Better Generation
Cyberport Case Study

 

Client: Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government

Installation: 10 Power Predictor nodes

When: Installation began in September, 2011

 

Background

 

Every manager who has had to make tough decisions knows that without accurate data, all bets are off. How can a decision be made, if you have no idea what is going on? This would appear to be obvious except that a rather large number of people are so keen to 'go green' that they seem to have forgotten the basics. Admirable though it is to want to help the environment and save money on electricity, where does one start? Where is the data and what kind of data do you need? Which is better? Solar or wind? All of these questions come up at some time and rather sadly there is not much of an answer, apart from paying an expensive consultant to tell you something - but then the question still remains: Where is the data?

 

The Project

 

In Hong Kong, the ICT centre known as Cyberport has been in operation for nearly 10 years. The COO, Mark Clift, has been there the entire time and right from the beginning he was concerned about energy - mainly saving as much of it as possible. 'Our greatest expense without a doubt is energy. We have hundreds of tenants - young, start-up companies - trying to get going. They need a great deal of energy to do their work. I have always been concerned about how to save on that,' he said. Not long ago, a new tenant arrived who actually had something that interested him. Better Generation was looking for office space and decided on Cyberport. When discussing what they did, Mr Clift asked if the Power Predictor solution could be used at Cyberport. Better Generation immediately engaged with the company and sold them 10 Power Predictor devices to be set up around the 24 hectare site. 

 

Cyberport Node 1

 

The environmental consultant on this project is Pacific Risk Advisors, headed by James Pearson. The team met in June to look at how things have been going. Mr Clift said he was quite excited about the results. 'I want to wait until we have a year's worth of data but so far it is very encouraging. We are gathering massive amounts of really good data about solar and wind in the area and when we meet again in October, we are going to be in a far better situation to decide on how to move forward. I am very excited about the prospect and this data will be incredibly valuable for us.'

 

It is quite likely that Cyberport will enventually be spending millions on this and other energy-saving solutions but until they had the Power Predictor and software from Better Generation, they really had no idea what kind of solution would be best for them. Mr Clift believes that when they look more closely at the tremendous amount of data they will have obtained by October, they will truly be in a very strong position to make a solution that will last and be exactly what they need. How, he asked, could anyone go about this in any other way?

 

Client Snapshot

 

In 1999, the Hong Kong government decided it was necessary to build something to help start-up companies in information and communications technology (ICT) and thought a hub in the Asia-Pacific region would be the right solution. The first grade-A office space and hotel were completed between 2002 and 2004, creating 100,000 square meters of office space. Cyberport is unique in that it gives start up tenants an extremely affordable space for work with amenities such as all the technology needed to run a business at an extraordinary price. The Chief Operating Officer, Mark Clift, said that the initiative they call Smart Space is different from nearly any other such solution. A start-up can rent an office for as short a period as a month or just a few months with no difficult bureaucratic paperwork to fill in. The tenant gets a room and pays only for the number of desks - there is no sharing with other companies, so the tenant can work in private. What Cyberport offers it's tenants is:

 

  • 1-10 Gbit/s Internal Private Network (IPN)
  • 120 Channels Satellite Master Antenna Television System (SMATV)
  • Fibre and Copper Blockwiring (BW)
  • IP Telephony and Unified Messaging System (UMS)
  • Network Operations Centre (NOC)
  • Tenant Central Data Exchange (CDX)

 

Needless to say, this requires a tremendous amount of energy and Mr Clift is constantly looking at ways to handle this. He said he had done all of the 'easy' things, such as changing the light bulbs, installing variable speed drives in the chillers, setting the air-conditioning to 25.5 Celsius, etc. This, he said, was relatively easy to do. Far more difficult will be to look at the total energy plan but in a few months, thanks to Better Generation and its Power Predictor, he will have a great deal of information from which to make a considered decision. 

 

The Results

 

In just 30 days, Cyberport were able to identify over 1MW of potential generation capacity, 1.4 tonnes of potential CO2 reduction, 2 potential wind turbine sites and a further 2 potential solar panel sites. This was accomplished together with all the supporting audit-ready data for an initial investment of under $6,000.

Cyberport Node 2