DC Pro FAQ

Profiling Tool Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Profiling Tool?
The Data Center Energy Profiler, or Profiling Tool, is an online software tool provided by the U.S. Department of Energy to help industries worldwide identify how energy is being purchased and consumed by their data center(s) and also identify potential energy and cost savings. The Profiling Tool is designed so that the user can complete a data center profile in less than a day. When you complete a Profiling Tool profile case you will be provided with a customized, printable report that shows the details of energy purchases for your data center, how energy is consumed by your data center, potential cost and energy savings, comparison of your data center energy utilization versus other data centers, and a list of next steps that you can follow to get you started saving energy. The Profiling Tool should be thought of as the first step in identifying areas for potential savings.
What inputs are required for the tool?
The Profiling Tool requires the following basic inputs:
  • Case Information - you will need to provide geographical and spatial data on your data center and the building in which it is housed.
  • Energy Use System - you will need to answer a series of questions regarding the energy use systems to provide a sufficient description of the data center facility.
  • Production Information - (optional) you may provide a measurement of the average output of your plant data center.
  • Supplied Energy Information - (optional) you will be asked to provide the average quantity and cost of electricity, fuel, steam, and chilled water purchased or generated onsite for your data center. This data can come from your utility bills.
  • Energy Use Information - (optional) if you provide the supplied energy information you will need to break out the average energy use into the major energy use systems.
What outputs does the tool produce?
The Profiling Tool will produce a customized report with the following information:
  • Annual Site and Source Energy Consumption - This section of the report has graphs and tables that show the average annual amount of site and source energy consumed at your data center. Site energy is defined as energy consumed at the building or data center. It is the amount of heat and electricity consumed by a building as reflected in utility bills. Source energy represents the raw fuel consumed to generate that one unit of energy consumed on-site. The Profiler Tool uses the site to source conversion factors used by the EPA Portfolio Manager to calculate the source energy. The Profiler Tool provides graphs that break down the energy consumption, site and source, by each major energy system within the data center.
  • Potential Annual Energy Savings - This section of the report has graphs and tables that show the optimal energy use and potential energy savings. The potential savings are broken down by each major energy use system and also include potential cost savings. This section also shows how the energy use at your data center compares to that of other data centers.
  • Suggested Next Steps - This section of the report has a listing of suggested upgrades that could help the data center save energy and money. These upgrades are broken down by major energy use system. Some of the next steps include a link to learn more.
This report can be viewed online, printed, or saved as a PDF file using PDF savings software installed on your machine. Download Adobe Reader
How long will it take to complete a case in the Profiling Tool?
If you have collected your basic utility data, you should be able to complete the Profiling Tool in less than a day. Entering detailed utility data and completing the Profiling Tool energy end-use breakout categories will increase the amount of time required to complete the tool.
Where is my data saved?
For registered portal users, your data is saved to a secure database server behind the U.S. Department of Energy firewalls and cannot be accessed by the general public. If you are using the tools as a guest (unregistered) user, your data is not stored on a database server. You do have the option to save the case as an XML file on your local computer.
What are the default energy end-use breakouts numbers in Step 2?
The most detailed step to complete in DC Pro is Step 2 - Energy Use Systems. They are information technology equipment, cooling, air management, and electrical systems. In this step the user must answer a host of questions regarding different components of their data center. This data is the basis for calculating how energy is used at your data center. The Profiling Tool makes this step a little easier by providing possible answers for a majority of the questions. The Profiling Tool uses the answers provided to calculate the default energy end-use breakouts. The table generated here will be populated with additional data throughout the remaining steps. You may use the default distribution as is, or you may adjust any of the numbers to make the distribution better reflect actual energy consumption (Steps 4 and 5) at your data center.
How accurate is the Profiling Tool?
The Profiling Tool is a scoping tool. The purpose of the Profiling Tool is to identify and prioritize major energy savings opportunities. The accuracy of the results provided by the tool depends on the accuracy of information you provide. DC Pro should not be thought of as a precise engineering tool. This tool will get you off to a good start and give you a general idea of where your energy is being used, where your best upgrade opportunities are to save energy, and how the energy use at your data center compares to that of other data centers.
How precise are the suggested next steps in the Profiling Tool results?
The suggested next steps that the Profiling Tool provides are broad in nature. The Profiling Tool maintains a database of suggested next steps and provides you with a list of energy saving actions based on the information you provide in Step 2.
Why doesn't DC Pro include implementation costs or anticipated payback periods in the results?
The Profiling Tool is a scoping tool that is designed to provide a general idea of where your energy is being used, where your best opportunities are to save energy, and how the energy use within your data center compares to that of other data centers. However, the Profiling Tool is not detailed enough to provide any realistic implementation costs or payback periods for these projects. This type of detail is beyond the scope of this tool and can be better obtained from the commercial sector in your area.
How do I save the DC Pro report?
In Step 5 the Profiling Tool report is displayed on your screen. At the top right there is a link to view a printable version of your report. If you click on this link you will be able to download an Adobe PDF version of your Profiling Tool report. Which can be saved to your computer or sent to colleagues?
I have multiple profile cases. Can I view them simultaneously?
The Profiling Tool will not allow you view multiple cases at the same time so you will need to print or save each case individually to look at them.
I want to create a new case that is very similar to an existing case I have already created, do I have to re-enter all the information?
No, in the Profiling tool you can copy an existing case when signed into the DOE EnMS portal. In step 1, select the existing case you would like to copy then select "copy". A copy of this case will appear in the existing cases box.
Why are the source energy factors in DC Pro 2.0 different from the source energy factors in DC Pro 1.1?
The default source energy factors shown on step 3 of DC Pro 2.0 differ from the source energy factors shown on step 4 of DC Pro 1.1. The reason for the difference is that the source energy factors were updated based on the latest data available. The source energy factors still match the factors used in the EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool.
Why are the energy outputs in the DC Pro 2.0 much greater than in the old DC Pro 1.1?
In DC Pro 1.1, current site and source energy consumption, optimum energy use, and potential energy savings were shown in units of MMBtu. In DC Pro 2.0, these values are shown in units of kWh. One MMBtu is equal to approximately 293.1 kWh. Energy streams entered in step 3 are converted to MMBtu for steps 4 and 5.
Why do the percentages in the DC Pro 1.1 and 2.0 not match up when there is a remainder?
DC Pro 1.1 did not include the remainder when calculating the percent of current energy use (site and source), optimum energy use (site and source), and potential savings in the report page. DC Pro 2.0 includes the remainder when calculating the percent of total energy use.
For example, if a data center uses 27,000 MWh of energy a year, and 3,500 MWh fall into the remainder category, in DC Pro 2.0 the remainder would count for 13% of the total energy use and the remaining 87% of the energy use would be divided among the remaining categories (see Figure 1). In DC Pro 1.1, the remainder was not included in the total percentage. For the same case, with the total energy consumption at 27,000 MWh and a remainder of 3,500 MWh, the remainder percentage would be 0%, and the other categories would total to 100% (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: DC Pro 2.0 Potential Annual Energy Savings Report

Figure 2: DC Pro 1.1 Potential Annual Energy Savings Report
Why are the percentages in the DC Pro 1.1 and 2.0 slightly different when there is no remainder?
The default percent breakouts in step 2 of DC Pro 1.1, and percentage of current energy use, optimum energy use, and potential energy savings in step 6 were rounded to zero decimal places (see Figure 3). DC Pro 2.0 rounds the default percent breakouts in step 2 to two decimal places. The percentage of current energy use, optimum energy use, and potential energy savings in step 5 of DC Pro 2.0 are rounded to zero decimal places (see Figure 4).
As figure 3 and 4 show, the variation in rounding between the two tools can produce slightly different results. In one case, DC Pro 2.0 may show an optimum energy use of 1.8%, whereas DC Pro 1.1 would produce an optimum energy use of 2%.

Figure 3: DC Pro 1.1 Potential Annual Energy Savings Report

Figure 4: DC Pro 2.0 Potential Annual Energy Savings Report
How are the potential cost savings calculated in DC Pro 2.0?
In step 5 of DC Pro 2.0, the potential cost savings for each breakout category is calculated by multiplying the total unit cost by the potential energy savings. The total unit cost is shown in the Annual Energy Use table at the top of the report. For example, see Figure 5 below.

Figure 5: DC Pro 2.0 Annual Energy Use Table
The total unit cost is calculated by taking a weighted average of the unit costs for each energy stream. For the case shown in figure 5, the weighted average is calculated by:
In this equation, UC represents the unit cost and SU represents the site usage in kilowatt hours. As Figure 6 shows, the potential cost savings for each breakout category is calculated by multiplying the potential energy savings by the total unit cost.

Figure 6: DC Pro 2.0 Potential Annual Energy Savings Table
The total cost savings is the sum of the potential cost savings for IT Loads, Lighting, Electrical Distribution Losses, Fans, Cooling and Humidity Controls, and the Remainder.