The team worked with the building’s users, the Department of Computer Science, to replace the existing fixed-speed cooling system with a modern one using variable-speed fans. They also installed temperature sensors and made other changes to improve airflow and boost efficiency. This means the system now works only as hard as it needs to, rather than running at full power the whole time, cutting its power use by around 70%.
Before the upgrade, for every watt of computer power in the server room the system was using around another half watt on cooling. That has now fallen to around 0.17W. This will save tens of thousands of pounds and avoid more than a hundred tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
There are many server rooms across the University estate, and many of them also use similar outdated designs. The Sustainability team now want to upgrade as many of them as possible; this will save money, reduce energy consumption and extend equipment life.
If you are interested in discussing how to cool your own building’s server room more efficiently, please contact Sustainability Engineer Martin Taylor on email@example.com.