BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
This case-study is nominated for a Buildy award on ADR.
NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions which facilitate accelerated business breakthroughs and outstanding cost efficiency. NetApp’s dedication to principles of simplicity, innovation, and customer success has made them one of the fastest-growing storage and data management providers today. NetApp is currently a Fortune 1000 company with more than 6,500 employees and 94,000 installations distributed throughout over 138 countries. NetApp offers proven data center solutions portfolio to a worldwide enterprise of customers outpacing the industry by three times.
NetApp’s corporate headquarters are located in Sunnyvale, California. The NetApp headquarters features seven (7) buildings totaling 1,000,000 sq. ft of data center, office, lab and amenities and they spend 89% of its annual $7.7M utility bill on electricity. Headquarters required 7.2 MW peak power demand with 54M kW-h annual. NetApp was already using cogeneration measures to produce 2MW.
For NetApp the decision to turn towards ADR measures came naturally. NetApp has always been an environmentally conscience organization and the ADR program is just one of many ways to not only reduce energy consumption for the buildings at NetApp; but also during a high energy demand days within California. This also allows the California utilities to not start up coal fired peaker plants, which directly increases CO2 emissions when they have to operate them. On a corporate level, NetApp reached out on several fronts in order to set the stage for increased sustainability and energy efficiency. In order to develop a more interactive team and to increase management participation, NetApp increased the level of partnership between IT, Lab Engineering and WPR (facilities). NetApp developed a relationship with the City in order to foster the on-going relationship beyond new construction. Most importantly, NetApp reached out the local energy service provider in order to increase the level of partnership and to take advantage of the lucrative incentive based energy reduction programs through Automated Demand Response (ADR).
The program focused on three areas; partnerships, energy reduction and system interfaces. Partnerships were critical in the success of the energy management programs. NetApp turned its’ attention inward, towards NetApp’s own internal work groups aiming to foster a company culture committed to understanding the impact of sustainability. Overall, NetApp sought to develop a more interactive team and increase the participation of management.
NetApp also realized the importance of fostering a direct relationship with the utility. NetApp quickly became aware and well versed on the lucrative energy reduction incentive programs as well as Automated Demand Response (ADR) offered by their utility, PG&E.
The goal of the program was quite simply energy reduction and NetApp set to conquer this by controlling system resets and implementing demand response to load shed during peak hours. NetApp implemented various reset ranges for all equipment, adding additional hardware for more accurate control and changes to the actual space environment to increase equipment utilization. NetApp focused on the interoperability of their buildings’ systems and turned towards open standards to create system interfaces for their existing disparate building automation systems (Automated Logic), metering systems (PML ION), power distribution units (Server Technologies) and Uninterruptible Power Supply/UPS (Active Power).
NetApp needed an intelligent middleware infrastructure in place that would
aggregate, normalize and make available all of the data from the disparate
building systems and allow data to pass bi-directionally from the building
systems to PG&E’s demand response automation server (DRAS) via web services.
NetApp turned towards Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence, Inc. and the RZ
Mediator to facilitate this capabilities gap. The Mediator™ is an intelligent middleware solution comprised of both hardware and software which is designed and built upon the open sourced technologies of Linux and Python. The domain agnostic integration framework facilitates communication with a number of disparate protocols and the MPX software framework plays a central role in the integration process by normalizing both IP and legacy serial based protocols allowing for intra-protocol communication, the uniform application of services such as logging, and the common presentation of information that is sourced from the array of intelligent machines found in buildings. The Mediator also facilitates trending and reporting of ADR events and is used for measurement and verification for ADR program participation. The RZ Mediator provides and intelligence layer which provides custom logic and advanced math between all integrated building systems, and COV to maximize data management efficiency and the ability to consume any application/web service into local residing logic and math application.
The benefits of an intelligent middleware solution are immeasurable; facilitating systems interoperability, creating the opportunity for ADR technology best practices and facilitating reliability of these practices. By minding the capability gap, the intelligent middleware device brings building systems and enterprise services together through communication, data, integration and services. Validation of the implemented Automated Demand Response (ADR) measures came a hot summer day in August of 2007. Since the RZ Mediator is constantly ‘listening’ for events, the Mediator was able to consume a pending ADR event when PG&E issued a Stage 3 alert through the DRAS. Instead of receiving the typical ‘0’, the Mediator received a ‘1’ which automatically notified the Controls Engineer, Dave Shroyer, via an Email & SMS message to his mobile phone. Dave Shroyer has the system set up to send out notification automatically to the employees of the pending ADR event and had the ability to either accept or reject the pending ADR event. Feeling confident that the control strategies within all building systems were set to take full advantage of the ADR event, David Shroyer accepted the event. Upon notification form the DRAS the Mediator triggered NetApp’s pre-set control strategies for load reduction; lights were dimmed and temperature setpoints were raised. Within ten (10) minutes, NetApp was able to automatically reduce peak power by nearly 1 MW (936 KW).
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