Energy is certainly one of those critical TCO variables, as data centers are significant consumers of energy. According to an Uptime Institute Survey, servers and data equipment account for 55 percent of the energy used by a data center, followed by 30 percent for the cooling equipment to keep the facility operational. Even electrical power distribution losses, including uninterruptible power supply (UPS) losses, consume a significant 12 percent of energy consumption.
Energy efficiency gains in any of the areas mentioned above have a significant impact on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), especially on long life assets. To make this clear, a look at this article in Data Center Knowledge is quite insightful.
There, Harry Handlin, Director of Critical Power Applications, GE Critical Power, provides a striking calculation on the outcomes of just a 1 percent efficiency improvement for a UPS deployment at a 10 megawatt data center. As the chart (embedded below) shows, while CapEx is fixed, the OpEx costs of a UPS over 10 years shows an operational savings of $1.4 million with just an energy efficiency improvement of one percent – from 93 to 94 percent.
Handlin: “With newer eco-mode or multi-mode UPS technologies that offer up to 96.5 percent efficiency (or higher), that savings jumps to almost $3.4 million. So, applying a TCO model uncovers the impact of how just a single percentage gain in energy efficiency adds ups.