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Temperature Sensors are a Crucial Component for Minimizing the Environmental Impact of Data Centers

Posted: 5/14/24


As reducing resource consumption becomes an increasingly major concern for most regions globally, the focus on sustainability initiatives in data center design and operation – in attempts to minimize their environmental footprints – has also increased. However, while data center design and operation practices have improved throughout the last decade, there are still many inefficiencies when it comes to resource utilization.

Temperature sensors are essential devices that play a crucial role in addressing these inefficiencies by enabling more efficient use of resources and reducing overall environmental impact.

Liquid Cool

Data centers commonly feature liquid-cooling systems – and while these systems consume anywhere from 30-50% less energy for cooling when compared to an air-cooled facility, they can range from using tens of thousands to millions of gallons of water per year for larger facilities. 

Not only do liquid-cooling systems utilize large amounts of water, but they also account for ~30% of a data center’s energy consumption. 

Two major consequences of liquid-cooling systems with respect to both energy and water consumption are:





Overcooling in data centers is a common issue that wastes energy and increases environmental impact. Temperature sensors help prevent overcooling by providing precise temperature measurements and feedback to cooling systems. By maintaining temperatures within optimal ranges and avoiding unnecessary cooling, these sensors contribute to energy savings and reduced environmental impact.Overheating in data centers can lead to equipment failures and downtime, requiring additional energy for repairs and replacements. Temperature sensors help detect temperature fluctuations and hotspots, enabling proactive interventions to prevent overheating before it occurs. By maintaining optimal operating conditions, temperature sensors help minimize the environmental impact of data center downtime and associated energy-intensive recovery processes.
Data center teaser

Having both the correct temperature sensors to measure equipment throughout the process as well as redundant measurements in data centers are essential for:

  • Optimizing Cooling Systems
  • Preventing Energy Waste
  • Detecting Cooling Issues Early
  • Integration with Energy Management Systems
  • Ensuring Compliance with Green Building Standards

In addition, temperature sensors provide necessary redundancy.  Data center environments can be harsh – with factors such as dust, humidity, and electromagnetic interference posing risks to sensor reliability.  Redundant temperature sensing mitigates the impact of sensor failures caused by environmental factors or wear and tear, ensuring continuous monitoring capability, and minimizing the risk of environmental damage due to undetected temperature fluctuations.

Redundant temperature sensing supports energy-efficient cooling practices by ensuring accurate and reliable temperature monitoring across the data center environment. By maintaining precise temperature control and preventing overcooling or overheating, redundant sensors contribute to energy savings and reduce the environmental impact of data center operations.

Minimizing the environmental impact in data centers is essential to reduce energy consumption, conserve resources, lower carbon emissions, comply with regulations, uphold corporate social responsibility, achieve cost savings, enhance resilience, and maintain positive community relations. It is crucial for ensuring the sustainability and long-term viability of data center operations in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

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Accurately monitoring temperature is crucial to the efficient operation of servers and other equipment typically found in data centers.  Reliable temperature sensors, as well as relative humidity and pressure sensors, play a role in ensuring 24/7 uptime, and when sensors are inaccurate or poorly positioned, HVAC equipment works harder – consuming more energy and increasing the environmental impact of the data center.

Data Center

Please click here for your comprehensive guide demonstrating data center sensor types and locations. 


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