• NSIDC "Green" HVAC System Retrofit
  • NSIDC "Green" HVAC System Retrofit
  • Coolerado Evaporative Cooling System at National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • Coolerado Evaporative Cooling System at National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center

    Boulder, Colorado

    The RMH Group teamed with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to dramatically increase HVAC system performance at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) located on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. A key climate research organization, the NSIDC is responsible for archiving snow, ice, and climate data accessed by researchers around the world and for managing remote sensing data from NASA’s Earth Observing System satellite program. The HVAC upgrade centered around an innovative system that takes advantage of Boulder’s dry climate. Most of the data center’s cooling is provided by filtered outside air via a hybrid air-side economizer, while a low-energy-use indirect evaporative cooling system supplements outside air when additional cooling is required. The indirect evaporative system blows air over water, producing a coolant without humidity that can damage sensitive computers. A “smart” control system brings outdoor air into the facility during much of the year and switches on the cooling system when a certain temperature threshold has been reached. Prior to the installation, 35 kW-hours of energy per hour−enough to power approximately 28 homes−were required to cool the NSIDC. With this new HVAC system in place, annual energy consumption to cool the data center was decreased by approximately 95%. The upgraded HVAC system is helping to make the NSIDC one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the United States. NSIDC received a grant for the cooling upgrade and other sustainability measures from the National Science Foundation under its Academic Research Infrastructure Program with additional support from NASA.  
    Photo credit:  Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado
 

NSIDC “Green” HVAC System Retrofit

National Snow and Ice Data Center

Boulder, Colorado

The RMH Group teamed with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to dramatically increase HVAC system performance at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) located on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. A key climate research organization, the NSIDC is responsible for archiving snow, ice, and climate data accessed by researchers around the world and for managing remote sensing data from NASA’s Earth Observing System satellite program.

The HVAC upgrade centered around an innovative system that takes advantage of Boulder’s dry climate. Most of the data center’s cooling is provided by filtered outside air via a hybrid air-side economizer, while a low-energy-use indirect evaporative cooling system supplements outside air when additional cooling is required. The indirect evaporative system blows air over water, producing a coolant without humidity that can damage sensitive computers. A “smart” control system brings outdoor air into the facility during much of the year and switches on the cooling system when a certain temperature threshold has been reached.

Prior to the installation, 35 kW-hours of energy per hour−enough to power approximately 28 homes−were required to cool the NSIDC. With this new HVAC system in place, annual energy consumption to cool the data center was decreased by approximately 95%. The upgraded HVAC system is helping to make the NSIDC one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the United States.

NSIDC received a grant for the cooling upgrade and other sustainability measures from the National Science Foundation under its Academic Research Infrastructure Program with additional support from NASA.

 

Photo credit:  Glenn Asakawa, University of Colorado
 


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