The energy needed for the right physical storage environment to prevent decay and slow down deterioration of physical media like film or magnetic tape is significant. Industry guidelines from SMTPE and tape manufacturers as well as professional bodies like IASA outline that tapes should be stored at between 17-20 degrees Celsius and 50% relative humidity. Temperature and humidity fluctuations will damage the chemical compositions of base materials. This condition is similar to data environments (more in our Resource Library).
The energy consumption and possible CO2 footprint of the physical archive is tremendous. Digitizing and leveraging the significantly higher data density of digital vs. analogue (or even legacy digital tape formats) can help achieve a significant reduction of your energy and CO2-footprint.
Our ECO Simulator gives you an estimation of the energy consumption and CO2 footprint, and how much energy, costs and CO2 emission footprint you can reduce by digitizing. Please double click on the underlined grey fields to edit the values.
Please note, these are estimations. Actual data may vary depending on building conditions, energy supplier source (i.e. solar and nuclear vs. fossil) and weather conditions/atmospheric density.
Background and Assumptions
Read more about the background and assumptions for the default values.
If you would like to have a more advanced simulation, please contact our team and discuss your
project and environment for physical and digital storage.
The data for storage space is to calculate the total estimated volume of the archival space to store your archive and to climate control.
Please input the floor space and full height of the space as we calculate the volume of air needed to be climate controlled.
Please note that if you have your archive stored in a high efficient insulation building with high energy efficiency your energy consumption will be lower. In our experience however, most archives are kept in typical warehouse-like building structures.
We have broken down our calculation down to simulate the different season effects.
If you need reference values for your location then we recommend checking the next biggest city on Wikipedia. You will usually find the annual climate chart with seasonal average temperatures.
Our calculations do not take into account potential additional energy needed for de-humidification. Especially in tropic or coastal areas, additional de-humidification requirements will apply, and possibly require additional equipment like commercial dehumidifiers.
For the calculation of the emission footprint, please input your Energy Supplier’s emission. The default value of 0.43 kg/kWh (0.99 pounds/kWh) is based on a 2018 average data of the US Department of Energy for the US. You may have different energy providers for your warehouse and your office/datacenter (or your datacenter/cloud service provider may use renewable energy).
Energy Consumption per TB/Year will depend on the type of data storage used for your archive. Generally, HDDs/SSDs consume more than cartridge based storage like LTO or ODA. Our default value is based on a research by Berkeley Lab and US Department of Energy. It estimates that total electricity usage for disks in the US by 2020 is over 8,000 GWh/yr for 1,000 million TB of storage (Shehabi et al, 2016). This translates to 8.0 kWh per TB/year for disks systems. Tape systems are said to be up to 91% more energy efficient than disk systems (Source: Tape-Storage.net). Leading us to 0.7 kWh per TB/year for tape systems.