McGill University Main IT Data Center Return
on investment
1.5 Reduced years 149 Metric tons
Saved 250k $CAN
on energy bill

Our Client

McGill University

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

McGill University’s Burnside building hosts the mathematics and geography departments, as well as the data center that serves the entire university, this means over 30 000 users located throughout the campus. Its hardware equipment generates over 400 kW of heating, a number which should double in the upcoming years and which represents more than 80 traditional hovens operating at full throttle.

Energy Efficiency Measures

Air conditioners with a centrifugal fan, variable frequency drive & electronically commutated motor (ECM)

New pressurization & humidification systems

Insulation of the slab of concrete in the data center

New heat exchanger for free cooling

Redirection of the condenser fluid to the heat exchanger connected to the Otto Maass building

Project Benefits

Free cooling is now possible with the addition of a heatexchanger in the chilled water loop. This modification reduced the annual electrical consumption for air conditioning by 55%: $ 50 000.00 in electricity is being saved every year ! During the heating season, heat generated by the servers is being transferred to the Chemistry building (Otto Maas Building) instead of being rejected to the atmosphere. An annual amount of $ 115 000.00 is also being saved ! Those two source of annual savings represent a total amount of $ 165 000.00 being saved year after year! In addition to the previous savings, the cooling tower of the building now operates during a reduced number of hours and at lower loads: 5000 cubic meters of domestic water are also saved every year.

The new system offers many advantages: it does not require any additional water from the city or any chemical additives; the server room is cleaner, greener, more silent and less maintenance is necessary because there are no belts, compressors or refrigerants. The server room’s humidity will be managed more efficiently. Further to this energy efficiency project, only 160 kW of cooling capacity are sufficient to cool down 400 kW of heating generated by IT equipment. This number drops to 40 kW thanks to free cooling when outside temperature is below 0°C.