Data Center Sustainability: Rethink Your Service Strategy

With demand for data centers growing at an unprecedented rate, data center operators are under pressure to keep up in a timely, but environmentally responsible way.

Companies are even joining forces to create a bigger impact on the sustainable future for society through organizations like Infrastructure Masons – an independent forum, of which ABB is a member, for infrastructure professionals to connect, grow and give back. One of the five initiatives that make up Infrastructure Mason’s sustainability vision of “every click improves the future” is to achieve radical efficiency through innovation.

Along with Infrastructure Masons, ABB is also providing industry-leading insight on current sustainability trends and innovative technologies within the data center space to further improve data center operations and support sustainability goals.

In a recent webinar Critical power: back to the basics we defined the three pillars of data center sustainability: responsible sourcing, efficient consumption, and lifecycle responsibility.

Data Center Lifecycle Responsibility

Today I want to focus on lifecycle responsibility and the integral role which it can play in supporting how data center operators can better preserve asset performance by switching to a condition-based service strategy.

Innovative sensor technology and web-based platforms now allow the remote monitoring, performance predicting, and controlling of data center assets which can extend times between maintenance cycles and increase the uptime of the data center.

When considering a data center service strategy, conditioning monitoring can go a long way in extending the life cycles of your equipment, managing the infrastructure and therefore avoiding costly failures.

Leveraging condition-based monitoring triggers maintenance using predictive indicators, rather than a set time interval. Health information is collected from the equipment and system, which is then aggregated, analyzed, and compared to historical data to provide advanced warning of degrading equipment performance or impending failure. This optimizes operations, reduces risk of downtime, and eliminates waste and security risks associated with premature or unnecessary maintenance.

Benefits of a Predictive Maintenance-Based Service Strategy

The ABB Predictive Maintenance algorithm makes maintenance smarter, quicker, and less expensive by allowing users to remotely monitor critical infrastructure system’s health and providing a predictive maintenance analysis so that service is only performed when necessary. The analysis takes into consideration environmental, mechanical, and electrical factors, such as the number of short circuits for breakers, and motor starts for motors. This on-premise or cloud-based solution significantly reduces the risk of unplanned shutdowns and thus maximizes service continuity, makes management simpler, and cuts investment costs.

Consider for example the medium voltage switchgear, which is the backbone of the data center power distribution system. In most scenarios, even a partial shutdown of the switchgear is not possible. Incorporating sensors into your switchgear enables condition monitoring, which provides data irrespective of operation topography to ensure safety when many maintenance tasks cannot be carried out in their entirety. With condition monitoring, the situation can be compared to an optimal condition as the data is available in real time from sensors, rather than waiting for the next maintenance interval to check the condition manually.

To learn more, download this whitepaper which discusses the analysis of an existing data center program to prove the ROI of moving to condition-based maintenance using monitoring and diagnostic solutions. The study found that this data center operator could reduce the number of maintenance activities requiring on-site work by 66 percent, increase maintenance intervals by up to 30 percent, and optimize the overall maintenance plan, which in turn can reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 40 percent.

Watch this on demand webinar to learn more about how a data center service strategy can be made more sustainable.

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About the author

Lee Todd

I am the Executive Product Manager for ABB’s Electrification Service Solutions. We develop service solutions using technology from across the global ABB portfolio; these include system extensions, retrofits, upgrades, replacement of equipment, service agreements, engineering consulting, and digital predictability solutions across a variety of segments. I bring more than 25 years of electrical distribution and systems expertise, with a primary focus in low and medium voltage solutions. I am excited to provide ongoing support and satisfaction as our abilities continuously become more sophisticated in order to help our clients succeed.
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