A week ago I was able to interview Google’s Joe Kava, VP of Data Centers regarding Better Data Centers through Machine Learning. The media coverage is good and almost everyone focuses on the potential for lower power consumption.
Google has put its neural network technology to work on the dull but worthy problem of minimizing the power consumption of its gargantuan data centers.
One of the topics I was able to discuss with Joe is the idea that accurately prediction of PUE and a mathematical model of the mechanical systems enables Google to focus on the Peak Demand during the billing period to reduce overall charges. The above quote says power consumption is dull. What is focusing on peak power demand? Crazy. Or you understand a variable cost of running your data center. :-)
How you get billed is complicated and varies widely depending on your specific contract, but it’s important for you to understand your tariff. Without knowing exactly how you're billed for energy, it's difficult to prioritize which energy savings measures will have the biggest impact.
When you think about the ROI of reducing your energy consumption the business people should understand the overall consumption and the peak demand of its operations. Unfortunately it is all too common for people to focus only on the $/kWhr.
Google can look at the peak power consumption and see if there are ways the PUE could be improved to reduce the peak power for the billing period.
Here are tips that can help you shave peak demand.
Depending on your rate structure, peak demand charges can represent up to 30% of your utility bill. Certain industries, like manufacturing and heavy industrials, typically experience much higher peaks in demand due largely to the start-up of energy-intensive equipment, making it even more imperative to find ways to reduce this charge – but regardless of your industry, taking steps to reduce demand charges will save money.