The Raritan Blog

PUE Reconsidered - AFCOM Regional Meeting

Posted on July 31, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (0)

Data Center Efficiency Solutions Consultant - Henry Hsu - Presented an insightful take on the utility and the limitations of Power Usage Effectiveness (“PUE”) as a data center efficiency metric. His thought leadership presentation covers:

  • Historical Basis for PUE – what is the problem?
  • Strengths of PUE Metric – what does it measure?
  • Weaknesses of PUE Metric – what does it omit?
  • Bottom Line: How to be Strategic About Datacenter Efficiency

I suggest you view it to at least find out how HenryandhisCat.com achieved a prefect PUE of 1.0. Do you know the PUE of your lab or data center? if so what is it?

PUE Reconsidered - AFCOM (MI), July 2009

View more presentations from Henry Hsu.

James Cerwinski


Energy Resource Library - Xcel Energy

Posted on July 17, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (0)

Xcel Energy is a leading electric company with regulated operations in 8 Western and Midwestern states including - Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

They have created an energy resource library with information on how commercial companies can reduce energy consumption. One section of this library specifically covers the topic of Managing Energy Costs in Data Centers.

This section provides an overview of Data Center Energy Consumption, quick fixes to reduce energy consumption and longer-term solutions.

I reached out to them to find out if the offer special rebates or incentives to data centers and labs.

Do you know of any such programs?

James Cerwinski


Energy Efficiency Rebate & Incentive Database

Posted on July 16, 2009 by James Cerwinski  |  Comment (0)

The US Department of Energy funds the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to administrate a Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency Programs “DSIRE”.

DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In addition to providing details about the many programs the site provides people you can contact which is always helpful.

Energy Efficiency Rebate & Incentive Database

Let me know if you find a good program in your area.

James Cerwinski


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


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