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THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL | 15 for a reason. NETA and NFPA 70 training best promotes safe work and avoids costly damage to your data center. NFPA 70E compliance for arc flash and other safety standards are established and developed in detail, offering clear procedures and rules for professionals to follow. NETA- accredited companies have certified technicians trained to major OSHA, NFPA, ASHRAE and other guidelines and standards. Your energy-efficiency partner should be happy to share with you their technicians' certifications and safety training, not to mention best practices specific to data centers. 4. WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I SET FOR MY DATA CENTER? ASHRAE famously let recom- mendations on data center tempera- tures float a little higher a few years ago. e longevity of hot-aisle and cold-aisle strategies points the way: it's different for different equipment. Containment is a strategy that doesn't just work for server racks, but also for transformers, uninterruptable power supplies and any other sources of waste heat. One thing to keep in mind on the power-distribution side is that warmer equipment experiences more resistance. In a small system it may matter less, but in a large one you'll see an effect. For instance, cold-aisle containment that leaves the room too hot could be keeping part of the power-distribution system warmer than is ideal. 5. HOW BEEFY SHOULD MY BUSES BE? When you think efficiency, you normally think about right sizing. is is definitely true on the cooling side, where running oversize units, or over- taxing undersize ones, causes waste. But when it comes to your power-de- livery capacity, you don't want to right size conductors too close to the load. Resistance is the enemy of efficiency, and conductors operating too close to capacity are less efficient than those with a lighter load. More capacity also makes it easier to navigate changes down the road without adding more overhaul. 6. HOW DO I DEAL WITH PEAK POWER COSTS? It's clear that energy efficiency is worth more to an operating budget when the price of energy rises. When peak pricing for electricity is at odds with performance choices, smaller ef- ficiencies across the system can add up to a better balance in the equation. Monitoring is critical to respond- ing to financial triggers. e cost of cooling during peak pricing time can also be a factor. Your solutions pro- vider should be able to suggest changes to your daily cycle. 7. CUT TO THE CHASE; WHAT'S THE SOLUTION? If you ask this question and get an answer straight out of the gate, you might need to cool more than your server room. Sure, some ideas are big and bold and bring the biggest percentages with them, and an expert will be able to speak to how practical they are for your space. But the answer you want is, let's find out. Your facility and your goals are unique, and your best option will depend on detailed measurements of airflow and power quality. Your provider should be able to balance the needs of each piece of equipment against the others and deliver strategies that take your whole facility, and how your team operates it, into account. Energy efficiency is a blended discipline, and you want to avoid managing that conversation. You want solid recommendations that multiply the efficiencies each side can bring, and you want the project- time savings from shared expertise in planning and execution. Work with data center experts that have experi- ence managing the dialog between the cooling and electrical infrastruc- tureā€”or better yet, bring on a team that has experts on both sides who are used to dovetailing efficiencies for data centers. n About the Authors: Victor Weatherford is Vice President at ABM Mission Critical Solutions, and Van D. Wilkins, Jr., is a national accounts manager at ABM Industries. For more information, visit

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