With energy consumption still rising, improving data center efficiency is more important than ever for reducing costs. Based on a 600 kilowatt (kW) load, each percentage point in efficiency improvement translates into $6,000 in annual savings in operating expenses. Additionally, efficiency is viewed as a strategy to manage capacity (possibly saving capital costs) and promote environmental responsibility.
The data center offers a number of routes from grid to chip to lower energy usage, but the cooling system is the major roadway. In a typical 5,000-sq-ft data center, cooling has been found to account for 38% of total energy consumption. This means the cooling system is where the biggest efficiency impact can be made.