Data center cooling system upgrades will be a popular improvement in 2016, according to a new survey from Emerson Network Power. Over 51% of data centers in the U.S. and Canada are either in the process of performing an upgrade or plan to begin one in the next 12 months. The findings, which showed 20% in the process and 31% projecting to perform upgrades soon, also reveal that 62% of upgrades are in data centers under 10,000 square feet and just 18% are in data centers larger than 50,000 square feet.
Variable speed drives were the most popular improvement, present in 43% of upgrades, followed closely by thermal controls to optimize variable speed technology performance (41%), and economizers at 40%. While upgrades are clearly rising in popularity, the process is not without hurdles, with receiving budget approval being cited as the most difficult part of the upgrade process.
Respondents noted a variety of drivers behind the large amount of upgrades, including better reliability, improved energy efficiency, and more capacity. Green goals also received a mention, with 39% saying that improvements would need to meet state energy goals, 32% citing ENERGY STAR requirements, and 23% citing LEED credits.
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