Data centers are notorious facilities when it comes to energy consumption. Storing terabytes upon terabytes of data, especially the process of cooling server stacks, requires a massive amount of resources. The industry has aimed to be as efficient as possible as a means of controlling these costs, but there is always room for improvement. Tankless water heaters provide a way to cut down on energy and water waste through a single upgrade, and this space-effective performance is an ideal fit for a data center.
Building operations go overlooked
Sometimes IT staffs overlook the importance of green projects in buildings operations like installing tankless water heaters – top to bottom upgrades like going tankless can greatly improve how a facility consumes energy. Part of the reason these types of upgrades are overlooked is because they aren't accounted for when calculating power usage effectiveness, or PUE, of the data center. PUE serves as the industry's standard when comparing how efficiently a data facility can store data, so upgrades to IT equipment efficiency have taken a priority. In this way, going tankless allows data center managers to address efficiency issues that might have been ignored up until now.
Tankless provides two-fold energy savings
Data centers are renown sources of energy and water usage. Internap, a cloud services company, pointed out that the average 15 MW data center consumes 360,000 gallons of water a day. Larger data centers, such as the NSA's 60 MW facility in Maryland, use up to 5 million gallons of water a day, said Data Center Dynamics. On the electricity side, data centers are equally egregious offenders. ComputerWorld reveals that the industry used over 90 KW hours of electricity in 2012 alone.
Thankfully, tankless water heaters were designed to save resources on both ends. Removing the water tank from the design of the heater contributes to much of these savings. Avoiding standby loss eliminates scenarios where IT staff wait for hot water in the bathroom and let gallons run down the drain. Water in tankless models is instead heated on demand before being sent directly to the point of use without losing energy in the surrounding pipes or prompting users to run water down the pipe. Eliminating this standby affect is essential to limiting a data center's water and electricity waste.
Tankless water heaters also cut costs thanks their energy-saving design. By eliminating the energy loss that occurs as heat seeps out of a storage tank, high end tankless water heaters achieve 99 percent thermal efficiency. This performance ensures that every 99 percent of every dollar spent from a data center's tight budget will translate directly into heated water.