(Free Fresh Air Cooling)
EMC established a presence in Ireland in 1988 with its first manufacturing facility outside of North America in Ovens, Cork, followed by sales offices in Dublin (1990) and Belfast (2005). The Cork facility has become a multi-functional campus and in 2009 became a Centre of Excellence (CoE) incorporating research and training. It is the largest manufacturing site of EMC outside of the US and has emerged as a leader in EMC’s initiative to develop and manufacture energy efficient information infrastructure technologies. The campus also hosts EMC’s International Executive Briefing Centre, Global Solutions Centre, Worldwide Customer Service Centre, VMware Support Services, Software Development and Shared Services functions. EMC now employs over 2,500 people in Ireland between all EMC sites, including VMware, RSA, and Decho.
EMC began to track energy opportunities in 2006 but adopted energy management as a key function within the company prior to registration for the IS:393:2005 which was obtained in July 2008. Since then EMC’s energy management program has evolved with the standards set out by the NSAI, firstly transitioning to EN 16001 and now preparing for the transition to ISO 50001.
The main project which has been undertaken is titled “Free Fresh Air Cooling”. There are two aspects to this project which entail using Ireland’s cooler climate in order to air condition data centres rather than doing so by mechanical means, fresh air cooling introduces actual outside air into an area to assist in cooling and free cooling as an economic method of using low outside air temperatures, in conjunction with cooling equipment, to assist in chilling water which can then be used for cooling.
A decision to initiate measures to reduce HVAC costs was made because of constantly fluctuating fuel costs and an increase in productivity have a significant effect on the running of the plant. EMC hope to offset any increases in both of these variables by managing energy consumption throughout the site.
Due to the scale of the plant and nature of the operations i.e. use of data centres, are portrayed in the significant use of energy on-site. EMC must proactively aim to reduce this consumption in order to decrease expenditure on-site.
EMC believes that in order to survive in today’s economic climate it is essential to address every vital decision in a sustainable manner. EMC believe that their proactive approach to the installation of energy management programmes both technological and systematic give it an advantage over competitors in that they are seen to be stringent in their approach to good business on all levels. Savings to date equate to 8.7% of site electricity consumption.
An excellent project which achieved significant energy savings of over 8% by utilising free air cooling. The project illustrates Ireland as an ideal location for companies which have a significant air conditioning load which can be partly met utilising ambient outside conditions. EMC has embarked on a structured approach to energy reduction and is now preparing for achieving ISO 50001 certification.