Emerson Network Power has announced that the deployment of the Liebert® DSE pumped refrigerant economization system in North America has saved over 1.4 billion gallons of water in the last 36 months, compared to using data center chilled water cooling systems, and is expected to save an additional 1 billion gallons of water in 2016.

“For nine months, Emerson and Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center solutions, worked together to explore the energy savings and operational performance of a pumped refrigerant system and compared it to that of a chilled water system. The results proved to be promising, and the companies shared them with the California Energy Commission and applied for a formal exception to the air- and water-only rule in place at the time,” said Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability at Digital Realty. “We found that, in addition to energy savings, the system delivered another benefit that has since come to be highly valued in California because of the current drought conditions — it saves millions of gallons of water.”

The Liebert DSE system is the first pumped refrigerant economization system for use in data centers, and it uses no water and introduces no outside air into the data center. Companies deploying the Liebert DSE cooling system have reduced energy usage by up to 50%, compared to using legacy systems.

“Companies have become increasingly focused on reducing both energy and water consumption,” said Kelly Quinn, research manager, IDC. “The Liebert DSE cooling system and its refrigerant economizer is an example of the innovations being adopted by the industry to achieve sustainability in their data centers. When you consider that the average data center uses approximately 4 million gallons of water per megawatt per year, the cost savings quickly add up with a water-free cooling system.”

A recent survey of U.S.-based mechanical engineers and contractors by Emerson Network Power showed that 55% expect pumped refrigerant economization to be the number one technology replacing chilled water systems over the next five years.

“The success of the Liebert DSE system underscores the speed at which the data center market is embracing alternative economization technologies that support their sustainability objectives,” said John Peter Valiulis, vice president of thermal management marketing for Emerson Network Power in North America. “It’s an important reason the California Energy Commission approved the use of the Liebert DSE pumped refrigerant economizers in the state’s data centers.”