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Cheat Sheet

Green IT For Dummies

From Green IT For Dummies by Carol Baroudi, Jeffrey Hill, Arnold Reinhold, Jhana Senxian

You can promote a green IT environment by reducing energy consumption, reducing your CO2 emissions, and promoting environmentally friendly computing products and practices. Complying with recommend temperature ranges in your data centers and assessing your energy use (and needs) are the first steps to making your IT department more green.

U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector, 2007

Energy is consumed in the U.S. in four major areas: transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial, which is monitored by the Department of Energy. As populations grow, so does energy consumption — putting more and more pressure on the environment and hopefully adding more incentive to promote green information and technology (IT). Take a look at how the U.S. uses primary energy sources as a whole.

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CO2 Emissions by Fossil Fuels Annually per Capita

When carbon dioxide emissions are released into the atmosphere, they trap heat from the sun and contribute to global warming. Working towards environmentally-friendly information technology (IT) reduces energy use and CO2 emissions. Check out the following chart to see the different amounts of CO2 emissions from fossil-fuels contributed per capita in countries throughout the world.

Region/Country Emissions per Capita
United States 5.49
Canada 5.25
Netherlands 4.48
Saudi Arabia 4.26
Belgium 3.57
Russia 3.24
Germany 2.79
United Kingdom 2.60
Europe 2.16
Middle East 2.16
France 1.80
Switzerland 1.67
China 1.11
Mexico 1.02
Asia and Oceania .78
Brazil .53
Africa .32
India .29
World 1.19

Metric Tons Carbon Equivalent, 2005

Data Center Temperature and Humidity Range Recommendations

In consulting with computer manufacturers, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), changed its recommendations for air temperatures in data centers and computer room humidity. The following chart shows new recommendations for safely maintaining IT equipment.

Humidity Fahrenheit Celsius
High limit 80.6°F 27°C
Low limit 64.4°F 18°C
Maximum relative humidity 60 percent
Maximum dew point 59°F 15°C
Minimum dew point 41.9°F 5.5°C
Dew point depression at 60 percent R.H., 20° 8.5°C 14.3°F

Converting Energy and Power Measurements

Information technology — computers and related equipment — is the largest energy consumer in many organizations. Because generating electricity impacts the environment in a big way, wise power use is IT’s biggest green concern and opportunity. A key step in making your IT department greener is assessing its current energy use and needs. The following tables explain how to convert common energy measurements so that you can convert various power measurements into a common measurement when needed, as you assess your energy needs.

Conversion Factors (Multiply By)
Energy From Energy to BTUs Energy to Kilojoules Energy to Kilowatt-Hours
BTUs 1 1.055 .000293
Kilojoules (KJ) .948 1 .000278
Kilowatt-Hours (KWh) 3412 3600 1
Conversion Factors (Multiply By)
Power From Power to BTU/Hour Power to Watts Power to MWh/Year
BTU/Hour 1 .293 .0299
Watts 3.412 1 .008766
Megawatt-Hours/Year(MWh/Yr) 33.43 114 1
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