Our studies have shown that the cooling cost of a datacenter is directly affected by outdoor temperatures. Insulation levels of the structure is never infinite and when the outside air is warmer than the internal set points, some of that heat wants to creep into the facility. Also, the chillers outside have less of a temperature differential with the surrounding air which reduces their ability to dissipate the heat.
Cooling consumes 30% to 50% of the overall energy cost of a facility!
Cooling constitutes a very significant operational cost, consuming typically 30% to 50% of the overall energy cost of a facility. But this doesn’t only apply to datacenters, home power usage will also be affected as the air conditioning units kick in, so the following suggestions will apply for both scenarios.
Probably the easiest maintenance is ensuring that the air filter is clean and free of debris. Spring air carries a lot of pollen which can cause the filters to clog faster than in the winter months. Any debris on the filter require the ventilation system to work harder, thus drawing more power.
The heat transfer liquid should be checked for impurities or contaminants that will reduce their efficiency.
Oil levels for the compressors should be checked.
A general check of moving parts such as belt wear and tension, noisy bearings or motors should be done periodically since they can also impact on power usage effectiveness and increase risks of downtime of the units.
Finally, just an overall cleaning of the unit`s interior to remove as dust and debris in general as they are a direct enemy of mechanical parts.
For a typical datacenter, as in a home, changing the set point by one degree will yield about 2% savings in cooling cost. This may be considered insignificant in a home, but can make for drastic energy usage reductions in a datacenter.
If you do not have the tools or know-how to perform such maintenance, your local service providers have maintenance packages that may be worth looking into. They typically pay for themselves in power savings while ensuring your unit will reach its expected end of line.
By Claude Morin, Facilities Management and Subject Matter Expert Missing Link Technologies Ltd.