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man installs fan
Installation work in January

ITS and Facilities Services have installed new air conditioner units in the ITS Manning data center to reduce the center’s carbon footprint.

Over one week in January, ITS led the effort to replace 16 fans – from energy-wasting belt fans to more efficient direct drive fans – at the ITS Manning data center. Installing these new computer room air conditioning units (CRACS) will decrease the center’s carbon emissions.

The previous fans, which had been in use since ITS Manning opened in 2007, worked individually. Some of these fans could heat and others cool simultaneously – an inefficient use of energy. Unlike the previous fans, which ran 24/7, these new fans will operate like an at-home AC system, said Ray DeCristofaro, Director for Enterprise Operations for ITS Infrastructure & Operations.

The main advantage of these new fans, said Mike Harris, Facility Manager for Infrastructure & Operations, is that they are connected through a control system. ITS will now be able to monitor and control the fans collectively so that there is no unnecessary energy usage.

AC unit
A completed unit

The energy-saving system will not be implemented until all fans have been installed. The upgrade is expected to reduce the center’s fan energy consumption by almost 80%.

Harris said the team had to overcome a slight learning curve while installing these new fans. They had installed only two fans after the first two days but were able to start installing two fans per day the rest of the week. The installation is nearly done.

“I am especially proud of the great care and attention that Ray DeCristofaro, Mike Harris and the rest of the Data Center Operation’s team members provide to ensure safe operations of our data center facilities and the environmental protection of our campus technology assets,” said John Mack, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure & Operations.

This work helps advance the University’s pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

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