Power Distribution Units (PDUs) have never been the hippest piece of kit in the system but that may be about the change with Energy Management elbowing its way to the top of the priority list, particularly for large energy users.

Data centre specialist Racktivity has developed and launched a range of intelligent power distribution units, which are available from Critical Power Supplies. They offer the most advanced metering and switching capabilities available on the market today for customers wanting to truly save on electricity usage and (importantly) costs.

Used alone or in conjunction with advanced energy monitoring software, the EnergySwitch™ family offers up a powerful system for energy and capacity optimisation, plus reliable IT asset protection.

If you’re in the market for PDUs and energy monitoring and would like some no-nonsense tips on energy saving and management.

Energy management is the process by which electricity usage is monitored, controlled and conserved within a building or organisation.

There are many reasons to undertake strategic energy management practice, not least of which is to save on utility bills. Other reasons are:

• Environmental – you want to do your bit for the planet.
• To conform to carbon reductions and other legislative targets.
• To reduce dependence on fossil fuels, which are running scarce.
• Reduce risk overall (the more energy you consume, the greater your reliance on continuity of supply and the greater the risk if you were to lose it temporarily).
• You may have energy consumption reduction targets thrust on you from on high (company management).

Whatever your reasons, it is possible to save a great deal of electricity using a few simple measures, but first of all you need information. You need to know what your energy consumption is and where it is being used. The more detailed this data is, the better, so you need to implement a system that will reliably supply that information.

Energy Management Software enables you to:

• Meter your energy consumption and collect data (often in realtime, depending upon system capabilities).
• Pinpoint opportunities to save energy within your organisation and estimate just how much energy such actions will save.

An energy management software system will meter your energy consumption and collect the data you need for analysis, data which you simply cannot get from an energy bill. State of the art energy management systems usually do so in realtime, which make is possible to expose patterns of energy waste and pinpoint them to exactly where and when they are happening (employees leaving lights and equipment switched on overnight or on weekends, equipment running inefficiently, or indeed any other cause).

Most software systems will offer an internet-enabled interface that is engaging, interactive and simple to use. It enables users to download reports about their energy use, manipulate data to get different readings such as: energy use by size, location, department and so on. This information will also allow users to track progress and see how well their energy saving initiatives are working out and exactly how much energy they are saving by implementing them.

A secondary (although critically important aspect of energy monitoring systems in power protection scenarios) is the ability to foresee impending equipment failures by tracking motor current levels and imbalances.

The Datacenter Performance Manager system from Racktivity is a distributed software solution for managing hundreds of thousands of PDUs as a single system, which offers the biggest potential for energy savings. The product includes a highly interactive web-based user interface offering global drill down to get at all the detail – right down to outlet (and everything in between): campus, buildings, departments, rows, racks – even individual sockets. It is also fully customisable to match each organisation’s own specific requirements and power set up.