy to reducing energy where it really counts: in mechanical, air flow management and UPS systems?  Take a look at these seven best practices to make sure you’re running at peak efficiency:

  1. Data Center Assessments

ThinkstockPhotos-78744044Combing through your current operations and assessing exactly where and how energy is being used helps paint a clear picture of the different ways your facility can benefit from adjustments and upgrades. There are three levels in which this is accomplished; each examines different areas of your facility’s energy usage:

Level 1:

  • Inventory equipment
  • PUE analysis
  • Strategy overview

Level 2:

  • Power/cooling analysis
  • Rack level data
  • System upgrades
  • Detailed PUE/TCO analysis

Level 3:

  • Measured power distribution readings
  • Power/cooling historical review
  • Real-time modeling
  • Utility incentive consulting/administration
  1. Critical Equipment Upgrades

At the heart of your mission-critical facility lies complex and innovative equipment that makes everything possible. Take a critical look at this vital equipment to assess whether or not it’s time for an upgrade. Two main areas of focus during this stage are on power and HVAC.  By employing high-efficiency UPS, high-voltage distribution and lighting system retrofits, or replacing or upgrading EC motors, high-efficiency chillers, economizer options and converting to VFD in the HVAC, it’s possible to enhance the overall effectiveness of your data center in such a way that not only conserves power, but improves reliability y as well as your bottom line.

  1. Maintenance

Proactive, preventative maintenance ensures that potential problems are dealt with before they cause an issue, while also ensuring maximum uptime and continual efficient energy use. By employing an expert like EEC, your facility can benefit from holistic, coordinated inspections, a 24x7x365 NOC, on-demand asset management, and intelligent management systems specifically designed to predict performance degradation and pinpoint equipment failures before they occur.

  1. Dynamic Cooling Management

Through utilization of dynamic cooling systems you can rest assured that your data center is operating at maximum efficiency thanks to airflow optimization throughout the facility and a predictive control algorithm.  Installation is not only simple, but can typically be done in just two-to-four weeks, improving PUE and providing near-immediate return on your investment.

  1. Air Flow Management

By taking the proper steps to manage airflow, you could see immediate energy savings of 10% or more.  Multiple solutions including floor grommets, raised floor systems, containment systems and blanking panels are engineered to reduce plenum loss, saving you thousands in cooling costs.

  1. Baseline Energy Reduction

There is a myriad of ways to ensure a low baseline energy reading in any data center facility.  Many facilities today are opting to go green utilizing sustainable power sources such as wind energy, while others employ high-efficiency UPS systems, 380V DC and fuel cells to provide long-term energy savings; using these in combination can save you even more.  Cooling options are also important to consider as investing in high-efficiency CRAC units, economizer solutions, high-efficiency chiller and distribution systems, indirect cooling and more can translate to larger overall savings in the long-term.

  1. DCIM Solutions

At EEC, we offer a comprehensive Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution, including capacity and environmental monitoring, system monitoring, IT power management and control, and asset management.  With DCIM, you can benefit from real time monitoring of power and cooling status, equipment performance details, historical data for possible fault isolation analysis, reporting, trending and remote alarm notifications; you also gain real-time efficiency calculations and accurate power density monitoring that lead to proper planning for growth and predictive modeling through detailed energy cost allocations.

It’s about more than just saving money; the most important goal is to ensure maximum uptime and reliability within your data center.  Each of the solutions outlined above not only cuts costs, but also ensures that your facility will continue running at peak performance.  If you’re ready to discover new ways to enhance efficiency within your data center, visit or email