zColo, a Zayo Group Company, recently hired Bluestone Energy Services, LLC, a division of OpTerra Energy, to implement a comprehensive energy program at its Newark colocation facility at 165 Halsey St.

At the 45,000-sq-ft data center, Bluestone Energy managed a comprehensive and holistic data center energy program that will reduce annual electricity consumption by 3,162,364 kilowatt hours (kWh) and provide a full return on investment in just over one year. Bluestone Energy also helped zColo maintain long-term efficiency goals by adding a sophisticated DCIM solution that will monitor the data center’s power usage effectiveness (PUE) in real-time.

For the project, Bluestone designed and installed an intelligent cooling system that features a centralized control system that monitors computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit status and cold-aisle temperature. Bluestone designed and implemented numerous airflow measures—including blanking panels and top cold-aisle containment—that remediated the vast amount of cold air that had been mixing with servers’ hot exhaust air. Bluestone Energy further improved cooling efficiency by installing high-flow perforated tiles and VFD electronically commutated (EC) motor fans that intelligently respond to wireless temperature sensors on the racks. The cooling system’s thermostatically controlled fan trays pull cold air from the raised floor plenum while overhead return fans pull exhaust air from the hot aisles and return it directly to the CRAC units. Additionally, Bluestone installed a free-cooling option on three CRAC units so that zColo can take advantage of outside air temperatures of 48°F or below.

As a result of the project’s efficiency improvements, zColo was able to shut off fourteen of its data center’s twenty-seven CRAC units.

“zColo is extremely pleased with the results of Bluestone Energy’s data center efficiency solution,” said Chris Morley, president of zColo. “Bluestone Energy not only reduced the energy consumption of the data center, but also gave zColo the tools needed to constantly measure PUE and ensure that we are meeting our efficiency goals.”

“Bluestone Energy is pleased to have been a part of zColo’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Adam Fairbanks, vice president of engineering and business development at Bluestone Energy. “This comprehensive project significantly increases the efficiency of the data center, reduces operating expenses and decreases the likelihood of mission-critical equipment failure.”