Small Embedded Data Center Program Pilot

This research aimed to develop a non-intrusive, low-cost method for measuring power usage in data centers. Gather information needed to pilot a cost-effective, industry accepted utility program for SEDCs.

A 2016 U.S. DOE-funded study estimated that data centers used about 70 billion kWh of electricity (about 1.8% of the total electricity used in the U.S.). Small embedded data centers (SEDCs) are the server closets and server rooms typically found on site in businesses and offices, and about half of all U.S. servers are located in SEDCs. SEDCs are one of the fastest growing end uses of electrical energy in commercial buildings. By various accounts, as much as one third of the electricity used by SEDCs is unnecessary.

This project developed, implemented, and assessed a pilot program targeting SEDCs in Minnesota, with the intent of helping utility programs deliver cost-effective energy savings.

This report includes three main tasks:

  1. The market characterization of SEDCs in Minnesota,

  2. The field study to assess energy use at selected sites and measure savings of installeed measures, and

  3. The dissemination of the study’s results to stakeholders such as businesses, institutions, and utilities throughout Minnesota.

Full Report (PDF)
Small Embedded Data Center Program Pilot

This project supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program.