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How Intesa Sanpaolo Cut its “Invisible” Inefficiencies

February 07, 2013

Sometimes the most important energy problems are ones we can’t see. Unlike pollution streaming from a power plant or exhaust billowing from a car’s tailpipe, other forms of pollution and waste are not so easy to spot.

We rarely think about how our Information Age is powered: how the emails move back and forth between computers or how our favorite blog or news site is always online. The power comes from massive data centers, of course: nearly invisible, energy-guzzling behemoths that power our technology-driven lives. A recent commentary piece in the Providence Journal noted that each square meter of floor space in a data center can use as much power as an entire average U.S. household. And a large part of that energy consumption isn’t the actual servers, but the cooling systems needed to keep the centers from overheating.

Trane uses its high performance building expertise to help companies around the world improve the energy efficiency of their data centers. It recently worked with Intesa Sanpaolo, one of the top banks in the Euro Zone, to help upgrade the infrastructure at its data center in Parma, Italy. The data center now has reliable, efficient and capable cooling technology that is critical to its operations and the environment.

Some of the solutions include replacing two low-efficiency 400 kilowatt (kW) air-cooled chillers with one high-efficiency 1,000 kW water-cooled system and installing a Tracer Summit™ chiller plant management system to control 7,500 kW of cooling production and distribution. The control system reduced the number of chillers required to efficiently operate the chiller plant, and overall the improvements to the facility’s chilled water plant are expected to increase energy efficiency by 16 percent.

The dramatic improvement to the data center’s efficiency led Trane to present Intesa Sanpaolo with its Energy Efficiency Leader Award. It is just one example of how companies around the world are taking steps to improve even the “invisible” inefficiencies.