With an eye to reducing its energy costs and carbon footprint, Verizon has decreased its data center energy usage by implementing the PolarPlex data center containment solution.

Rather than cooling the entire data center, this solution uses several methods to separate hot and cold air and maximize cooling potential. Containment designs include redirecting hot air from cold aisles, installing solid or plastic panels to contain temperatures and using special panels to fill empty cabinets and shelf positions.

Verizon selected Polargy, a leading provider of hot- and cold-aisle containment systems for data centers, to help manage a turnkey energy containment project across 12 of Verizon’s domestic sites, covering nearly 1 million square feet. Results of the data center containment project include a 7.7 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency in the 12 data centers and 18.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annualized savings.

This project, launched in 2010, resulted in an increase of the sites’ aggregate Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE) from 0.45 to 0.5. DCIE is a performance improvement metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center by dividing information technology equipment power by total facility power.

“Saving energy and reducing our environmental impact are always front of mind at Verizon, and Polargy hit the mark in both areas,” said Mark Capurso, director of Verizon’s National Technical Operations. “The PolarPlex cold aisle containment solution lowered our air flow requirements and our air conditioning usage, moving us one step further in making our network more efficient and sustainable.”

Polargy provided Verizon with detailed containment designs, local fire-marshal approvals, managed installations, and guidance through the commissioning process. The installation at each site took between two and five weeks.

“We are delighted that Polargy fulfilled Verizon’s goals of reducing carbon footprint and substantially reducing energy costs,” said Cary Frame, president of Polargy. “This project has improved the operating condition of the data center and will make future conservation initiatives more effective.”