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Active Power and Apparent Power

Posted on July 15, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comments (2)

Apparent Power is the Total Power Flowing

When electrical power in an AC system flows to a load (a computer, motor, lighting, cooling, etc.) all of the power is not necessarily absorbed and used to perform useful work – a portion of the power may be reflected back to the power source (power company).

The total power flowing is known as the “apparent power” and is measured as the product of the voltage and current (V * I).. For example, if 208 volts and 5 amps are measured – the apparent power is 1040VA (VA means volt-amps – the measurement unit of apparent power).


Carbon Cap and Trade Bill Passes

Posted on July 13, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (0)

It was a historic moment when the house passed the carbon cap and trade bill on June 26th. This is confirmation of a major shift in US policy on the topic. The following post explains the certain outcome you need to plan for.

There has been much debate on the details on the bill — the good, the bad and how it might be modified when the senate takes up the debate. I will leave that debate to others.

From my perspective, one certain outcome is that the price of electricity will rise. Therefore, you need to prepare to be more energy efficient now.

The following confirms the direction.

  • The congressional budget office and the EPA forecast that energy prices will increase due to this legislation.
  • Ralph Izzo, the CEO of PSEG Energy, is quoted as “yes ,energy prices will rise”

Key provisions of the bill

  1. Mandates that 20% of electrical demand be met with renewable sources by 2020. If you assume utilities are using the lowest cost fuel today - a mandated shift to another source will mean a shift to a higher cost source otherwise you would not have to mandate it. Higher cost fuel sources mean higher prices.
  2. Mandates a 17% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050. This will likely require utilities to both shift fuel sources and purchase new technology to reduce emissions from burning coal. Increased capital expenditures will mean higher prices.
  3. Mandates new energy standards for buildings and industry. This could result in unforeseen demand shifts — large demand increases in areas that shift to “plug in cars” and falling demand in other areas. A large change in demand will result in a price change . The law of supply and demand does not always work in the regulated world, often a drop in demand can result in a rate increase since prices are determined by return on equity.

I hope for the best, but plan for the worst. I hope we realize all the promised benefits. But you need to plan for higher electric rates.

Share your energy savings strategies.

James Cerwinski


Energy Rebate Program for NJ Data Centers

Posted on June 9, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (0)

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program provides energy rebates for custom projects that reduce energy consumption by at least 25,000 kWh per year. The custom project program is for projects beyond standard projects such as upgrading a HVAC. It can cover projects such as server virtualization and deploying a data center energy management system that will turn off systems at scheduled times provided the energy savings is predicable, documented and meets all other program criteria.

The program is funded and governed by the State of NJ and the BPU. The total clean energy program is funded at $90 million for 2009. This program is state wide and not limited to a specific utility.


Austin Energy Offers Efficiency Rebate of up to $200,000

Posted on May 19, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (1)

Want to be more energy efficient and your data center is in Austin, Texas? Austin Energy offers up to $200,000 in rebate opportunities.

Austin Energy’s data center efficiency rebate is available on:

  • Retrofitted Server Virtualization
  • Massive Array Idle (MAID) Disc Storage Systems
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • Chillers/Cooling Towers
  • A Variety of Custom Technologies

Data center owners, design professionals and contractors can file rebate applications.

Learn more at: Data Center Energy Efficiency Information and Rebate Forms

Tell me about other utilities offering rebates.

James Cerwinski


Data Center Energy Efficiency Rebates

Posted on May 12, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (0)

Data Center energy efficiency rebates are a win-win.

An abundant supply of inexpensive energy is fuel for the world economy.   Four of the last six recessions were caused in part by high energy prices and supply concerns.  $454 billion was spent by energy exploration and production companies in 2008 according to a survey of 357 oil and gas companies by Barclays Capital.  In comparison, the U.S. Department of Energy spend only about $650 million on energy conservation. It will take both new supply and energy conservation to meet our energy requirements.

I applaud Pacific Gas and Electric and San Diego Gas and Electric for making an investment in energy conservation.

Pacific Gas and Electric is the leader in offering Data Center energy efficiency rebates and incentive programs.  Over the last three years they have announced rebate programs to replace existing servers with new energy efficient servers and rebates to consolidate servers through virtualization.  It is important to contact them for rebate approval before you implement your plan.  They pay $158 per consolidated server.

High Technology Facilities Rebates

San Diego Gas & Electric Company offers financial incentives for server virtualization projects. SDG&E offers an incentive of 8 cents per kilowatt hour saved. If you’re running an green data center, this should be a big help.

High Technology Rebates

Please share your knowledge of additional data center energy rebate programs.

James Cerwinski

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