GE expects to reduce annual energy consumption by more than 11%

Company also plans to cut water use by 20%; both goals to be achieved via ecomagination data center automation initiatives. Here's how.

02/18/2009


Fairfield, CT GE announced that it will be using its own ecomagination technologies to save the company more than 11% of the current annual energy used for cooling at its Ohio data center. In addition, the new solution will save two to three million gallons of water– or 20% – while also reducing use of water treatment chemicals at the facility by 50%.

GE has used energy-saving automation to increase revenue

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GE’s Ohio-based data center features 29,000 square feet of raised floor– equivalent to six professional basketball courts – and includes more than 3,800 IT systems. The data center consumes 24 million kWh of power each year. To help with the reduction of water and energy, GE is updating the data center with nearly 30 products from nine different GE businesses, including power quality, chilled water, electrical, security and IT services equipment.
The automation solution installed at the data center will provide a simple view of all operations with drill-down capabilities into specific functional elements and equipment. Through a dashboard application, the data center is provided with summary, comparative, and location operational performance data so that challenges and improvement opportunities can be quickly identified, quantified and acted upon. Compliance reporting and the ability to address future requirements, as well as provide easy modifications to these reporting needs, was a necessity.
See the sensor from the dashboard
The dashboard will have two main running views that can then be drilled down to the sensor level:
1) A visualization of all data centers that indicates both alarm condition by function, and various key performance indicators including KW usage versus capacity.
2) A more detailed look at an individual site, with deeper information by operational function - including a 13-month running trend of key operating metrics.

Control, power, security, and more

To meet these needs, a team of professionals led by GE’s high-tech automation specialists, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, and including GE Water & Process Technologies, GE Lighting Systems, GE Digital Energy and GE Security, provided a comprehensive solution that can be replicated in other centers around GE and in other companies around the world.

  • Water– GE is providing a reverse osmosis system that transforms drinking water into high purity water for industrial use at the data center. The new water solution reduces water usage and chemical treatment, which is equal to $6,000 per year.

  • Security– GE’s system includes access control, fire and life safety systems and video surveillance.

  • Power– Digital Energy contributed power management systems, power quality, and power supplies to make sure there is always electricity flowing to the center.

  • Lighting - With lamp and ballast changes plus lighting control the changes made will payback investment just over one year, then the savings go right to the bottom line each year after.

  • Control– As automating processes was a key goal of the Data Center team, a contemporary GE Fanuc process solution that combines state-of-the-art hardware and software was installed as the automation infrastructure for the whole system.

The first phase of the data center solution will be completed in the first half of 2009. The planned rollout will continue with implementations in other major GE data centers in Georgia, Connecticut and Budapest.
For more information, visit GE's economagination center.

– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering News Desk
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