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Data Centre Power Usage Effectiveness

Environmental Ethics are at the core of our business and one of the primary design aims of our Eco Data Centre was to make it as energy efficient as possible.

To calculate the efficiency of a Data Centre, to help identify areas where improvements can be made, The Green Energy Grid came up with the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric.

PUE is a the ratio of Total Facility Power Consumption to the amount of power consumed by the IT Equipment on its own.

PUE = Total Facility Power / IT Equipment Power

The Total Facility Power Consumption includes everything within the facility including Data Centre Cooling, UPS Systems, Lighting, Security System and other overheads.

The IT Equipment Power Consumption should only include power that is used by the IT Equipment. This should be taken as close to the IT Equipment as possible (ideally within the Data Centre Racks) so that losses in cabling do not create inaccuracies in the PUE calculation.

Once you know the Total Facility Power you divide this by the power used by the IT Equipment. In a perfect world you would end up with a PUE of 1.0 where all the power is used by the IT Equipment, but you will always get losses with the biggest being in Cooling and inefficiencies in UPS Systems. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency most Data Centres have a PUE of 2.0 to 3.0.

To calculate our Eco Data Centre PUE we have been recording our Data Centre Facility power usage at the Utility Power Meter and for IT Equipment we have been using the power metering in the Power Distribution Units mounted in each of the Data Centre Racks in order that are calculation do not include power-loss in cabling, switching gear, and UPS. We take recordings for whole day usage which once divided by 24 gives the average kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage over the course of that day.

We are able to use the PUE metric to identify areas where we can make improvements in the efficiency of our Data Centre.

Below you can see PUE results for our Poole Data Centre during various periods:

August 2018 - PUE 1.41
November 2018 - PUE 1.16 (after improvements made to efficiency)

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