What is DC Plus?

DC Plus is a third-party program offered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that offers financial incentives to commercial customers who implement energy-saving improvements in their data centers. DC Plus serves data centers up to 30,000 square feet or 500 kW of IT load, with a specific focus on data centers embedded within commercial and institutional buildings. We specialize in helping data centers optimize the airflow and temperature of their data centers, bringing HVAC operations into optimal alignment with IT load requirements.

DC Plus services are provided at no cost to you, and go beyond a rapid audit or product offering. Instead, we provide a detailed assessment of a data center’s HVAC systems and look for specific, realistic ways to improve or upgrade equipment and operations. Our energy efficiency experts will also review your IT and power systems and look for additional energy-saving opportunities. Following the assessment, we’ll deliver a customized Assessment Report with recommendations to help get you on the path to energy efficiency.

Energy-Saving Improvements

The DC Plus Program works with you to identify specific, cost-effective improvements tailored for your data center’s systems and specific constraints. These might include:

  • Adding partitions, strip curtains, blanking panels and/or chimney cabinets
  • Repositioning/plugging holes in floor tiles
  • Optimizing cooling and humidity setpoints
  • Repairing HVAC economizers

There are additional incentives available for other specific equipment, like variable frequency drives for HVAC fans, network desktop computer power management, or other improvements approved by the DC Plus Program.

Benefits by the Numbers

Data centers that implement DC Plus recommendations can expect lower data center energy use, which can lead to a lower PUE. Improving energy efficiency can also lower your building’s operating costs. Plus, many DC Plus projects have simple payback periods of about two years, making it easy for you to help build the business case for improvements. Consider these facts:

  • Airflow management using an air-side economizer can reduce data center cooling costs by over 60%1
  • Implementation of airflow and temperature management strategies can result in fan energy savings of 70-90% and energy savings at the chiller of 15-20%2
  • In an airflow demonstration conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, airflow management strategies were estimated to lower total data center energy use by 5.4%3
  • In the same LBNL study, higher return air temperatures increased the capacity of computer room air handling units by 30-49%3

Source:

  1. PG&E 2012 Data Center Best Practices Guide: Energy efficiency solutions for high-performance data centers
  2. PG&E 2010 Data Center Air Management Research, Application Assessment Report #0912
  3. PG&E 2007 Data Center Air Management Report, Application Assessment Report #0517