Fortune Data Centers Commences Operations Of New Green Data Center In Silicon Valley

April 28, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Fortune Data Centers, which provides premium wholesale data center space for corporate customers, announced that the company has commenced operations of what it describes as a new highly energy-efficient, ’green’ data center in Silicon Valley, despite an industry slowdown of new development due to the economic downturn and lack of available financing.

"There is a continuing demand for high quality datacenter space in Silicon Valley," said Dan Golding, Vice President and Research Director, Tier1 Research. "The current recession has dried up new datacenter supplies while pushing enterprises to outsource their datacenter requirements to specialist firms. The direction of the Bay Area market is clear: higher utilizations now and higher prices in 2010 – smart buyers will lock in as soon as possible."

Fortune’s new facility, located in San Jose, California, is said t o deliver superior energy efficiency as measured by Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) – a standard developed by The Green Grid™ consortium. PUE is determined by dividing the total facility power by the IT equipment power – the lower the resulting ratio, the more efficient the data center. During independent testing through a Level 5 Commissioning Process, the data center achieved a PUE of 1.37 at full load, an energy-efficiency level far superior to the industry average data center PUE of 2.0, and better than the EPA’s 2011 target PUE of 1.45 for state-of-the-art enterprise-class data centers.

The company estimates that moving IT load from a legacy data center to Fortune’s facility would result in reduced annual electrical consumption of 40 million Kilowatt-hours, enough to fully power 3,800 average U.S. homes. In economic terms, Fortune estimates this energy reduction will save tenants over $4 million per year in energy costs. In environmental terms, removing 40 million Kilowatt-hours from the U.S. grid reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 27,000 tons annually.

According to the company, data centers traditionally rely on raised floor to deliver cold air to servers. The cold air is forced up to the IT equipment through the raised floor; this requires considerable fan horsepower to push the cold air high enough to reach servers at the top of a standard rack or cabinet. By contrast, Fortune has eliminated the raised floor and instead supplies cold air from an overhead plenum, with insulated ducts for hot air return. Taking advantage of the natural density of cold air and the buoyancy of hot air significantly reduces the power required for air distribution. In addition to the energy savings, mounting cabinets directly on the floor reduces installation cost, increases seismic stability, and removes weight constraints.

Other key efficiency features include the use of ambient cooling to supplement and optimize chilling capacity. Fortune has installed 5 high efficiency cooling towers to supply 3,500 tons of cooling capacity, greatly increasing the central chilling plant efficiency. Fortune also requires the use of contained hot / cold aisles in the data rooms. Eliminating the mixing of hot and cold air allows for better air pressure control, decreases waste, and further reduces needed fan horsepower.

Facility operations are controlled by a state-of-the-art Building Management System with extensive power and environmental metering. Refrigerants are non-CFC based, and cleaning materials are LEED compliant. In addition, lighting is motion sensor controlled.

The recently completed initial phase provides 7.86 Megawatts of IT critical load over two data rooms consisting of 43,000 fully powered and usable square feet of IT floor space in a 78,000 square foot building. The facility was built with blade servers in mind, and will support a minimum energy density of 185 watts per square foot, more than adequate for the high density needs of cloud computing. When fully complete, Fortune San Jose is slated to consist of over 140,000 square feet in three buildings on a 9.26-acre campus.