Data center design saves cash in Pacific Northwest


In 2008, NetRiver , the leading provider of collocation and interconnect services in Washington, faced a major expansion and needed another 1.5 MW of clean, computer-grade power to match its growth. NetRiver's primary data facility in Lynnwood, Wash., provides a platform for carriers, Internet content companies, hosting firms, and enterprises to outsource their data center and network operations. The Lynnwood facility is NetRiver's newest data center and provides 250 to 500 W/sq ft or 5,000 to 10,000 W/enclosure.

In designing the facility, the Lynnwood management team faced some constraints, along with several requirements. The new power system would have to do better than the 94% to 95% efficiency of a typical UPS and even better than the 97% efficiency of the facility's current UPS. The UPS, batteries, and power distribution unit (PDU) would need to fit into a room 16 ft x 31 ft in size. The system would have to provide scalability to prepare for large increases in power consumption in the future as new clients are added.


The NetRiver management team selected three Eaton 9395 UPS, each rated for 550 kVA, and provided protection with N + 1 redundancy for the entire expansion area of the data center. Equipped with Eaton's Energy Saver System, the UPS operate in multiple modes. When utility power is within normal tolerances, each UPS delivers power with 99% efficiency. When utility power falls outside acceptable limits for IT equipment, the UPS switches to double-conversion mode for the highest protection.


Adam Vierra, Net River sales and marketing manager, said, “The 99% UPS efficiency is incredible. We're talking about MW of power here, a large baseline of power consumption. When you take that over days, months, and years, there's the potential for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in savings.”


The Eaton system's custom battery solution includes battery cabinets designed with additional height to create a smaller footprint of 50.1 sq ft, which saved an estimated $57,000 in real estate costs. Three Eaton PDUs convert the 480 V UPS output to 208 V for IT equipment, and distribute the UPS power to the data center floor. Five Eaton Rack Power Panels (RPPs), dual-fed quad panels, bring high-density power distribution closer to IT enclosures.


Equipped with the Eaton Energy Management Systems (EMS), the PDUs and RPPs continuously measure the current on all breaker levels. The EMS provide data center managers with real-time insights into power conditions throughout the data center, which helps the managers prevent overload conditions, optimize power distribution, and track each customer's energy use.


NetRiver also will be able to expand its data center area in the future in building-block increments by adding Eaton 9395 UPS modules, PDUs, and RPPs as needed. Based on a utility rate of $0.07/kWh, NetRiver calculates savings of more than $27,000/year by using the Eaton Energy Saver Mode UPS instead of a traditional UPS. Initial public utility energy rebates are expected to garner nearly $100,000 for NetRiver.


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