Computer Science
Green Information and Communications Technology Strategies


Computer Science
Green Information and Communications Technology Strategies

Unit 2: Technical Strategy and Planning

Seminar: Energy Saving

Computers and telecommunications equipment contribute about 2% to greenhouse gas emissions. Data centres and client equipment can be made more efficient.

Client Equipment

Client equipment (desktop computers and printers) consume more energy and materials than data centres. The Natural Edge Project (TNEP) suggests four steps for minimizing energy and materials consumption for client equipment:

  1. Assess energy consumption by monitoring client equipment.
  2. Consolidate operating client equipment only when necessary, and remove unnecessary equipment.
  3. Innovate by using 
    • right-sized client equipment: Do not buy more or more powerful equipment than needed.
    • power management strategies: Turn off client equipment when not needed, and turn on power management options in the equipment.
    • low-energy equipment: Select low-energy components and equipment, such as processors, monitors, power supplies, RAM, flash memory, and hard disks.
    • eco-labels: Look for equipment meeting low energy standards.¬†
  4. Manage and monitor the equipment, and schedule high-energy activities out of peak use periods.

Data Centres

Data centres are centralized facilities built to house computer systems, telecommunications, and data storage equipment. These may be equipped with power-conditioning equipment, backup power supplies (uninterruptible power supplies), and air conditioning.

A shortage of data centre space and the need for increased computer system components have resulted in increasing density of data centre equipment and consumption of large amounts of energy, both by the ICT equipment and the systems needed to cool it.

The Natural Edge Project suggests seven steps for minimizing energy and materials consumption:

  1. Determine the required services for the client environment.
  2. Consolidate and virtualize servers, turning off unused equipment and reducing the amount of server hardware required.
  3. Invest in low-energy IT equipment with power management technologies: low processors, efficient power supplies, and low power storage.
  4. Optimize the layout of the data centre equipment to reduce the cooling load.
  5. Optimize airflow around equipment by orienting and spacing equipment to reduce hotspots.
  6. Invest in low-energy cooling technologies, such as direct liquid cooling.
  7. Practice energy-conscious management by allocating accountability for energy consumption and costs, and providing reports.
Last modified: Thursday, 5 June 2014, 10:40 AM MDT
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