Case study

Industry: Data centers

ISSUE

Data center energy consumption is on the rise

Global data center floor area is rising year after year. Additionally, due to higher densities of the IT equipment being used in these data centers, power consumption per unit area is also expanding. The power consumed by air conditioning systems is said to account for 30% of total consumption, second only to IT equipment. Given these conditions, data center operators are looking to lower the energy consumption of key equipment, namely air conditioning.

Balancing improved power usage effectiveness (PUE) and stable operation makes the specifications of cooling equipment more complex, and increases operational load

Due to the nature of a data center, its equipment must never go offline. Cooling water temperature management is important to ensure stability in data center equipment temperatures, which can be a factor in equipment shutdowns. The integrated control of cooling equipment systems is essential to improving PUE, but while there is a tendency for efficiency to improve with increasingly complex control, the adjustments required for commissioning can be complicated, and management can also increase the operational burden placed on customers.

It is difficult to make significant improvements to PUE through the operation of existing equipment alone

Since tenants are responsible for electricity charges at data centers, improvements to PUE can improve data center competitiveness. But as data centers get older, there are limits to the PUE improvements possible through operation of existing equipment alone.

SOLUTION

KEY POINTS TO THE SOLUTION

  • Improving PUE by increasing the efficiency of heat source systems that account for a large amount of power consumption
  • Maximizing the performance of heat source systems to improve overall system COP with optimum control
  • Swift response during trouble for “must not fail” supply, and optimal equipment operation

Improving PUE by increasing the efficiency of heat source systems that account for a large amount of power consumption

To improve PUE, it is important to improve the efficiency of heat source systems, which account for the largest amount of electric power in air conditioning systems. Centrifugal chillers from MHI Thermal Systems utilizes the technological capabilities of the MHI Group and have been developed to ensure high-efficiency operation under a wide variety of operating conditions. In compressors, which form the heart of chillers, we use technologies developed for commercial gas turbines and petrochemical plant compressors. We also utilize aerodynamic analysis technologies to design impeller shapes that are able to efficiently compress refrigerant gases at any operational point.

Compressor with improved impellers and a high-speed shaft
 Compressor with improved impellers and a high-speed shaft

Maximizing the performance of heat source systems to improve overall system COP with optimum control

Using the Ene-Conductor integrated heat source control system from MHI Thermal Systems can maximize Centrifugal chiller performance and achieve further improvements to the high-efficiency operation of heat source systems. By interfacing with a chiller in real-time, system-integrated control technologies that automatically adjust the setting values of auxiliary equipment are applied. Through automated optimization control based on circumstances, the operational load of management tasks that are difficult to perform manually can be reduced.

Swift response during trouble for “must not fail” supply, and optimal equipment operation

When data center equipment is updated, MHI Thermal Systems proposes wide-ranging solutions to not only replace equipment but install integrated control of systems based on the customer’s operational circumstances. In addition, we also offer a “tune-up” option that shortens the time from restart to maximum output through an automated restart feature for sudden voltage drops and an ultra-low-load operating feature. Additionally, thanks to integration with auxiliary equipment, in the event of trouble the system can swiftly respond to help avert a supply outage. These features allow customers to achieve optimum operation based on the operating conditions of their equipment, which boosts energy efficiency.

Illustration of the data center
 Illustration of the data center

EXPECTED OUTCOME

  • Combining a high-performance Centrifugal chiller with Ene-Conductor enables the high-efficiency (energy-efficient) and stable operation of cooling and heating source systems.

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