Power

Will Utilities Help Fund Thermal Storage?

The 8 million gallon tank providing thermal energy storage for McCormick Place and a nearby Digital Realty Trust data center building (seen in background).

A California utility will buy thermal energy storage systems and distribute them to commercial customers, hoping the move will shift power usage to off-peak hours. The concept may hold promise for the data center industry, where thermal storage is lightly implemented but offers the potential for significant peak-shaving savings on power bills. Read More

Flywheel Maker Gets $13M Investment

VYCON, which makes flywheels for backup power systems, announced today that it has closed a $13.7 million round of funding. Flywheels are an alternative to using batteries in a data center UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system. Read More

Mark Bramfitt on Data Centers and Utilities

What’s ahead for Mark Bramfitt, who has been the electric utility industry’s most visible ambassador to the data center sector? Bramfitt, who is departing PG&E, discusses his plans and utilities’ role in the data center sector in an interview with Data Center Dialog. Read More

Facebook Follows Google to Data Center Savings

A graphic of the new data center power distribution system being implemented at Facebook, which replaces a central UPS with a battery built into the power supply.

[caption id="attachment_18889" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="A graphic of the new data center power distribution system being implemented at Facebook, which replaces a central UPS with a battery built into the power supply."][/caption]

Facebook is stepping up its efforts to make its data centers cheaper and more efficient, and is following in the footsteps of Google in several of its key initiatives. Facebook says it’s streamlining its servers, and also plans to adopt a novel power distribution design pioneered by Google.
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Power Densities Likely to Drive Expansions

dcug-survey-Nov2009

Average power densities continue to rise in data centers, and are affecting the lifespan of existing data center facilities, according to new survey data from Emerson Network Power. A majority of data centers say they will run out of capacity within two years, suggesting a wave of expansions is in the pipeline.

The survey reinforces the prevailing wisdom that data centers are running out of power before they run out of physical space. Thirty four percent of respondents cited power as the primary factor limiting data center capacity, while just 14 percent cited floor space.

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