Tag Archives: Power

Server Room Energy Consumption

17 Sep

Every month we receive an energy bill and we think, “How can the energy consumption be that much?!”  The second thought is, “How can we reduce the amount of energy we are consuming?”

serverroomEarlier this year we were able to identify equipment in our server room which was contributing to the overall energy consumption.  We were in need of updating our main server – so we looked a step further to see how we could also reduce our energy costs while meeting the requirements we had set forth for the new server.  After considerable analysis, we opted to acquire a new Dell server which would allow for future expansion and allow us to continue our Virtualization initiative.  With VMware we have been able to simplify our server hardware requirements and increase infrastructure efficiency.  By implementing VMware, we have increased overall utilization of our servers since we can load multiple operating systems on one physical server allowing us to take advantage of the hardware capabilities.  The virtualization initiative has also reduced capital and operating expenses, minimized potential lost revenue due to downtime, outages and failures.

Prior to cutting over to VMware we had multiple physical servers running in our server room producing heat and drawing energy every day. With the acquisition of the new server built to support virtualization, we were able to reduce the amount of physical servers from four (4) to one (1) server.  Our server room cooling costs have been reduced drastically because the amount of heat one efficient server puts out is considerably less than our four (4) old servers which were 6 plus years old.  Here is the quick math on cost avoidance.

  • Electricity to run old inefficient servers (3 physical server reduction)
    • A 350W server running 24/7 would directly consume 3,066 kWh of electricity annually.
      • At the current WE Energy price average of $0.126/kWh cost ~ $386.32
  • 3 servers cost $1,158.96 per year
  • Annual savings on physical server energy consumption $772.64 this is a 66% energy savings.
  • Air Conditioning
    • The cost avoidance relating to AC is difficult to pinpoint exactly. However, the cost of cooling the server room has also been reduced because the AC unit is cooling one efficient Dell server instead of 4 servers.

In conclusion, continuing our virtualization initiative has not only improved our server performance, infrastructure efficiency and decreased capital cost – it has also allowed us to reduce our monthly energy cost.


220 221 Whatever it takes

20 Dec

Power is not really something to joke about.  But to start this post out without some humor would just not be right.


Commonly overlooked and often dismissed are the manufacturer’s installation specifications. The purpose of these are to make your new equipment run at its peak performance and to make it more serviceable for easy operation and access for repairs, which will save you time and money.

The equipment needs a certain amount of space to work efficiently along with specific power requirements unique to each model.

Power specifications are very important and most units require a dedicated line for best operation.  Basically there are two types of devices: 110VAC and 220VAC models.  The acceptable range for the 110 VAC units is 105 to 132 with the range for the 220 VAC units being 208 to 235 VAC.  Anything below or above is bad and could damage the machine or give you inconsistent printing results.

There a 4 types of devices that you can use to manage your incoming power to your piece of equipment.

1. Surge Protector: (Such as the ones you buy at a hardware store for $10-$20). This device will “trip” or “open up” in the event of a power surge, such as a lightning strike. This is all that it does and it may or may not open up fast enough to protect the equipment that is plugged into it. (You get what you pay for applies here).  This should be the minimum requirement, better than plugging directly into the wall outlet.

2. Line Filter; (ESP Power Filter).  This device cleans up the neutral side of the line and it takes it down to 0 volts.  It cleans up the “noise” on the neutral side of the incoming power.  It also offers surge protection in case of extreme power surge such as a lightning strike.  It will “open up” or sacrifice itself.

3. Buc Boost Transformer: This either steps up or down the voltage by either 12 or 24 volts, depending how you wire it up.  It will not compensate for a “brown out” but it will take a steady low voltage such as 195 VAC and ramp it up to 219.  It will also filter the neutral side of the line as well.

4. Line Conditioner/Voltage Regulator: This device maintains a “steady” output voltage if you have fluctuating line volt conditions such as 89 volts to 147 volts.  It also cleans up the neutral side of the line to stop “noise” and has surge protection.  It is not a backup power supply if power to the outlet is interrupted for several minutes or several seconds.   This device is not available for our 220 volt 16 amp machines.

The condition of the incoming power will affect the performance of the printer and should be the responsibility of the customer.  BPI can assist in determining which device is best suited for your power issues.  Some devices will need to be installed by a qualified electrician.

So now that you have a better understanding of the importance of the installation spec sheet and power requirements we hope that you follow the recommendations as this will bring value to your new equipment.

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