New data centre aspires to be the world’s greenest

A novel project to build a prototype ICT service facility got off the ground in Sweden. Its cost-efficient and energy-saving concept could be replicated in other EU countries.

The ICT sector, including data centres, generates up to 2 % of the global CO2 emissions, according to a technical report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. With the rising demand for cloud computing and rapid growth of internet use, the carbon footprint of data centres is predicted to get bigger. The EU-funded BodenTypeDC project addresses this challenge by creating a sustainable data centre.

Its creation started recently, as stated in a press release on the project website. “The so called Boden Type Data Centre ‘One’ is an experimental lab and demonstration site that combines technologies innovatively.” It aims to test and validate the feasibility of a highly energy-efficient, environmentally friendly prototype in a real operation environment. “The operational measurement and design optimization of the data center will provide templated information and analysis for facilities looking to redeploy the solution in their chosen location.” The facility will “accommodate 500 kW of IT load”. It’s expected to be up and running by the end of 2018, following the groundworks and connection of the utilities that began recently.

From Sweden to other EU countries

The data centre will be based in Boden, in the north of Sweden, hence the name BodenTypeDC. As pointed out on the project website, Sweden and the Nordics became a growth area among the global data centre markets about a decade ago. This isn’t surprising because data centre operators are increasingly seeking colder climates to reduce their reliance on power to cool their equipment. Cooler locations such as northern Europe also tend to have lower energy prices, and the availability of renewable energy in the region make them more attractive for data centre infrastructures. Companies like Facebook and Google have already invested in the region, also capitalising on economies of scale.

Power efficiency

The project applies a novel approach that includes “modular data center design, fresh air cooling system combined with evaporative cooler apparatus, using solely harmonic free renewable energy, and using less UPS capacity,” as indicated on CORDIS. The consortium involved in the project will particularly focus on workload balancing, airflow efficiency and modularity. Limited co-location space will be available for those who are willing to take part in the research experiment. The data centre aims to achieve a power utilisation effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1 or lower. PUE indicates the energy efficiency of a data centre, with the ideal value being 1 and the global average around 2.0.

The BodenTypeDC (Prototyping the most energy and cost efficient data center in the world: The Boden Type Data Center) project was initiated in October 2017. Another important objective is to demonstrate that the prototype can be replicated in other European sites with less favourable climatic conditions.

For more information, please see:
BodenTypeDC project website

last modification: 2018-09-21 17:15:01

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