Skip to main content

GreenBay Digest

Is zero-carbon data centers possible?

Data centers consume a great deal of energy and resources, and they are one place that many organizations seek to cut back – with the goal of eventually reaching net-zero carbon emissions. Globally, leading data center operators have committed to carbon neutrality and science-based targets for emissions reduction by 2030. The challenge is how to achieve this. Huawei has outlined four core trends for the future direction of data centers.

Next-generation data center facilities will be fully green and energy-efficient while maximizing the recycling of all data center materials. In this way, the overall data center ecosystem will be eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable. Sustainable data centers can be achieved by utilizing green resources – electricity, land, and water – and maximizing the recycling of used materials throughout the life cycle. In addition to the extensively used Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), other metrics, including Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE), Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), and Grid Usage Effectiveness (GUE) will also be used to measure data center sustainability.
Simplified architecture, power supply, and cooling embody the evolution of the data center facility. Simplified architecture brings innovative forms of buildings and equipment rooms. If the prefabricated modular construction mode is used to construct a 1000-rack data center, the construction period can be reduced from more than 18 months to 6–9 months. Simplified power supply reshapes components and links. It shortens the delivery period from 2 months to 2 weeks. Simplified cooling maximizes heat exchange efficiency by changing multiple heat exchanges to one heat exchange, and shortening the cooling link.
Autonomous Driving:
O&M automation, energy efficiency optimization, and operation autonomy reshape the management of data centers’ operation and maintenance. O&M automation enables engineers to complete the inspection of 2000 racks in 5 minutes remotely. The energy efficiency optimization means an optimal cooling strategy can be delivered via 1.4 million original combinations within 1 minute, achieving smart cooling. Operation autonomy maximizes the value of resources.
Proactive security and secure architecture ensure high quality and sustainable development of data centers. Proactive security means using big data and AI technologies to implement predictive maintenance from components to data centers, based on the visibility and perception of all domains in the data centers. Automatic fault response means it will take only 1 minute to spot a fault, 3 minutes to analyze, and 5 minutes to recover. Secure architecture means security will be ensured at various levels, such as components, devices, and systems. At the system level, the E2E visualizable, manageable, and controllable platform enables the system availability to reach 99.999%.

Solving the challenge of growing demand for data with low-carbon solutions, Huawei’s next-gen simplified, green, intelligent, and secure data center infrastructure solution is only one of the solutions. Reducing carbon emissions is essential for the industry and an area in which innovation focuses on converging software and hardware as well as cross-product-domain collaboration. With so many technical innovations, expertise and best practice at our disposal, the journey to zero-carbon data center is now achievable.

Getting as much value as possible with after-sales maintenance

After-sales maintenance helps ensure that a customer gets as much use and value as possible out of their purchase. A great product should be backed up with excellent maintenance support as this provides a positive experience to customers.

The business reasoning behind after-sales support is that it can contribute to brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. An example of a brand which understands this reasoning is Huawei.

Huawei Hi-Care services provide a variety of maintenance services for customers. Huawei Hi-Care provides industry-leading Technical Support Centers (TAC), global service organizations, hourly spare parts supply capabilities, standard Issue to Resolution (ITR) processes, and advanced IT tools to respond to customer service requests in a timely and efficient manner.

Technical Assistance Center (TAC) Support
Huawei’s global technical support organization has three Global TACs, five Regional TACs, and five Country TACs that provide CS services for customers in over 130 countries 24 hours/seven days a week. With access to TAC expertise, you can expedite issue resolution and optimize network operation.
Advance Hardware Replacement Service
Advance Hardware Replacement Service entitles you to receive replacement hardware after your service request is accepted by Huawei. Huawei’s worldwide spare parts operation and logistics centers will guarantee that hardware will be delivered as agreed SLA in your contract.
Onsite hardware replacement
For the problems that cannot be resolved without replacing the hardware, Huawei will assign experienced technical support engineers to your site to replace the hardware and rectify the fault to restore your system.
Online Self-help Support
Access to Huawei Website Knowledge Base, software releases, product documents, materials, tools and notifications, as well as Smart Q & A, et., to improve the maintenance capability of your engineers.
Operating System Software Updates
System software correction patches and minor version releases are available from Huawei’s technical support website.
Alerts Call Home
Hardware alarm is automatically reported to Huawei technical support center by Call Home system, and then Huawei informs customer if necessary.

Huawei has always been committed to providing customers with more professional and intelligent maintenance services. Huawei Hi-Care services go beyond traditional phone or email support as customers can seek help from multiple channels such as the intelligent Q&A chatbot and the technical support community. In addition, customers can use the intelligent maintenance center ServiceCare to manage inventory and service requests, and quickly obtain product technical information and service reports.

At GreenBay, we believe that an effective maintenance strategy is concerned with maximising equipment uptime and facility performance while balancing the associated resources expended and ultimately the cost. When a brand offers maintenance services (such as Huawei Hi-Care) which can assist in getting sufficient return on your asset investment, it is an indication that your maintenance strategy is on the correct trajectory to be successful and fuss-free.

Reducing energy use by 8-15% with Huawei’s iCooling@AI solution

A data center’s power usage effectiveness or PUE, is seen as a key indicator for evaluating its energy efficiency. The PUE value rises as the data center becomes less efficient. Cooling, a key component of a data center, is one of the main factors which can address the issue of energy efficiency.

Cooling is closely related to equipment heat dissipation, equipment configuration, facility environment, and external climate conditions. After Operations and Management (O&M) reaches a certain maturity level, hardware energy saving or human experience-based simple optimization cannot further reduce power consumption.

Therefore, Huawei has leveraged on machine learning to develop its iCooling intelligent thermal management solution for data centers. The iCooling solution incorporates deep learning to analyse historical data and identify key factors which affect energy consumption and create a PUE prediction. An optimisation algorithm then establishes the ideal parameters which are transmitted to various control systems.

The key technologies used in the iCooling solution include:

  • Big data collection
    Given the complexity of data center cooling systems, information about the power supply system, cooling system, and environment parameters must be collected.
  • Data governance and feature engineering
    First, a mathematical tool is used to perform data governance on the raw data collected, providing high-quality data for subsequent model training. Second, feature engineering is performed on large amounts of raw data to identify the key parameters that affect PUE.

Creating a PUE model using a neural network:
Neural networks are a set of machine learning algorithms that can simulate the cognitive behavior of interactions between neurons. Deep neural networks can play a role in increasing the cooling efficiency of data centers. The machine learning algorithms of these networks can find the relationships between parameters of different pieces of equipment and systems. A mathematical model or the PUE model of the data center is created based on large amounts of data from sensors.

Inference and decision-making using genetic algorithms:
Based on the input PUE model and the operating data collected in real time, the algorithms find the best policy in four steps: parameter traversal and combination, service rule assurance, calculating the energy consumption of the cooling system, and selecting the optimal policy.

At Huawei’s cloud data center Langfang in China, the deployment of iCooling has resulted in a PUE that is eight percent lower than it previously was, which translates to major savings in annual power costs. At a China Mobile data center in Ningxia, the introduction of iCooling technology has reduced the data center’s total energy consumption by 3.2%, saving more than 400,000 kWh of electricity a year. According to Huawei, as data centre loads increase and AI learning capability improves, six million kWh of electricity will be saved in the data center every year, the equivalent to a reduction of about three million kilogrammes of carbon dioxide emissions.

With extensive experience and technical expertise in global data center construction, Huawei has proven that the power of AI and big data is the key to create greener data centers.

Source: Huawei

By law, protective relay calibration is required once every two years

Protective relays are decision-making elements in the protection scheme for electrical power systems. They monitor circuit conditions and initiate protective action when an undesired condition is detected.

Protective relaying serves many functions including isolating faulted circuits or equipment from the remainder of the system so the system can continue to function, limiting damage to faulted equipment, minimizing the possibility of fire or damage to adjacent equipment, and minimizing hazards to personnel.

According to Reg. 110(4), ER (Electricity Regulations) 1994; any protective relay and device of an installation will need to be checked, tested and calibrated by a competent person at least once every two years, or at any time as directed by the Energy Commission.

Why is protective relay testing important?
When they are required to operate because of a faulted or undesirable condition, it is imperative that protective relays function correctly. A strong maintenance and test program will keep your protective relays in a high state of readiness ensuring they respond properly to normal and abnormal conditions and help you avoid equipment damage, prolonged downtime and employee injuries.

When protection relay testing is not carried out on a regular basis, the risk of dangerous electrical faults increases, potentially resulting in damage to equipment and harm to personnel.

Types of testing
There are three main types of protective relay testing (apart from testing after a fault occurs):

  • Bench testing – This involves investigating the relay on its own and that it matches the design. This prevents more expensive and more time-consuming problems from occurring at later stages in a project.
  • Commissioning testing – Once the electrical system has been constructed, commissioning the relay involves making sure the larger system functions as expected. For example, when the protection relay is attached to the switchgear, it should function as expected, react to interlocks and other simulated conditions. After this, the relay’s function will have been demonstrated.
  • Maintenance testing – When maintenance testing is carried out, complete design intention is assumed, but relay behaviour must be checked under operation. Apart from relay-specific failures, the relay cannot detect changes in system characteristics, such as downstream network loads being changed over time. Such long-term changes may require the relay to be reprogrammed to ensure expected operation is maintained.

Safety is everything
Electrical safety is not an issue to be taken lightly. According to statistics released by the Fire and Rescue Department, a total of RM3.31 billion worth of properties were destroyed in fire-related incidents in 2018. Of that number, faulty electrical sources were at the very top of the list with over 5,300 cases recorded over the last three years.

This is the reason why at GreenBay, we take a proactive stance when it comes to electrical safety:

  • All electrical works are carried out by a team of competent and qualified engineers.
  • The electrical works shall be carried out in accordance with rules and safety regulations and best working practices.
  • All installation shall be maintained in good working order and safety precautions shall be observed at all times to prevent danger.

Make sure your generator is ready when needed with load bank testing

For mission critical facilities, such as data centers and hospitals, emergency power generators simply cannot afford to fail. Regularly scheduled maintenance will help to make sure that your generator is ready when it’s called upon. That is why preventative maintenance such as load bank testing is of utmost importance. Load bank testing helps to ensure that your generator will be fully dependable and operational, as well as completely capable of the highest possible load it may be required to handle at any critical point in time.

What is load bank testing?
A generator load bank test involves an examination and assessment of a genset. It verifies that all primary components of the generator set are in proper working condition under loaded conditions.

The test puts a generator under varying load conditions and sees how the machine reacts to the power draw. This is not to be mistaken for the automatic exercising some generators do for a load test. These exercises turn on the device but do not put it under a load. Without testing the generator under load, you will not be able to gauge the health and performance capabilities of the generator.

Why is generator load bank testing important?
When a diesel engine powered genset is not used frequently or only run on light loads, it can be prone to experiencing unburned fuel and soot buildup in the exhaust system. This is called wet-stacking. When wet-stacking occurs, the genset is likely to perform poorly, to endure damage, can become a fire hazard, and can even lead to complete failure.

During a load bank test, the generator is allowed to run at full power and full temperature. This will cause any wet-stacking to burn off. Hence, a load bank test can determine whether the generator will function properly and efficiently on all levels, and eliminates any wet-stacking that may have built up within the generator.

Benefits of load bank testing
There are multiple reasons gensets should undergo a load bank test on an annual basis, including the following:
– Verifies the gensets capabilities opposed to just routinely starting it up
– Problems discovered early can be significantly less expensive and prevents future major issues
– Helps to avoid wet-stacking and cleans out carbon deposits
– Verifies the engine cooling systems will perform while under load
– Provides assurance that the genset should work properly when you need it most

GreenBay’s load bank testing of gensets is a wide-ranging service that monitors every critical component of your generator, including the engine temperature as well as the oil pressure. Throughout the testing process, we oversee the entire unit, ensuring that it runs at normal operating pressures and temperatures once optimal levels are achieved. Our aim is for your standby generator to operate more efficiently, thereby guaranteeing the unit is working exactly as it was designed to do.

During a load bank test, the generator is allowed to run at full power and full temperature. This will cause any wet-stacking to burn off. Hence, a load bank test can determine whether the generator will function properly and efficiently on all levels, and eliminates any wet-stacking that may have built up within the generator.

System efficiency and reliability starts with preventive maintenance

Data centers as well as other critical infrastructures are changing rapidly. Therefore, it is more important than ever to ensure that each component of the support infrastructure is operating at maximum efficiency and reliability. One of the most important ways to do so is preventive maintenance.

We will look at preventive maintenance of 4 major systems – UPS (uninterruptible power supply), very early warning smoke detection, cooling and precision air conditioning, and clean agent fire suppression.

UPS System

While numerous backup power UPS components are susceptible to failure, a preventive maintenance service plan ensures these parts (such as batteries, capacitors, air filters, component connections and redundant power supplies) are regularly examined. This greatly reduces the risk of a load loss and extends the overall lifespan of your UPS. Preventive maintenance dramatically improves the performance, availability and service life of critical equipment and significantly reduces the number of issues that your equipment experiences.

Very Early Warning Smoke Detection System

To maintain the system at its peak performance level, its suggested maintenance schedule should be followed. Its optimum operation requires that the equipment is supported by a well-designed and maintained sampling pipe network. The site conditions and the local codes and standards may require more regular maintenance than that recommended by the system provider. Maintenance frequency must be increased in industrial applications such as factories, distribution facilities and warehousing with high vehicular traffic loads since these applications commonly have high levels of background pollution.

Cooling & Precision Air Conditioning System

Precision cooling systems have been designed specifically to meet the needs of critical infrastructure heat loads and have very different service and maintenance needs than standard building air conditioning, which is designed for occupant comfort. Technologies such as digital scroll compressors, high density in the row cooling, and variable speed drives require advanced controls to be configured and networked properly. Preventive maintenance for cooling equipment should focus on such key components as air filters, blower drive systems, compressors, facility fluid and piping, and evaporator coils.

Clean Agent Fire Suppression System

Clean agent systems are particularly well suited for sensitive environments such as telecommunication sites, data centers, power plants, laboratories, art galleries, and more. This system is a great option for any enclosure that you may not want to use a sprinkler or risk getting the high value assets wet. But they must be properly maintained, which requires regular inspections and maintenance. A strict maintenance schedule would include, amongst others, verifying clean agent cylinder weight, room integrity testing and testing all clean agent system control panel equipment, container inspection, and hydrostatic test.

Remember that it is important that components in the support infrastructure of a critical facility are well-maintained. The systems are only as beneficial to safety as their own safety status. The priority is to work with manufacturer-backed industry experts such as GreenBay, to help you set up and implement a holistic inspection and maintenance strategy for your critical infrastructure.

Our certified technicians are factory-trained with extensive knowledge and hands-on experience on how to maintain these major systems to maximise performance and efficiency.

Preventive maintenance for your data center made easy with GreenBay!

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This cannot be more true for data center maintenance. Effective maintenance strategies help protect your data center from unplanned outages, and reduce repairs and downtime related costs. Shutting down of data center can cost millions of dollars to big facilities.

For the maintenance of your data center to be effective, a comprehensive maintenance strategy must be in place. It includes the following:

Regular inspections

Your data center management staff can carry out the inspections, regular monitoring and checking for poor efficiency use and alarm alerts.

Predictive maintenance

This can be done via a monitoring system. Your onsite staff will monitor trends and measure specific data to predict the potential end of life equipment in the data center.

Corrective works

They help prevent imminent failure through timely procurement of end-of-life equipment and prompt faulty parts replacement.

Preventive maintenance

Equipment should get tested, cleaned, adjusted, and replaced through a planned maintenance schedule to ensure optimal performance at all times.

Preventive maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure minimal amount of equipment failures and shutdowns is to perform preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance conduct scheduled analyses to catch the defect before occurring. Having a plan in place and executing on it regularly will help avoid unplanned downtime due to battery failure, clogged air filters, and other physical causes which could lead to a crisis in critical infrastructure.
Amongst others, preventive maintenance should include checks on equipment such as switches and routers, circuit breakers, power supplies, cabling, HVAC systems, fire detection, and prevention systems.

Why is preventive maintenance important?

1. Reduces the risk of data center failure
There are high chances that your data center shuts down because of loads of data. That is why maintenance is crucial to avoid interruptions in data storage, access, and retrieval. Shutting down data centers does not only affect the accessibility of data but can also be very costly.

2. Management of operational costs
Preventive maintenance is not only about extending the lifespan of your data center but also managing operating costs. Data centers consume massive energy amounts. One way to lower operational costs is to make sure that your equipment works efficiently by solving or fixing issues in the system.

3. Preventing the risks of downtime
For data centers to keep running through unforeseeable power issues like utility spikes and power outages, most of them depend on the reliability of UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply systems. Preventive maintenance must be in place to maximize the performance and reliability of the UPS systems by providing systematic detection and correction of failures.

4. Safety of people, equipment and facilties
Safety systems such as VESDA aspirating smoke detection (ASD) which enables early detection and mitigation of potential fire threats, must be regularly maintained for performance and reliability to avoid potential disasters which can cause injury, loss of life and equipment damage.

5. Reducing environmental impact
In the industry of data centers, sustainability must be a priority and should form an integral part of all development strategies moving forward. While the focus remains on green data center strategies, companies can strive to achieve a balance between reduced energy consumption and increased performance by prioritising preventive maintenance.

At GreenBay, we are able to assist you in your preventive maintenance measures. We have the skills and expertise to manage all the equipment that makes your critical infrastructure work. Our training and hands-on experience means that we know what to look out for, and how to handle the physical equipment and the system that runs it, as well as advise and guide you in your maintenance strategy. Get in touch with us today to make your maintenance routine work better for your data center and critical infrastructure.

Huawei’s cooling solutions makes green data centers possible

For data centers, cooling systems consume the most power, and so reducing the energy consumption of cooling systems represents a first crucial step towards a greener data center. While innovation and technology has brought much advancement in the use of natural cooling sources, cooling systems need smart brains that are capable of smart adjustments and on-demand cooling with the constant changes in data center loads and their environments.

For example, China Unicom’s Henan branch (China Unicom Henan) deployed Huawei’s iCooling@AI solution which integrates big data and AI, enabling data centers to learn to save power and automatically optimize their power efficiency, improving data centers’ PUE by 8 to 15 percent.

Located in Henan’s Zhengzhou, the Central Plains Data Center is one of China Unicom’s 12 planned, ultra-large, national data centers. It’s also the only core data center in central China to be built to the T3+/T4 standard. At the start of this strategic partnership project between China Unicom and the Henan provincial government, China Unicom Henan put forward rigid energy consumption requirements for the data center. Its priority was to achieve reliability and a PUE that would be first-class both in China and globally.

In the days before the iCooling@AI solution was adopted for optimizing power efficiency, data center cooling systems were mainly configured manually. This made it difficult to achieve satisfactory results, as the load and environment were constantly changing.

In contrast, iCooling@AI can efficiently and accurately collect all data relating to a data center’s power efficiency. It then uses the deep neural network for modelling and accurately compares the created models with the data center’s operating status, which is optimized every hour. As a data center’s load increases, the cooling mode changes and the AI becomes more capable of learning. This leads to constant improvements in power saving that significantly reduce power consumption and waste.

With the adoption of the iCooling@AI solution, components of a data center cooling system will collaborate intelligently and operate efficiently, optimizing the entire system’s power efficiency.

Source: Huawei

Huawei helps Three Gorges Group build the largest green data center cluster in Central China

Chinese energy company Three Gorges Group (CTG) has completed the first phase of its Dongyuemiao Data Center project in Yichang, Hubei.

The data center is located on the right bank of the Three Gorges Dam — one of the world’s largest hydropower stations. Once all three phases of the project are completed, the data center will house 26,400 racks, spanning over 100,000 square meters — becoming the largest green data center cluster in central China.

The facility was built in partnership with Huawei Digital Power. The company provided 160 modular equipment rooms, 38 PowerPODs, 320 SmartLi battery energy storage devices, 160 high-temperature fan walls, one iCooling@AI cooling system, and one ‘AI-Robot’ for inspection uses.

The entire power consumption of this first phase, amounting to over 200 million kWh electricity per year, will be supplied using clean hydropower generated by the Three Gorges Dam. The project is naturally cooled by water from the river to significantly reduce energy consumption and boost energy efficiency.

The Dongyuemiao Data Center is built in accordance with the national class-A equipment room standards. It utilizes industry-leading technologies along with proprietary, secure, and controllable products, to become the first large-scale, green, zero-carbon data center in China.

The Dongyuemiao Data Center is a key digital transformation project for the Three Gorges Group and part of its 14th Five-Year Plan, which prioritizes green, digital development.

Source: PRNewswire

How do you ensure that your data center is indeed green?

In our pursuit towards sustainability, GreenBay was recently awarded the highest Diamond tier of the GCI Certified Green Computing Vendor (CGCV).

The Green Computing Initiative (GCI) has been the leading green computing accreditation and certification organization that certifies and endorses organizations and professionals in Green Computing technologies since 2008. GCI certification is the standard of excellence that the industry seeks in order to ensure efficient and effective sustainable computing practices.

In our pursuit towards sustainability, GreenBay was recently awarded the highest Diamond tier of the GCI Certified Green Computing Vendor (CGCV).

The Green Computing Initiative (GCI) has been the leading green computing accreditation and certification organization that certifies and endorses organizations and professionals in Green Computing technologies since 2008. GCI certification is the standard of excellence that the industry seeks in order to ensure efficient and effective sustainable computing practices.

The CGCV certification
As an implementiation vendor for green data centers, this certification verifies GreenBay conforms to the prescribed standards and quality of work. There are 5 certification tiers namely Diamond, Pearl, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. Diamond is the highest tier whilst Emerald is the lowest tier.

Why is it important to engage a GCI Certified Green Computing Vendor (CGCV)?
High demand for data storage management, growing energy cost, and massive electricity consumption have been the catalysts for the increasing demand of green data centers. A green data center offers identical features and abilities of a traditional data center but uses a lower amount of energy and space. Therefore, green data centers are regarded as eco-friendlier and a must for organisations who prioritise sustainability.

GCI provides the industry’s benchmark in recognizing and rewarding best practice in facility energy efficiency and carbon footprint management. GCI’s Certified Green Computing Facility (CGCF) certification provides verifiable evidence that an organization is not only claiming it follows green computing facility best practices but that it has ACTUALLY implemented them.

By engaging a GCI Certified Green Computing Vendor (CGCV), you are assured of a best in its class green data center which maximises energy efficiency.

In addition, engaging a Certified Implementation Vendor, such as GreenBay, ensures that every aspect of a data center project can successfully ace intensive auditing by GCI to obtain it’s green data center facility certification.

A CGCF certified data center stands to enjoy major cost savings through energy efficiency and is prepared for eventual carbon legislation. It is also an acknowledgement of an organizations’s environmental sustainability efforts.