Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What's the maximum temperature of your server room?

Server room temperature is one of the most important metrics in any data center environment. Keeping computer equipment at a consistent temperature and humidity point is a critical part of a facility manager's job, and there is a long list of necessary tools that can assist in this endeavor.
That being said, it's incredibly important for data center managers to stay informed of the guidelines they should be following in keeping their facilities in tip-top shape. A disparity of one or two degrees in either direction may not seem like much, but it can make a huge difference in the long run.
What is the maximum temperature a server room can comfortably operate at? What is the minimum? The answers to these questions will give IT managers an idea of the accepted range at which they can keep their facilities.

Baseline standards

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is the body that governs the standard for the accepted air temperature and humidity ranges for data center environments. ASHRAE's Technical Committee 9.9 determined in 2011 that a class A1 data center should maintain a temperature between 59 degrees Fahrenheit and 89.6 degrees F, as well as a relative humidity of 20 percent to 80 percent. ASHRAE recommends that facilities should not exceed these guidelines.

Servers should be kept between 89.6 degrees F and 59 degrees F.Servers should be kept between 89.6 degrees F and 59 degrees F.

Evolving requirements and possibilities

ASHRAE's guidelines are constantly in flux, having changed in 2004, 2008 and 2011. Therefore, it helps for data center managers to be well educated and well read when it comes to these changing requirements. For instance, according to Data Center Knowledge contributor Yevgeniy Sverdlik, in 2015, ASHRAE was looking at widening the relative-humidity envelope for data centers to support increased efficiency.
There are some facilities that are taking the temperature beyond the current accepted envelope. For example, Google's Belgium data center operates at a staggering 95 degrees F. This is helping to curb cooling costs and decrease the environmental impact of these huge computing facilities.

Why is this important?

Data center temperature is, as previously mentioned, one of the main metrics for IT managers to watch closely. When equipment temperatures stray outside the accepted ranges, stressful situations can occur.
For instance, when the environment is too warm, overheating can occur, which can result in unexpected server downtime. According to Datacenter Dynamics contributor Penny Jones, this very thing happened to a Microsoft data center in 2013, which caused servers associated with the Outlook and SkyDrive services to experience an unplanned outage.
"The goal is to maintain the highest temperature possible while ensuring that servers won't overheat."
It's possible for servers to be too cool, as well. While this may not result in any server downtime, data center managers may not want to look at their electricity bill if they're keeping their computing rooms at certain chillier temperatures. The environmental impact of keeping servers this cool is also certainly not negligible. The goal, then, is to keep facilities at the highest temperature possible while at the same time ensuring that servers won't overheat.
Keeping server rooms below the maximum temperature and above the minimum is important for business continuity and efficiency in the long run. Some important questions remain, however: How do managers know their facilities' temperatures at all times? How do they keep temps within the acceptable range uniformly?
Maintaining a strict minimum and maximum server temperature is a critical part of the job of data center managers. By installing an effective cooling management solution like Geist Cool, facilities can minimize the chance of unplanned downtime and, by the same coin, keep their electricity costs low. Containment solutions can help facilities stay efficient and increase loads without spending extra money on cooling equipment.

Monday, April 24, 2017

AKCP SPC+ solusi power monitoring Rack Anda

AKCP baru saja merelease solusi terbaru mereka, yaitu Power Monitoring. Dalam solusi Power Monitoring ini menggunakan Smart Power Controller (SPC+) dan Power Strip (PS+).

SPC+ dapat digunakan pada existing power strip / PDU dan ini sangat sesuai karena :

  1. Tersedia opsi dalam bentuk 1U (horisontal) atau 0U (vertical) dipasang di rak.
  2. Dapat digunakan sebagai monitoring 8 rack dengan menggunakan Basic Expansion Bus (BEB).
  3. Memiliki kemampuan Power switching sehingga dapat digunakan untuk mematikan power di rak terkait dengan adanya bahaya Fire atau UPS yang kehabisan daya.
  4. Dapat dipasang Thermal map sensors untuk memonitor titik panas dalam rak (hotspots)
  5. Suhu dan tegangan digunakan untuk melakukan pengaturan yang tepat mencapai optimal pembacaan PUE

Dengan mudah AKCP SPC+ dimasukkan ke dalam existing Rak. Tinggal memilih type yang 1U atau 0U.


Type 1U


Type 0U.

SPC+ juga digunakan dalam kombinasi hingga 8 rak dengan menggunakan BEB.


Dan tinggal menambahkan jenis sensor lain dari AKCP untuk melengkapi kemampuan SPC+



Berikut detail spesifikasinya :



Kontak kami segera untuk kebutuhan monitoring power Anda, dan temukan kemudahan implementasi dan pengukuran PUE data center Anda.






Thursday, April 13, 2017

Data centres decline as users turn to rented servers (cloud)

data centre
Credit: LinkedIn
Data centers are declining worldwide both in numbers and square footage, according to IDC -- a remarkable change for an industry that has seen booming growth for many years.
Users are consolidating data centers and increasingly renting server power. These two trends are having a major impact on data center space.
The number of data centers worldwide peaked at 8.55 million in 2015, according to IDC. That figure began declining last year, and is expected to drop to an expected 8.4 million this year. By 2021, the research firm expects there to be 7.2 million data centers globally, more than 15% fewer than in 2015.
The global square footage of data centers, after recent boom times, is also expected to slide. In 2013, data centers totalled 1.6 billion square feet. That was when big service providers like Amazon, Microsoft and Google were building huge data center complexes -- pushing square footage globally to 1.8 billion this year.
But IDC expects that number to decline from now on. Cloud adoption is a major reason for the trend.
Consider the adoption of Office 365, said Tad Davies, who heads consulting services at Bick Group, a data center consultancy. "Easy to move to and eliminates infrastructure in my data center," he said. "Same for CRM."
Consolidation is also playing a role, said Davies, as are new approaches to computing. New firms are adopting "cloud first" strategies, he said. "As they grow into larger organizations, the data center is never created."
Large users -- especially the U.S. government -- have been shrinking their data center space to drive efficiency. Better server utilization often means more consolidation.
While the biggest decline is affecting in-house data centers, said IDC, service provider data centers continue to expand. But even there, the pace of growth is moderating as the market matures.
Despite stagnant growth, data centers are still needed, Davies said. That's because there's limits to what can go into the cloud.
"Many applications that end users have built and further refined over the years are not cloud compatible," he said. "To get there requires significant re-architecture as well as investment."
The cloud is not necessarily less expensive than an on-premise operation, said Davies. But it does provide speed, flexibility and an operating expense, or OPEX, model.
In terms of revenue, the data center system market, which includes software and hardware, is barely growing, according to research firm Gartner.
"Enterprises are moving away from buying servers from the traditional vendors and instead renting server power in the cloud from companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft," John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "This has created a reduction in spending on servers, which is impacting the overall data center system segment."
Last year, spending on data centers declined 0.1%, said Gartner. This year it's expected to increase by only 0.3%.
 sumber: https://www.mis-asia.com/tech/cloud-computing/data-centres-decline-as-users-turn-to-rented-servers/

Friday, April 7, 2017

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies - 8

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies

Chapter Description

This chapter discusses methods for limiting the environmental impact that occurs during the construction of a Data Center through decisions concerning physical location, choice of building materials, landscaping choices and jobsite construction practices.

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Summary

When evaluating a potential Data Center site, consider local factors including electrical mix, weather conditions, building codes, and work-force proximity because each of these influence how green your facility can be.
Durable building materials need replacement less often and, therefore, consume fewer resources. Pick materials composed of renewable resources, recycled content, or substances that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Also choose items with less-embodied energy and embodied emissions.
Maintain good air quality by using building components such as paints, carpeting, and office equipment that have little or no volatile organic compounds, and be sure to thoroughly ventilate the building during construction.
Choose energy-efficient building fixtures and appliances such as lighting components, office electronics, power strips, kitchen appliances, and plumbing fixtures.
Insulate the Data Center from external temperatures by placing it at the center of the building. Employing a distributed design for the Data Center's structured cabling requires less cabling, thereby reducing the amount of materials that are consumed, than a direct-connect design.
Several green features can be incorporated into the exterior of your building including highly reflective cool roofs or vegetation-bearing living roofs, each of which reduce heat island effects. A photovoltaic system can also be installed—either on a rooftop or integrated into building surfaces—with its efficiency influenced by location, climate, sun exposure, and air quality.
Landscaping affects the thermal load, water usage, air quality, and other green elements of your building. Choose drought tolerant and low maintenance plants and strategically place trees to shade buildings and parking lots. Irrigate efficiently, use mulch to save water and reduce erosion, allow grass clippings to decompose on lawn areas, limit the use of pesticides, and avoid excess pruning.
Consider photovoltaic installations on the grounds of your site as well. Pervious concrete and porous asphalt allow water to pass through, reducing storm-water runoff and heat islands. You can use a rainwater collection system to gather an alternate source of water for nonpotable uses such as landscaping.
Reduce the environmental impact of your building construction site by establishing separate areas to store materials, unpackage fixtures, sort recyclables, collect salvageable items, and dispose of construction waste. Prohibit construction activity in sensitive portions of the site. Mitigate dust, smoke, and odors; control erosion and wastewater runoff; minimize noise and vibrations; and manage construction waste.
Have your building commissioned to ensure that its infrastructure systems work correctly in conjunction with one another. The scope of commissioning can vary, but systems that are commonly reviewed include HVAC, building management, primary and standby electrical, fire detection and suppression, plumbing, elevators, building envelope, roofing, and voice and data distribution.
You can implement several green design and build approaches just as effectively during the retrofit of an existing Data Center as during construction of a new facility.

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies - 7

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies

Chapter Description

This chapter discusses methods for limiting the environmental impact that occurs during the construction of a Data Center through decisions concerning physical location, choice of building materials, landscaping choices and jobsite construction practices.

From the Book

Grow a Greener Data Center
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Retrofitting an Existing Data Center

Although this chapter is written predominantly from the perspective of constructing an all-new Data Center, don't overlook green design and build possibilities for projects that involve upgrading your existing server environments. Although you won't be making a site selection decision, green strategies around building materials, building exteriors, and landscaping are still valid, and it's even more important to maintain good air quality around an already populated building than at a construction site.
Existing roofing systems can certainly be retrofitted with cool roofs, living roofs, or photovoltaic systems, and building commissioning can be done as easily on existing structures as on new ones.
Remember that if you retrofit a pre-existing server environment, you have already implemented one green element. You're reusing a structure rather than constructing something new and have, therefore, avoided consuming even more resources.

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies - 6

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies

Chapter Description

This chapter discusses methods for limiting the environmental impact that occurs during the construction of a Data Center through decisions concerning physical location, choice of building materials, landscaping choices and jobsite construction practices.

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Building Commissioning

Modern buildings are complex entities—those housing Data Centers are especially so. An effective way to ensure that a facility's various infrastructure systems are all working well is to have the building commissioned.
Commissioning involves a systematic review of equipment to make sure all components work according to their specifications and that interactions between equipment happens properly. The scope of commissioning can vary, both in terms of what phases of a project that a commissioning authority is involved in and what equipment is reviewed. Commissioning can be done on either new or existing buildings (sometimes called retrocommissioning).
For a new building, the process ideally begins with the initial planning of the project and continues through design, construction, and then post-construction stages, typically continuing for about a year after a building comes online so that potential warranty issues are identified and addressed. Simply commissioning at the end of a project is less effective because it does not allow potential shortcomings to be addressed in the planning or design stage.
Systems that are commonly commissioned include the following:
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems: Air conditioning and distribution, central heating and cooling, water-cooling delivery elements, pressure management systems, and variable frequency drives
  • Building management systems: Controls interfacing with HVAC, electrical, fire alarm, and security systems
  • Primary and standby electrical systems: Power distribution systems, lighting controls, automatic transfer switches, uninterruptible power supply systems, and generators
  • Fire detection and suppression systems: Fire detection equipment and alarms, notification systems, wet or dry sprinkler systems, gaseous fire suppression system, and the interface between detection and suppression components
  • Plumbing systems: Hot and cold water, sanitary waste, and storm drainage systems
  • Specialty systems: Elevators and escalators
  • Building elements: Building envelope, exterior curtain walls, and roofing structure
  • Voice and data distribution systems: Cabling, telephony systems, and networking equipment
How valuable is commissioning? An analysis of building commissioning projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy determined that commissioning uncovers an average of 28 deficiencies per new building and 11 per existing building. HVAC systems accounted for the most problems.
The 2004 study, The Cost-Effectiveness of Commercial-Buildings Commissioning, reviewed 175 commissioning projects conducted across the United States between 1984 and 2003 involving 224 buildings. It was conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Portland Energy Conservation, Inc., and Texas A&M University's Energy Systems Laboratory. Its authors concluded that "commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings" and estimated that buildings in the United States alone could realize $18 billion per year in energy savings.

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies - 5

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies

Chapter Description

This chapter discusses methods for limiting the environmental impact that occurs during the construction of a Data Center through decisions concerning physical location, choice of building materials, landscaping choices and jobsite construction practices.

From the Book

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Strategies for a Greener Construction Site

Construction sites have an inherent messiness to them. Dirt is kicked up as heavy machinery rumbles across the property. Mountains of packaging material form as building fixtures are unwrapped. Scrap building materials accumulate as items are cut to specific sizes. Even the minor leavings of lunches, multiplied by hundreds of people working on site for months, can have a significant impact upon the surrounding environment if not managed in some way.
It's therefore important that just as you design your Data Center to have less environmental impact, so too plan your construction site. Designate separate areas to store building materials, unpackage and assemble building fixtures and appliances, deposit recyclable items (packaging, bottles, and the like), deposit salvageable items (such as leftover building materials), and dispose of construction waste. If the property is undeveloped, carefully choose the makeshift roads that construction vehicles carve in to the property to limit disruption of the soil. Define vulnerable areas on the job site where construction activity is not allowed.
Other approaches to make the construction phase of your Data Center project greener include the following:
  • Mitigating dust, smoke, and odors: Effective dust control measures include limiting site traffic, reducing vehicle speeds, installing wind fencing, covering dirt piles, and watering regularly at the site.
  • Controlling erosion and waste-water runoff: Prevent sediment, debris, or other pollutants from entering nearby streams or storm drains by employing diversion ditches, silt fencing, and other retention structures. Minimize soil disturbance, limit grading to small areas, and place ground coverings over exposed areas.
  • Minimizing noise and vibrations: Newer construction equipment bearing muffling devices can be notably quieter and generate less-powerful vibrations than older systems. Install barriers, such as chain-link fencing mounted with plywood and sound-absorbing mats, at the start of the project. Set up temporary barriers around stationary construction activities known to generate noise (for example, a worker cutting notches in panels for a Data Center raised floor). Include noise-related financial incentives and penalties in your construction contracts so that on-site workers are accountable for noise mitigation. Measure on-site noise periodically.
  • Managing construction waste: Save money and make your Data Center project greener by reducing how much construction waste is produced and then reusing or recycling what is created. To reduce waste, standardize on building material sizes to make leftover stock less likely. Ask suppliers to consolidate packaging and take back transport materials such as pallets. Separate construction debris into recyclable and nonrecyclable materials; then seek out a local company that buys and resells secondhand construction materials to reuse your leftover materials.

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies - 4

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies

Chapter Description

This chapter discusses methods for limiting the environmental impact that occurs during the construction of a Data Center through decisions concerning physical location, choice of building materials, landscaping choices and jobsite construction practices.

From the Book

Grow a Greener Data Center
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Landscaping

Although not frequently given much consideration when planning a Data Center project, landscaping—encompassing not only lawns and vegetation but also the artificial surfaces on a property—has a significant effect on how green your facility is, influencing building heat loads, water usage, air quality, and other conditions.
Be strategic about what you plant on your land and where. That means not only using drought tolerant and low maintenance plants, but also placing trees in key locations to shade buildings and areas that can otherwise absorb and store unwanted heat, such as parking lots.
If your Data Center project involves building new structures, or expanding existing ones, don't indiscriminately move earth and demolish trees and other vegetation. The goal is to minimize disruption to the land and, where possible, reintegrate natural components. For instance, if you need to remove trees during construction, try to replant them elsewhere on the site.
Figure 3.1 shows workers relocating a tree to make way for Data Center construction. The tree was moved to a makeshift tree farm on the building site, shown in Figure 3.2.
Figure 3.1
Image provided by courtesy of Scott Smith.
Figure 3.1 Relocating a Tree
Figure 3.2
Image provided by courtesy of Scott Smith.
Figure 3.2 Temporary Tree Farm
In Figure 3.3, a few feet (one meter) of dirt is excavated from the ground floor of a building to make room for a sunken Data Center raised floor. Figure 3.4 shows the amount of soil removed from the building in a period of 24 hours.
Figure 3.3
Image provided by courtesy of Andy Broer.
Figure 3.3 Backhoe in the Data Center
Figure 3.4
Image provided by courtesy of Andy Broer.
Figure 3.4 Reusable Soil
To reduce water usage, avoid pollution, and reduce your maintenance costs, you need to implement good landscape management practices, including the following:
  • Irrigate efficiently: Don't overwater, which not only consumes more water, but can also cause vegetation to grow faster and, therefore, require additional maintenance.
  • Use mulch: Place mulch in planting areas to insulate foliage, reduce water usage, and limit erosion. Where possible, reuse plant clippings or wood waste from your own property as mulch.
  • Leave grass clippings on lawns: Grass clippings decompose over time. This is good for the lawn, providing nutrients from the clippings, avoiding the need to dispose of the green waste, and reducing water and fertilizer usage.
  • Limit pesticide usage: Consider solutions for controlling unwanted weeds and insects that don't involve chemicals so as to maintain good air quality.
  • Avoid excessive pruning: Pruning can trigger faster growth, requiring additional maintenance activity.
Be aware that many green elements that are effective for the exterior of your building can also be incorporated onto your overall property. For instance, the same advantages of implementing a cool roof—lowering energy consumption to cool a building and reducing heat islands—can be gained by implementing cool pavement, consisting of materials with high solar reflectance and thermal emittance.
Likewise, photovoltaic components can be installed on your property to harvest solar energy. Solar canopies for parking lots can perform double duty at a building site, both generating electricity and providing shade for employee vehicles. Street lamps are also available that can be powered by solar energy alone or by a combination of wind and solar energy.
Consider using pervious concrete or porous asphalt for paved locations on your property such as sidewalks, parking areas, and curb and gutter systems. Unlike conventional paving, pervious materials enable water to seep through. This reduces storm-water runoff, helps recharge groundwater, and better transfers cooler temperatures from the earth below to the pavement, reducing heat island effects. Rubberized asphalt, mentioned at the beginning of this chapter as a green material because it uses ground up scrap tires that would otherwise end up in landfills, is available in pervious form.
You can reduce water usage at your site by collecting and storing rainwater, using it for nondrinking activities such as watering vegetation and (after treating the water) flushing toilets. Rainwater harvesting equipment consists of a catchment (typically atop a building roof) to collect the water, a distribution system (angled roof features, gutters, downspouts), and a container to store it (a cistern).
How much water can you expect to collect? That depends upon the size of the catchment and how much rain falls in the region. To make an estimate, multiply the size of the collection area by the average amount of rainfall for a given period.
For instance, if your catchment area is 20 feet long by 50 feet wide and the area receives 24 inches of rain per year, that's 20 feet x 50 feet x (24 inches / 12) = 2000 cubic feet of water. Multiply by 7.48 to convert to gallons; 2000 cubic feet x 7.48 = 14,960 gallons.
Using metric figures, that's a 6.1 meters x 15.2 meters x (61 centimeters / 100) = 56.6 cubic meters of water. Multiply by 1,000 to convert to liters; 56.6 cubic meters x 1000 = 56,600 liters. (Note: The end calculations of 14,960 gallons and 56,600 liters don't convert exactly due to rounding of metric measurements.)
This is an idealized number because it does not account for water spillage or evaporation, both of which reduce the total water yield.

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies - 3

Green Data Center Design and Build Strategies

Chapter Description

This chapter discusses methods for limiting the environmental impact that occurs during the construction of a Data Center through decisions concerning physical location, choice of building materials, landscaping choices and jobsite construction practices.

From the Book

Grow a Greener Data Center
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Data Center Configuration

The physical configuration of your Data Center—where you place it in a building and how you arrange its physical infrastructure components—provides another opportunity to make the facility more efficient. Strategies to consider include the following:
  • Situating your hosting space at the center of a building rather than right against an external building wall provides some isolation from outside temperatures, for instance, so your cooling system won't have to work as hard on hot days.
  • Placing cooling infrastructure near heat-producing hardware, a practice known as close-coupled cooling. Compared to traditional Data Center designs, where large air handlers attempt to cool large sections of the hosting space, close-coupled cooling requires less fan energy to project cooling where it's needed and reduces unwanted opportunities for chilled air and server exhaust to mix. This approach and the inefficiency that comes with mixing Data Center airflows are covered in Chapter 5.
  • Streamlining your structured cabling design by adopting a distributed physical hierarchy. A distributed design uses significantly fewer cabling materials and improves the cooling airflow. This design and a detailed look at the reduced length of cable runs it offers are presented in Chapter 6, "Cabling Your Way to a Greener Data Center."

Building Exterior

The outside of your Data Center building will be subjected to a variety of weather and temperatures during its lifespan. So, in addition to the green characteristics you want for other building elements—durable and preferably made from renewable or recycled content—look for external building components that can mitigate those outdoor conditions.
For instance, you can lower the temperature of your building and reduce how hard your internal cooling system must work by using surfaces that have high solar reflectance and thermal emittance. That is, they efficiently reflect sunlight and shed absorbed heat.
Both solar reflectance and thermal emittance are typically expressed as either a percentage or as a value between 0 and 1. The higher the number, the less a material absorbs and retains heat. To qualify for an Energy Star label, for example, low-slope roofs must have an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.65 and after 3 years at least 0.50. Steep slope roofs must have an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.25 and after 3 years at least 0.15.
Roofs with high-radiative properties, often called cool roofs, make your building greener not only because they conserve energy, but also because they decrease heat islands. Heat islands, where urban areas have higher temperatures than nearby rural ones, can increase peak energy demand on an electrical grid, possibly leading to brownouts or blackouts, and contribute to the creation of smog.
Heat islands are caused by the reduced quantity of trees and foliage in developed areas, airflow restrictions created by tall buildings, and exhaust heat from motor vehicles and buildings. Many cities can see a temperature difference of as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius) above adjoining rural areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
A subset of cool roofs, also known as green roofs or living roofs, employs live vegetation atop conventional roofing. In addition to the temperature-reducing benefits of other cool roofs, green roofs reduce storm-water runoff, act as additional building insulation, and are credited with nearly doubling a roofing system's lifespan by shielding the surface from sun and rain. Green walls or living walls, which apply the same mechanism to a building's vertical surfaces, can also be employed, although are much less common.
Whether applied to a roof or wall, a living surface requires careful engineering. Simply allowing ivy to grow up the side of your building does not equate to a green wall. A proper installation involves a protective membrane to prevent either moisture or plant roots from penetrating to the building, a drainage system to keep foliage from being flooded by pooled water, a soil layer to anchor plants and absorb nutrients and, of course, the vegetation itself—typically plants that are fast growing, drought tolerant, and low maintenance. The entire system needs to be lightweight so as to not pose structural problems for the roof.
External building surfaces are also, obviously, prime locations to install photovoltaic cells—devices that convert solar energy into electricity. These can include solar panels mounted on rooftops or walls or even building integrated photovoltaics, in which components are embedded within the envelope of the building. Building integrated photovoltaic systems can take the form of roofing tiles, spandrel panels (opaque glass used between floors in commercial building facades), awnings, skylights, sunshades, walls, and more.
Photovoltaics today typically generate 5 watts to 15 watts per square foot (50 watts to 150 watts per square meter) when in full sunlight. You, therefore, need from 65 square feet to 200 square feet (6 square meters to 18.6 square meters) of photovoltaics to produce one kilowatt of power.
Exactly how much energy can be harvested by a solar array varies by product, because some are more efficient than others, and by environmental conditions, including the following:
  • Latitude: Various parts of the world receive more or less sun exposure than others, which affects how much solar energy can be collected.
  • Climate: Overcast or stormy weather reduces the amount of sun that a photovoltaic system is exposed to. Nearby snowy surfaces can actually boost performance by reflecting more light onto a solar array, but only if the array itself isn't covered with snow.
  • Orientation: Photovoltaic components should be installed to receive maximum exposure to the sun. Avoid obstructions to the system such as trees or other structures especially during peak collection hours, when the sun appears highest in the sky.
  • External air quality: The more contaminants in the air, the less solar energy that reaches a solar array.
If you install a photovoltaic system and employ a cool roof on your building, clean their surfaces frequently. Any dirt or debris that covers them reduces their efficiency, reducing how much energy you collect.