16 August, 2012 — The $7 million Melbourne Water Data Centre, which was awarded a merit in the National iAward for Sustainability and Green IT, has managed to save 40 per cent in energy consumption for the operation of the cooling system with one of Australia’s first “free cooling” systems.

Norman Disney & Young senior associate and Victorian critical sector manager John Boatto said the facility had been designed using an indirect free cooling solution, which used ambient external conditions to provide cooling with the use of refrigeration cycles, with the aim of reducing overall energy consumption used for cooling.

“The free cooling and rack air containment technologies, such as using chimney racks and return air plenums to separate the hot discharge air from the IT equipment from the cooling air has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in energy consumption,” Mr Boatto said.

“This equates to a saving for Melbourne Water of over $40,000, or 600 tonnes of CO2, per annum for the life of the facility and further savings will result as Melbourne Water’s IT system grows.”.

Mr Boatto said all premium quality new data centres were concentrating efforts on reducing their energy requirements with energy savings of more than 50 per cent available from cooling systems alone.

See iAwards: Melbourne and Queensland innovations sustainability winners