5 Myths About Getting an Installed Thermal Upgrade

Mark Silnes •

Improvements in data center performance and energy efficiency remain hot topics in the data center world. Managers are often under a spotlight when it comes to improving in these areas, yet put off making beneficial changes. The following five reactions are what we hear most often at Vertiv when asking a customer why he or she does not want to upgrade their equipment.

1. It’s not in my budget. Budget is often the number one reason a customer does not consider upgrading his/her thermal equipment. Customers don't have funds for either operating or capital budget. However, there are many other options rather than simply using budgeted dollars. Financing equipment is quite common. In fact, approximately 70 percent of businesses finance equipment. Why not finance an installed thermal upgrade? These upgrades deliver a return on investment (ROI) with operational savings greater than the financing costs. You can finance against your operating budget, spread the payments out over time, conserve cash, and preserve credit lines. This allows the savings to more than cover the cost of the upgrade.

Another option to consider is that a Liebert® variable speed drive (VSD) upgrade typically pays for itself in two years or less. For every 20 percent decrease in fan speed, you can save nearly 50 percent in energy consumption. This can add up to thousands of dollars in annual savings. Pair the fast return with an energy rebate, and you could have your money back even quicker.

The last budget friendly option is the potential for utility rebates. Since they are becoming very common, many customers are leveraging rebates to cover part of the installation cost. Most areas of the United States offer energy rebates. You just need to check with your energy provider.

2. I can't take my equipment offline. All installed upgrades for Liebert VSDs and electrically commutated (EC) fans are tied back to the control of the unit. This means the cooling and the speed control operate together to provide the optimal outcome and will always work together to maintain the thermal control you have come to trust from Liebert products. These upgrades can be done very quickly by professionals and will require minimal downtime for any one specific unit. Backup cooling can also be used as needed, but is not necessary to complete an upgrade.

3. I don't have time to evaluate the change or select the right options and configurations. You likely don't have time to evaluate the multiple solutions available, investigate rebates or energy efficiencies of those solutions, and are too busy with the day-to-day operation of the data center. We understand and know that your time is valuable.

One of our sales representatives can assist with all of these worries. He/she can provide all the information and explanations, develop an ROI on each solution, and assist you with putting together a package for upper management approval. We have application engineers to assist with any technical questions. They will provide you with all the support you need throughout the project approval phase. We also install the product and manage the project through completion with a goal of minimizing effort on your part.

4. I’m not convinced this really works. Do they really save energy? Yes! VSDs have been used on air handlers and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for many years with proven performance and savings. In fact, QTS Realty Trust, a leading provider of custom data centers, colocation, and cloud and managed services, is a great example of how Vertiv helped meet efficiency goals. QTS wanted to yield a full return on their investment in 2.5 years and to add advanced monitoring capabilities to their data center. Vertiv installed EC fans and Liebert iCOM™ control systems into 64 cooling units and installed wireless sensors for monitoring of cooling improvements. The results exceeded the expectations of QTS. The company earned a $150,000 energy rebate, initially saved $12,000 per month in energy costs, reduced their carbon footprint, and improved their Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) by 0.16. Read the full case study.

5. I need to integrate with the building management system (BMS). Don’t worry, our latest upgrades have simpler controls to connect to your BMS or to the cloud, and can communicate more detail than ever before. We can provide you with more ways to communicate to our units, more tools to make it simpler, and can assist you with selecting the right tools and methods for your specific needs. Basically, we’ve made BMS integration simple and painless with easy access to the information you need.

Thermal system upgrades save energy consumption by as much as 76 percent. In addition to improved protection, they deliver significant savings with a fast ROI.

If you want to learn more about thermal upgrade options, check out our energy efficiency eBook, or complete our form to have your local sales representative contact you.

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