UN World Water Day - Water and Power are Deeply Linked

March 21, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Today is United Nations' World Water Day and it is a good time to remember that there is a strong link between the water we use and energy consumed within our homes. Through saving one, we save the other! About 1% of UK greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the water industry, according to Waterwise U.K.

Heating water in UK homes, for activities such as showering and cooking accounts for another 5.5% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. All the saving of water helps to reduce greenhouse gas emission in the UK as well as reducing your gas and electricity bills. In the UK, approximately 30% of an average household gas/ electricity bill is down to heating of water – that equates to about £200 a year!

And today, Emerson Network Power released a case study with Digital Realty Trust, showing how the two companies are partnering to drive environmentally sustainable innovation by saving energy and eliminating water usage in Digital Realty’s data centers.

Digital Realty is utilizing the Liebert® DSE pumped refrigerant economizer cooling system to save more than 300 million gallons of water annually in its data centers, compared to using chilled water cooling systems. The company has deployed the technology in data centers in California, Virginia, Texas and Australia and is considering it for use in data centers in Europe.

“We recognize the importance of water conservation, and releasing the results of this case study in conjunction with UN World Water Day underscores our dedication to working with our customers in designing sustainable thermal management solutions,” said John Peter Valiulis, vice president of thermal management marketing at Emerson Network Power in North America.

The case study describes how the two companies partnered in 2015 to gain the approval of the California Energy Commission for pumped refrigerant economization as a prescribed option for data center cooling in California. The ruling paves the way for companies in that state to more easily deploy the energy-saving and water-saving data center technology.

“Digital Realty’s sustainability policy is aimed at minimizing the use of energy, water, and raw materials in our more than 130 data centers. Working with Emerson, we have developed a data center cooling strategy that improves our sustainability and is also economical to scale,” said Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability at Digital Realty.

The Liebert DSE system is the first pumped refrigerant economization system for use in data centers, and it uses no water and introduces no outside air into the data center. For example, a 1MW data center operating in San Francisco and using the Liebert DSE system would reduce energy usage by 16 percent and save 4 million gallons of water annually, compared to using a chilled water system.