So many Americans take the power we use for granted. We flip a switch and the room is aglow with light. We search Google, tune into our favorite TV shows or fire up Netflix, never knowing the amount of energy it takes to power each connection that brings us that content.
Data centers consumed about 70 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2014, according to a U.S. Department of Energy study. That's two percent of the country's total energy consumption and equivalent to the amount consumed by about 6.4 million average American homes.
The study's researchers — based out of Stanford, Northwestern and Carnegie Mellon universities — expect data-center consumption to grow by four percent between now and 2020, reaching about 73 billion kWh. Energy-efficiency improvements can save up 620 billion kWh.
And that's in the data-center world.
For cable companies, multi-service operators expect their power use to grow annually from $1 billion to as much as $4 billion.
The trouble is, says Chris Scirpoli, Telect Sales Director for the Mid-Atlantic, utility costs for power grow three to seven percent year over year for multi-service operators.
That ever-increasing expense can hamstring a cable company that's trying to provide more content and better service to Americans without jumping their rates.
"Anything they can do to move toward energy conservation is huge," he says.
Two years ago, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) arrived at a mandate to reduce power consumption and costs by Year 2020.
Energy 2020 is one of the big themes for the SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia this week, where Telect is showcasing its superHD optical distribution frame and its nrgSMART family of DC power distribution and monitoring products.
SCTE has asked cable systems operators and tech partners to design equipment and strategies that align with the Energy 2020 mission to "target maximum customer uptime and enable capacity growth via successful organizational, customer and environmental energy solutions."
The program aims to share information among MSOs and create best practices around solar, fuel cell and data center practices, centering on measuring energy and driving technology partners to a common platform.
Its goals are to:
Discussions during the trade show and learning sessions focus on energy management, hoping to prompt innovative thinking.
nrgSMART is innovative design that can move cable companies closer to their Energy 2020 goals, Chris says.
The DC power distribution and monitoring systems gives cable company executives insight into their DC power networks.
"Our system monitors the DC power at the individual circuit level," he says, "You will gain valuable information into how you're using power and the efficiency of that power."
nrgSMART provides data insight into:
Network engineers and technicians can remotely look into issues without traveling to the site or clamping a panel.
"nrgSMART gives you an internal network perspective that you've never had before," Chris says. "You can monitor and understand your network consumption from a centralized standpoint."
Telect unveiled the BDFB-XL today at the Cable-Tec Expo.
The original BDFB, introduced in 2012, was the industry's first 8,000-amp continuous circuit-level monitoring system for DC power distribution. It measures in at 26 inches long by 19 inches wide and 84 inches tall.
The BDFB-XL gives you 8,000 amps with a significantly larger footprint of 32 inches wide, 30 inches deep and 84 inches tall. Telect made a larger opening on the top to easily fit 64 750kcmil cables. The side panels are removable and the larger BDFB creates more space to access terminals.
The larger BDFB is specially designed for cable-company data centers where more power and longer runs are necessary. The modifications to Telect's innovative BDDB came in response to requests by select cable companies.
"That's the Telect difference," says Chris. "We listen closely to what our customers are telling us. It's vital that we respond to their challenges with innovative thinking."
Check out our video with Chris, explaining how nrgSMART works:
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