Cass County Electric Cooperative

Project Name: Cass County Electric Cooperative
Location: Fargo, ND
Type: Data Center

The Cass County Electric Cooperative building in Fargo, North Dakota houses a large co-location server room which requires 60 tons of continuous cooling. Cass County serves nearly 60,000 electric meters in a 10-county area in south-eastern North Dakota.

Three 30-ton CRAC units with a N+1 design were selected. Two units carry the required cooling load and one unit remains in standby, only used if one of the two primary units fail. Each CRAC unit is glycol cooled with its own fluid cooler, hydronic cooling loop, redundant pumps and free cooling coils to reduce the load of the mechanical cooling when the ambient temperature is low enough to allow partial or complete free cooling.

Challenge: Data centers are known to consume massive amounts of energy per square foot. Cass County Electric Coop prides itself on being energy efficient. After the discovery of Hydromx’s high temperature heat transfer fluid, Cass County was eager to put it to the test and reduce energy consumption.

Energy Costs Savings - Cass County Case Study
Hydromx savings resulted in ranges from 27% in August to 76% in January 2017.

Solution: The heat transfer fluid was replaced in one of the three units from 35% ethylene to 50% Hydromx. The second operational unit remained the “control” with 35% ethylene and the third unit remained untouched as back up. A continuous measurement and verification analysis software was added to monitor the identical units. The software monitored multiple points of BACnet data which includes: compressor amps, stage-1/stage-2 cooling, free cooling valve position and entering & leaving fluid temperature. Since the Hydromx installation, data was collected at 5-minute intervals on the two operating units that serve identical loads.

Results: The results of the first six months of performance are shown on the side chart. The savings in compressor amps range from 27% in August to 76% in January. Even with August’s impressive 27% reduction in energy consumption, the savings continued to climb thanks to increased free cooling hours as a result of Hydromx’s improved thermal diffusivity (the rate at which the fluid absorbs and releases heat) which is great than glycol and water.

As a result, Hydromx improves the efficiency of the equipment it is exchanging heat with. With the above performance savings and a blended KWH rate of $0.10 per KWH, the payback has been calculated to be 9 months for a retrofit installation (and approximately 6 months for a new installation). The new installation payback assumes the cost reduction of the original 35% ethylene glycol along with the initial glycol installation labor.

About Hydromx

Hydromx is a nano-technology high temperature heat transfer fluid that saves a significant amount of energy. Hydromx’s propylene glycol outperforms not only other glycols, but it also outperforms water.

Hydromx has been proven in multiple installations to save 20-35% energy in heating and cooling systems around the world. The energy savings of the HVAC equipment is thanks to Hydromx’s innovative, nano-thermal-technology that increases its thermal diffusivity (rate at which the fluid absorbs and releases heat) and surface area. Hydromx is 100% safe. It recently received NSF’s premier incidental food contact “HT-1” category registration. Hydromx’s first installation in 2008 showed a 25% energy savings and ROI in less than 2 years. Since that time, Hydromx has been used worldwide to save energy in heating and cooling systems.