Early adoption pays off for local data center

Climate Wizard air systems
"Shifting the load off of our conventional refrigerant-based cooling resources and transferring it to an ultra-efficient technology like Climate Wizard, allows us to operate more efficiently."

Be an early adopter

On a scorching hot mid-summer day in Sacramento, air conditioning systems all around town are constantly running, consuming huge amounts of power. Imagine the amount of energy needed to cool a data center facility where your businesses' valuable data is stored. A critical function of all data centers is to maintain consistently low temperatures to keep rows of servers and other equipment running and cool at all times.

Data centers never shut down, keeping 24/7 operations. Data center managers are tightly focused on data/IT issues, and one forward thinking Sacramento area data center pushed for more than just keeping their systems working properly, they were on the hunt for more energy efficiency.

SMUD Director Dave Tamayo, Datacate Chairman Damon Brown, Datacate Vice President Ed LaFrance, BERC Director Clark Whitten

Left to right: SMUD Director Dave Tamayo, Datacate Chairman Damon Brown, Datacate Vice President Ed LaFrance, BERC Director Clark Whitten.

This is the story of a local data center, Datacate, which embarked on an opportunity to work with SMUD's Energy Research & Development team to bring a new pilot HVAC product to its headquarters facility. This pilot project has the potential to greatly reduce Datacate's draw of electricity, especially on scorching hot summer days. Datacate worked with SMUD to install and test an indirect evaporation system - Climate Wizard - which was previously demonstrated as effective in dramatically reducing cooling loads for 2 other SMUD business customers, but had yet to be tested in a data center environment.

"Chris James, Datacate's co-founder and president, was instrumental in getting this project off the ground," said Bruce Baccei, SMUD's Energy Research & Development project manager who saw the efficiency and savings potential of brining Climate Wizard to a data center. "Chris is a forward-thinking, early-adopting business owner who had heard of the technology and also started researching Climate Wizard."

Keeping it cool with Climate Wizard

Climate Wizard air systems

Climate Wizard is an air conditioner with an indirect evaporative heat exchange core that provides hyper-efficient cooling. It delivers 100% fresh, cool, outside air, with greatly reduced energy consumption and no added humidity. Climate Wizard is made by an Australian company, Seeley International, and will soon be manufactured in Denver, Colorado. It has the potential to use up to 90% less energy than an equivalent refrigerated system performing the same duty. The cold air produced by Climate Wizard can be similar to that produced by refrigerated systems.

"Indirect evaporation systems add no humidity and get more efficient as Sacramento's dry climate gets hotter, whereas typical air conditioners drop in efficiency just when you need it the most as summer days and nights heat up," says Baccei.

"Shifting the load off of our conventional refrigerant-based cooling resources and transferring it to an ultra-efficient technology like Climate Wizard, allows us to operate more efficiently, add more capacity to our data center and lower our operating costs, which in turn helps us stay competitive," says Edward LaFrance, co-founder and vice president of business development at Datacate.

Early adopting and forward thinking

Once the forward thinking owners of Datacate and SMUD's Energy Research & Development team came up with the terms of the pilot, the research and business goals aligned with assistance from SMUD's Commercial & Industrial Account Solutions team who helped move the pilot project forward.

Datacate contracted with L&H Airco, a controls company out of Rocklin, to install 3 new Climate Wizards to work in sync with Datacate's existing conventional cooling system on their facility's rooftop in November of 2016. SMUD's pilot will continue with Datacate through 2017 to monitor the results of the system. This pilot is helping build a case for bringing more ultra-efficient cooling technologies to other customers in the future.

"The anticipated energy savings we expect from our Climate Wizards will help us lower our energy use per unit of service delivered. In turn, we can increase our data center utilization, doing much more for our customers while using less energy," said James.

SMUD's Strategic Account Advisors like Brian Dwyer, whose spotlight can be seen below, are the gateway for you to become an early adopting business owner too. Email us to connect with your Strategic Account Advisor today.

About Datacate

Datacate is an internet technology company that owns and operates a data center in Rancho Cordova. The company was started by a team of 4 professionals with expertise in a variety of backgrounds. They used the synergies of their respective skills and formed Datacate, Inc. in 2012. As an environmentally responsible company, Datacate is continually looking for ways to improve the company's sustainability practices and reduce waste. The Business Environmental Resource Center awarded Datacate with a Sacramento Area Sustainable Business award in 2016 for energy conservation, and they were presented with a resolution by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors along with the other 2016 award winners. Datacate is quick to invest in sustainable efforts like new LED lighting upgrades, cold containment solutions and pilot projects like this one with Climate Wizard.


Brian Dwyer, Supervisor, Commercial & Industrial Account Solutions

This month, we'd like to introduce you to Brian Dwyer, a supervisor in SMUD's Commercial & Industrial Account Solutions team. Brian works with commercial business customers and supervises and mentors a group of 4 strategic account advisors.

Email us to connect with your Strategic Account Advisor today.

To find out how SMUD can help your business, visit smud.org/WeMeanBusiness, or call 1-877-622-SMUD (7683). To locate your dedicated strategic account advisor, email us at smb@smud.org.


Energy workshops and training

SMUD hosts workshops and trainings that fit your business needs. Classes cover a range of energy related topics like lighting, solar energy and energy efficiency for your business. Download the new January - June, 2017 class schedule for commercial businesses.

SMUD's Energy Education & Technology Center's workshops are held at 6301 S Street, Sacramento. Workshops are free unless otherwise noted and open to anyone wishing to enroll. Register at smud.org/Workshops.