Energy Management

Airflow and Energy

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Building climate has a big impact upon the overall picture of power consumed for a cable critical facility. Our subscribers have zero awareness of how climate is being managed (air temperature and humidity level) or what containment strategy is being implemented to ensure maximum service availability. However, one of two things could occur: unnecessary operating expenses that accumulate over the 10-plus years of a facility’s lifespan or a rise in equipment mean time between failures, thus giving our customers insight into climate management mishaps.

My curiosity about airflow management led me to an informative blog post about bypass airflow. According to the post, bypass airflow is “any conditioned air from a cooling unit that does NOT pass through IT equipment before returning back to a cooling unit.” The posting gives an example of a simplified IT space with before-and-after drawings to demonstrate simple configuration changes that will reduce the amount of bypass airflow. Ideally, cooled air should pass through any equipment and not simply return to the air conditioner duct, or else there is wasted energy. Energy efficiency in way of airflow management will largely depend on airflow volume, heat load, and return air temperature set points of the cooling units. Finally, an important concept that rising to the bypass airflow challenge addresses is the ability to accommodate higher IT loads, a challenge many sites face on a regular basis. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with SCTE 184 2015, SCTE Energy Management Operational Practices for Cable Facilities. This document reviews the newest approaches to facility management including the all-important climate and airflow control.

Take an active role in important industry developments. Consider how you and your organization can become involved with or increase your involvement with the ANSI-accredited SCTE Standards Program and the industry initiative known as Energy 2020.

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