Simply by visualizing where hot spots and cooling inefficiencies existed and moving to address them, Toyota Motor Sales USA has been able to reduce the electricity demand requirements it puts on its local utility.
During a five-year pilot program with IBM and Southern California Edison, Toyota was actually able to switch off two computer room air-conditioners even while maintaining a cooler ambient air temperature and reducing hot spots throughout its facility, according to a press release issued today by the companies.
The pilot relied on software from IBM Research called IBM Measurement and Management Technologies. The software uses thermal readings from floor to ceiling in a data center facility and creates a three-dimensional chart that can be used to find power and cooling inefficiencies. Such as poorly planned duct-work design or positioning of equipment.
Using the toolset, Toyota was able to improve the air flow in the data center, address chilled air leakage problems, and better match cooling capabilities to actual IT power consumption. It also used the information to develop a system for keeping better track of exhaust and inlet area temperatures. An assessment by Southern California Edison verified that these actions have helped reduce energy demand in the data center by more than 10 percent. The utility is studying the IBM tool's potential uses for other clients in its service area.