Trane And GE Add Fine Adjuster For DC Savings

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Tracer XT is designed to unify control of data centre environments to optimise power use and reduce costs

Trane has launched Tracer XT to help data centre staff to reduce energy consumption, improve building operations and optimise system management.

The Trane product combines heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls (HVAC) with Proficy software from GE Intelligent Platforms to record over 200,000 events per second. The time-stamped data is then combined to provide a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to ensure that energy is being used effectively. In this way, Tracer XT  improves energy use and uptime, reduces operational costs, optimises lifecycle costs across building systems, and increases profitability, the company claims.

Real time controls

Research from DatacenterDynamics has shown that data centres will consume 19 percent more energy in the next 12 months when compared to the previous year.

Joel Lehman, global portfolio manager for System Controls at Trane, said, “Leaders of data centres and other critical indoor environments need fast, integrated information to most effectively manage their facilities. By collecting real-time data and providing actionable information at incredible speeds, Tracer XT integrates with existing Tracer controls to allow for faster decision making about management of data centre functions, including critical systems.”

The new suite has emerged from  GE and Trane, a division of Ingersoll Rand, from work they have done together at one of GE’s data centres in Ohio. The centre has a 29,000 square feet raised floor — equivalent to half the size of a football pitch – and includes more than 3,800 IT systems.

The building consumes 24 million kilowatt hours of power each year. GE updated the data centre with nearly 30 of its own products, including power quality, chilled water, electrical, security and IT services equipment, coupled with Trane’s integrated control systems. The result was a reduction in annual energy consumption by more than 11 percent and water usage by 20 percent.

Steve Doublett, principal technologist for Data Centre Technologies at GE Corporate Global Infrastructure Services, said, “Supervisory control and data acquisition systems can monitor, control and optimise the variety of critical systems present in an enterprise-class data centre. These are keys to meeting our data centre goals of efficiency, reliability and availability, which is demanded by our business.”

Tracer XT integrates data from standalone systems to deliver the key information in a more intelligible form. It supports  process-oriented cooling by delivering system analytics that allow users to manage energy use and cooling requirements to optimise facility performance.

Keeping optimum operational conditions reduces power requirements because the server components are working at their most efficient levels. To gain the correct balance requires constant fine adjustment of building controls to compensate for changes as they happen.

Tracer XT uses any of 100 communications protocols to read and adjust HVAC systems. The information gathered is displayed as global and granular information through a customisable graphical interface which can be accessed remotely over the Internet.

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