Intelligent building automation platform for data centers
GE Intelligent Platforms and Ingersoll-Rand Plc have announced the signing of a cooperative agreement to develop an automation platform to meet the energy and operational efficiency needs of data centers. The two companies will work together to develop intelligent offerings that include the world-class industrial solutions of GE and HVAC expertise of Trane, a business of Ingersoll Rand.
“With data centers currently consuming 1.5 percent of the United States’ total electrical output, and expected to grow by 12% per year, productivity and efficiency in data centers is taking a front and center role,” said Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO of GE Intelligent Platforms. “The goal of this agreement is to help customers around the world reduce operating costs, increase energy efficiency, and extend the life of assets.”
GE and Ingersoll-Rand will work together to develop joint solutions for data center customers that tackle asset optimization, platform integration, reporting and analytics across systems, and remote monitoring and services enablers. The agreement between the two companies means that Ingersoll Rand has access to GE Intelligent Platforms’ Proficy Software Platform for visualization, Advanced Analysis and Modeling and Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics, Proficy Process Systems for integrated software and high availability hardware applications for industrial and redundant control application requirements.
“A need for interconnecting facilities and accessing real-time data is driving a convergence between building automation and IT systems,” said Joel Lehman, vice president of global controls and smart products for Ingersoll-Rand. “The future trend is for data centers to become ‘intelligent’ through the use of integrated building control systems that incorporate an open architecture, integrated software tools allowing for information analysis, and integrated hardware infrastructure allowing for real-time control and management of the building functions including critical systems.”
The companies have worked together on a solution for GE’s Ohio-based data center which features 29,000 sq-ft of raised floor – equivalent to six professional basketball courts – and includes more than 3,800 IT systems. The data center consumes 24 million kWh of power each year. To help with the reduction of water and energy, GE is updating the data center with nearly 30 products from nine different GE businesses including power quality, chilled water, electrical, security and IT services equipment, coupled with Trane integrated systems with equipment and controls. This solution resulted in reducing annual energy consumption in the data center by more than 11 percent and water usage by 20 percent.
“Ultimately, this collaboration between GE and Ingersoll-Rand improves the overall value of the building through solid operations management, performance and efficiency,” continued Sylvester. “By integrating all of the pieces that both companies bring to the table, we can effectively impact 60 percent of building energy use.”
The first solution the two companies will bring to market is called Tracer XT a unique platform specifically designed to integrate, manage and optimize critical facility systems. The solution has the ability to integrate unlimited real-time applications including security, fire, safety as well as HVAC and power distribution and monitoring using over 150 common communications protocols. It includes a hi-speed time stamp database to allow for high-speed data collection, recording over 50,000 events per second. These combined solutions will also deliver a high level of availability and uptime by combining the strategies of redundancy of equipment, controls and workstations. The combination of Trane control solutions with GE’s industrial platforms provides an unprecedented breadth of capabilities and solutions.
Ingersoll-Rand employees will be required to participate in a data center certification program to ensure that data center customers get the best of both Trane and GE in their critical system projects. This effort is part of the Trane High Performance Building strategy designed to link the physical environment of a building to business outcomes such as uptime performance and energy and operating efficiency.
This data center effort is part of GE’s ecomagination business strategy, designed to build innovative technologies and solutions that help customers address environmental and financial needs. GE is pursuing inclusion of the Trane/GE data center solution in the ecomagination portfolio.
GE Intelligent Platforms
– Edited by Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com