Archive for December, 2009

2010 In The Data Center


Data Center Knowledge recently posted an article titled “New Year’s Resolutions for Data Center Managers.” The article was written and submitted by Duncan Campbell, the VP of marketing for Converged Infrastructure in the Enterprise Storage, Server and Networking Worldwide Organization at HP. Below is his Point #2. It addresses power and cooling issues and going green.  Empower Energy agrees with Mr. Duncan’s assessment and if you do, too, give us a call and we’ll help you get off to a great start in 2010 in your data center.

Go More Green: The No. 1 problem facing today’s data centers is hitting limits of power and cooling capacity. As it becomes imperative to better control costs, a blueprint of the data center that provides a more intelligent view of the entire IT environment –including the facilities – will help data center managers reclaim stranded power and cooling capacity. To enable new levels of energy and cost efficiencies, facilities must share a common, comprehensive view of data center power and cooling. This requires a significant shift from the way most data centers are currently managed, to one in which facilities and IT managers join forces to tackle energy issues datacenter-wide. Instead of Green IT think of it as IT for “the green” that helps the pocket book and the environment!

  • With intelligent monitoring systems, energy use can be viewed, monitored and controlled in real-time, while users can establish policies for energy use to ensure compliance with internal, environmental or government regulations and goals. New power monitoring systems can extend across IT systems to include facilities as well, considering power consumption as important as systems performance in our efforts to green the data center.

Learn more > Read the full article – click here.

Mark Bell
Empower Energy Technology
404.681.3270 x-302
mbell@empoweret.com

December 29, 2009 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

Guidelines Issued for Clean Energy Rebates in Georgia


Update Note: The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) began accepting rebate applications on October 19, 2009, and by October 20, 2009, had received applications exceeding the allocated amount of funding for this program. It is unlikely that any new applications will receive funding, although they will be placed on the program’s waiting list.

Guidelines Issued for Clean Energy Rebates in Georgia

In April 2009, Georgia enacted legislation (HB 473) creating the Georgia Clean Energy Property Rebate Program. This program will use federal stimulus funds to provide rebates for investments in solar, wind, geothermal heat pumps and certain energy-efficiency projects. Final guidelines for the Clean Energy Property Rebate Program have been issued, and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority will begin accepting rebate applications on October 19, 2009 (see DSIRE record).

Learn more at:
Georgia Clean Energy Property Rebate Program

December 16, 2009 at 9:00 am 1 comment

Simple Solutions to Stop Energy Waste in Data Centers


New technology options and power distribution strategies can dramatically reduce the cost and carbon footprint of your data center.

An unforgiving economic climate has left many organizations struggling to sustain (or restore) profitability. Many of them reacted to the downturn by restructuring, trimming back R&D and marketing, and laying off employees. All of these moves leave a company in a vulnerable position when the market rebounds, which it inevitably will.

Meanwhile, huge potential savings are sitting, untapped, right in the company’s data center.

Data center energy costs as a percent of total revenue are at an all-time high. In fact, energy costs are emerging as the second highest operating cost in the IT organization, behind labor. A typical one megawatt data center consumes 16 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year—roughly equivalent to the energy consumed by 1400 average U.S. households.

The IT and electrical industries have responded with new energy-saving technologies and approaches that could have a notable, positive impact on a company’s profitability.

A new white paper from Eaton (an Empower Energy vendor partner) looks at two key ways that data center managers can improve end-to-end energy efficiency: by changing the voltage of power distribution and by taking advantage of new, high-efficiency, multi-mode uninterruptible power systems (UPSs).

This analysis shows that 400V AC power distribution offers a high degree of energy efficiency for modern data centers, significantly reducing capital and operational expenditures and total cost of ownership, compared to 600V AC and traditional 480V AC power systems. Recent developments in UPS technology—including the introduction of transformer-less UPSs with new energy management features—further enhance a 400V AC power distribution system to maximize energy efficiency.

Learn more > Download and read this white paper: Is an Energy-wasting Data Center Draining Your Bottom Line? Then contact Empower Energy and let us show you how we can assist you.

Mark Bell
Empower Energy Technology

December 14, 2009 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment

Happy Holidays from Empower Energy Technology!


In terms of the economy, 2009 is undoubtedly one of the worst years since the Great Depression. (The National Bureau of Economic Research actually determined the recession started in December 2007).  Many folks are ready to put this year, if not the last two, behind them and start focusing on better times ahead.  While we certainly wouldn’t disagree, there are some bright spots that have appeared and they bode well for America and our economic recovery.

One, solar energy installations are expected to grow by 50% for the next couple of years (see article below).  In and of itself this is good news, but it is even better news when you consider the number of jobs that are created – jobs that can’t be outsourced.  In our home state of Georgia, solar cell manufacturer Suniva is expected to increase its workforce this year by 50% – from 130 employees today to 195.

Second, there’s a flurry of activity occurring in the area of the Smart Grid.   Researchers at Specialists in Business Information (SBI) project that the U.S. smart-grid market will grow to $17 billion per year by 2014 from its current size of $6 billion (registration required).   Even Cisco, a traditional networking company, is getting involved.  Cisco predicts the Smart Grid communications infrastructure market to reach $20 billion annually over the next five years.  They even predict that the Smart Grid will be larger than the Internet.  (I wouldn’t necessarily count on that but I appreciate their enthusiasm.)

Finally, the area of Energy Management is beginning to gain traction.  In an economic environment where revenue is hard to achieve, expense reduction becomes very attractive.  According to a new report from Pike Research, 28.1 million users will be using home energy management system by 2015.  Furthermore, according to Pike, the increasing application of information technology (IT) to the commercial building sector, together with changes in perception regarding energy as an asset, will drive a cumulative investment of $67.6 billion in Energy Management Systems (EMS) during the period from 2010 to 2020. (Registration required)

While no doubt there is a long road ahead for economic recovery, there are some areas where growth is projected.  Furthermore, these are areas which have even further benefit.  They reduce our dependency on carbon based fuels and they are good for the environment.  That’s a pretty good win all around.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.

The Empower Energy Staff

December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Emergency Planning, Response & Recovery


Create and maintain a comprehensive emergency management program

While I start writing this blog post, rain is headed for Atlanta. And anyone who has lived in Atlanta for any length of time, knows that even a strong rainstorm can bring power failures – mainly due to our abundant tree canopy. The winter season is right around the corner and now is the time to be thinking about emergency preparedness.

First, what is an emergency? An emergency is any unplanned event that can cause deaths or significant injuries to employees, customers or the public; or that can shut down your business, disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the facility’s financial standing or public image.

Every year emergencies take their toll on business and industry — in lives and dollars. But something can be done. Business and industry can limit injuries and damages and return more quickly to normal operations if they plan ahead. A good place to start planning is to visit the FEMA website and download their guide called, Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry: A Step-by-Step Approach to Emergency Planning, Response and Recovery for Companies of All Sizes.

The FEMA guide is very comprehensive and takes you step by step through the planning process. But as the guide makes clear, to be successful, emergency management requires upper management support. The chief executive sets the tone by authorizing planning to take place and directing senior management to get involved. When presenting the “case” for emergency management, avoid dwelling on the negative effects of an emergency (e.g., deaths, fines, criminal prosecution) and emphasize the positive aspects of preparedness.

The guide is organized as follows:

  • Section 1: 4 Steps in the Planning Process — how to form a planning team; how to conduct a vulnerability analysis; how to develop a plan; and how to implement the plan. The information can be applied to virtually any type of business or industry.
  • Section 2: Emergency Management Considerations — how to build such emergency management capabilities as life safety, property protection, communications and community outreach.
  • Section 3: Hazard-Specific Information — technical information about specific hazards your facility may face.
  • Section 4: Information Sources — where to turn for additional information.

I hope you will take the time to download the FEMA Emergency Planning Guide and then take the time to read it and implement a plan for your business. At Empower Energy, we know that planning for emergencies just makes good sense. Empower Energy Technology is in the business of selling and installing backup, standby and emergency power systems for businesses but what we do and the services we provide are only a part of a complete emergency plan. Of course we hope you will think of Empower Energy when you get to that part of your emergency planning process. If we can be of service, contact us and we’ll do whatever we can to assist you.

Mark Bell
Empower ET

December 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

Home Building Going Green and Solar


The Green Home building business is red hot!

Despite an overall housing slump, the number of homes winning the government’s Energy Star designation since the program began in 1995 has crossed the 1 million mark … 75,000 have been added so far this year for a total of 1,024,200.

Last year, Energy Star homes accounted for nearly 17% of all single-family homes built, up from 12% in 2007. The Energy Star label means a house is at least 20% more energy-efficient than other new homes.

“There’s an awakening going on,” says Nate Kredich of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit group whose rating criteria are stricter than Energy Star. Kredich says its number of certified homes, which increased from 1,151 last year to 3,050 so far this year, is a small but growing share of all new homes.

Green features that sell best are those that pay for themselves quickest as consumers focus on price, says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects. Baker expects energy costs to help fuel green home building.

And Solar energy is a good investment.

Contact Empower Energy today for a free Solar energy evaluation … no strings attached. Call Tom Tomaka at 404.681.3270 x304 or email at tom.tomaka@empoweret.com.

December 4, 2009 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Time to Upgrade Your Standby Power System


Many companies were smart and ahead of the curve years ago and decided to install a standby or backup power system to protect their company’s operation and data during times when the grid failed. Good decision. However, at Empower Energy Technology, we find many companies that jumped on the standby power decision years ago have failed to evaluate their standby power needs on an annual basis. Many don’t give it a second thought and years have passed since a system evaluation has been done.

We all know as a business grows its power consumption and needs grow, too. Are your company’s standby power and/or UPS systems up to par for your current needs? Is your company considering upgrading its data center? Are you planning a new facility or expanding an existing one? Whatever your situation, it’s a good idea to conduct an evaluation of your backup power systems before you need them.

All of us know what happens when the power goes out or we experience a power surge or brownout. It impacts our businesses. It impacts our performance, our reputation and the security of our data. And the biggest impact can be with our customers and our reputation. Even just a few minutes without power causes problems with computer networks, phones, security systems, manufacturing processes and all the other services that keep our businesses up and running.

Empower Energy Technology can help you get your peace of mind back when it comes to a standby power evaluation at your company. We will do a complete evaluation and analysis of your current system and design a professionally engineered solution for your current needs and growth, too. Empower ET is a complete turn-key solution provider for standby power systems. From design and engineering, to equipment sales, to construction and project management to maintenance and support after the job is completed … Empower ET can assist your company upgrade or install the right standby power system.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Contact us today and let’s get started.

Mark Bell
Empower ET

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Time to Upgrade Your Standby Power System

Many companies were smart and ahead of the curve years ago and decided to install a standby or backup power system to protect their company’s operation and data during times when the grid failed. Good decision. However, at Empower Energy Technology, we find many companies that jumped on the standby power decision years ago have failed to evaluate their standby power needs on an annual basis. Many don’t give it a second thought and years have passed since a system evaluation has been done.

We all know as a business grows its power consumption and needs grow, too. Are your company’s standby power and/or UPS systems up to par for your current needs? Is your company considering upgrading its data center? Are you planning a new facility or expanding an existing one? Whatever your situation, it’s a good idea to conduct an evaluation of your backup power systems before you need them.

All of us know what happens when the power goes out or we experience a power surge or brownout. It impacts our businesses. It impacts our performance, our reputation and the security of our data. And the biggest impact can be with our customers and our reputation. Even just a few minutes without power causes problems with computer networks, phones, security systems, manufacturing processes and all the other services that keep our businesses up and running.

Empower Energy Technology can help you get your peace of mind back when it comes to a standby power evaluation at your company. We will do a complete evaluation and analysis of your current system and design a professionally engineered solution for your current needs and growth, too. Empower ET is a complete turn-key solution provider for standby power systems. From design and engineering, to equipment sales, to construction and project management to maintenance and support after the job is completed … Empower ET can assist your company upgrade or install the right standby power system.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Contact us today and let’s get started.

Mark Bell

Empower ET

December 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment


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