Posted by: Electric Thoughts™ | June 17, 2013

Intelligent Efficiency

Intelligent Efficiency, The Next New Thing.

Greentech Media’s senior editor Stephen Lacey reported that the convergence of the internet and distributed energy are contributing to a new economic paradigm for the 21st century.

Intelligent efficiency is the next new thing enabled by that paradigm, he says, in a special report  of the same name.  He also notes that this isn’t the “stale, conservation-based energy efficiency Americans often think about.”  He says that the new thinking around energy efficiency is information-driven.  It is granular. And it empowers consumers and businesses to turn energy from a cost into an asset.

I couldn’t agree more.

Consider how this contrast in thinking alone generates possibilities for resources that have been hidden or economically unavailable until now.

Conservation-based thinking or, as I think about it in data centers, “efficiency by design or replacement,” is capital intensive.  To date, this thinking has been focused on new construction, physical infrastructure change, or equipment swap-outs.  These efforts are slow and can’t take advantage of operational variations such as the time-varying costs of energy.

Intelligent energy efficiency thinking, on the other hand, leverages newly available information enabled by networked devices and wireless sensors  to make changes primarily through software.  Intelligent energy management is non-disruptive and easier to implement.  It reduces risk by offering greater transparency.   And, most importantly, it is fast.  Obstacles to the speed of implementation – and the welcome results of improved efficiency – have been removed by technology.

Intelligence is the key factor here.  You can have an efficient system, an efficient design, but if it isn’t operated effectively, it is inherently inefficient.  For example, you may deploy one perfectly efficient machine right next to another perfectly efficient machine believing that you have installed a state-of-the-art solution.  In reality, it’s more likely that these two machines are interacting and fighting with each other – at significant energy cost.   You also need to factor in and be able to track equipment degradation as well as the risks incurred by equipment swap-outs.

You need the third element – intelligence – working in tandem with efficient equipment, to make sure that the whole system works at peak level and continues to work at peak level, regardless of the operating conditions.  This information flow must be constant.  Even the newest, most perfectly optimized data centers will inevitably change.

Kudos to Greentech Media for this outstanding white paper and for highlighting how this new thinking and the” blending of real-time communications with physical systems”  is changing the game for energy efficiency.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: