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RFID Can Reduce Data-Center Energy Consumption
The Internet and an insatiable demand for online connectivity are fueling explosive growth in energy consumption by server farms, but RFID-enabled sensors can help.
Oct 01, 2012—The New York Times ran a front-page article on Sunday, Sept. 23, titled "Power, Pollution and the Internet." According to the article, "data centers [in the United States] used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year."
RFID Journal recently reported that data centers worldwide were expected to consume 19 percent more energy during the next 12 months than they had throughout the past year, according to a report released in September 2011 by DatacenterDynamics, a London-based research firm (see RFID Energy-Management Systems for Data Centers). The greatest increases in energy use are expected to occur in major U.S. and European markets. A significant number of the organizations queried by DatacenterDynamics predicted that increased energy costs will impact their data-center operations during the next 12 months.
There are wired environmental sensors that can track temperatures around server racks, but these are expensive to install. Wireless monitoring systems that utilize radio frequency identification and sensor technologies can be installed quickly and less expensively. They can gather environmental information in real time, in order to help companies better manage energy consumption within a data center.
California's Franchise Tax Board, in Sacramento, deployed an RFID-based environmental-monitoring system in 2008, and saw cooling costs drop by nearly 75 percent. Based on the savings achieved, the state's Department of General Services (DGS) equipped 12 of its data centers with the same RFID temperature-control system (see California Data Centers Expect to Cut Energy Usage By 75 Percent).
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