I had an opportunity to visit Emerson’s new data center located here on their St. Louis campus. The most interesting feature isn’t inside the building, but a 100 kV (DC) solar array that is attached to the roof of the building and provides about 15% of the power requirements for the equipment inside. The array is canted a bit for the optimum angle, because Emerson wanted the building placed in a particular spot on its campus that didn’t match the best orientation for the array. Currently, it is the largest collection of solar panels in Missouri.
The data center has a mirror (without the array) in Iowa that is used for disaster recovery and R&D purposes. It is also the first commercial deployment of Liebert’s NXL power conditioning system (pictured at right). Eventually, the data center will house 400 servers, and another innovative feature is that all rack-to-rack connections will be handled by fiber optics, rather than copper.
Locating a data center in Missouri makes a lot of sense and cents too: we have one of the lower power rates in the country, and combined with high telecom bandwidth and a moderate climate means that power needs are also reasonable. They also make use of lower-powered CPUs, virtualization technologies and showcase a number of other Emerson power products, as well as rack-specific cooling, to minimize air conditioning loads.