HVAC

Dealing with data center waste heat and related issues

The Importance of Location for Green Data Centers

Location is becoming increasingly important to the sustainability of ICT facilities. We've been tracking activities which try to leverage geographic features for greener operations. This article focuses on Europe and Asia. (Another focuses on North America.) Our latest update highlights the relationship between renewable energy availability and overall desirability for siting data centers.

Mega Data Centers

We haven't updated this post in a while, so thought it would be a good opportunity to look at new mega-facilities. The latest addition is the Linkedin Infomart facility in Oregon USA.

Green When It is Hot: Data Centers and Solar Energy

We noted earlier the challenges faced by facilities seeking to use on-site solar. Facilities now look to purchase solar energy from off-site providers. A very large procurement is for a Google data center in the Netherlands, a country not known for extremely sunny weather.

How Electricity and Water Mix

Electricity and water don't mix? Our quest for innovative Green ICT concepts has turned up many unusual concepts doing just that. The latest is a proposal for submerging entire data centers.

Distributed Servers Could Become 'Data Furnaces'

We have been covering the use of datacenter waste heat to warm facilities from municipal buildings to swimming pools since 2009. That led to coverage of a 2011 Microsoft research idea for how individual servers might become 'data furnances'. That original post with excerpts from the researchers' publication is available below.

Three European companies have now brought the idea to market. Two explain the concept with a video.

Free Air, Hot Racks, and Cool Liquids

Handling our gear's heat has always been an issue for installations large and small. ICT equipment typical took 1x-2x again more energy to remove its heat as it took to power it in the first place (PUE of 2.0+), driving both energy costs and carbon footprints. Early efforts focused on the two obvious tactics: make both the ICT gear and the air conditioning more efficient. We now see these augmented by innovative new approaches to the problem, ranging from seawater cooling to variable-speed fan retrofits.

Will Liquid-Cooled Computers Make a Comeback?

Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling. We identified several efforts to bring liquid cooling to the server world in our first version of this post in 2012 and have seen continuous progress since. Here is the latest news.

Average Power Use Per Server

We have been tracking this topic the inception of Vertatique and it is consistently our most-Googled post. We just updated it to better present the material and add newer information.

The Water Footprint of ICT

Green ICT is concerned with all resources consumed in creating e-gear and operating ICT infrastructures. Significant amounts of water are used in everything from chip fabrication to PC manufacture to data center operation. This makes ICT vulnerable to droughts and other constraints. It has also placed ICT water use into the political arena. We've just added Information about Intel's commitment to 100% water restoration in the third section of this post..

Google's Green ICT Updates

Google offers frequent updates on its Green ICT progress. Here is the most recent, along with past updates.

Photos, inside and out, of Google's data centers. Note that most locations include a reference to some green initiative.

This has not been detailed on Google's useful blog, but Grist reports that "Google’s new $700 million data centers in Taiwan will make ice at night, when electricity is significantly cheaper, and use it to cool the buildings during the day."

Google announced in January 2012, "All of our U.S. owned and operated data centers have received ISO 14001…certification. We’re the first major Internet services company to gain external certification for those high standards at all of our U.S. data centers." Here are some of the specifics.

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