Within the United States, the data centers necessary to run the internet and store information use 1.8 percent of all electricity. Worldwide, data centers consume roughly 1 percent of total electricity. By some estimates, that figure could reach 8 percent by 2030. As more people stream video and work online and businesses increasingly expand their data storage and internet usage, power demands for data centers will only increase. Confronted by the energy-intensive nature of data centers, industry leaders and researchers are working to cut energy consumption and switch to green power sources that do not add CO2 to the atmosphere.

10-Year Research Program Seeks Solutions

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The University of Twente in the Netherlands announced a 10-year program at its Centre for Energy Innovation to identify how to control the power demands of data centers. Over 100 scientists will explore solutions such as better equipment that uses less power and produces less heat, combined with artificial intelligence to closely manage all data center operations.

Server room of BalticServers. Credit: BalticServers

Cooling Challenges

The servers in data centers produce huge quantities of heat, and data centers have always needed extensive cooling systems to prevent damage to equipment. The energy used just to cool a center presents a primary target in the battle for efficiency. A study from EkkoSense calculated that a 30 percent reduction in cooling power usage would prevent 3 million tons of CO2 pollution.

Data center design can greatly impact cooling needs. The green data center company Lunavi uses design to limit reliance on energy-hogging air conditioners. Good design can promote natural cooling processes that supplement air conditioning. The integration of data centers with solar panels and other sources of green energy will also limit or eliminate the pollution associated with their power consumption.

Do you think innovations in the coming decades will allow data centers to call themselves green?

ABOUT The University of Twente

At the University of Twente, we are pioneers in fusing technology, science and engineering with social sciences to impact the world around us. Our driving force as students, scientists and educators is a deep sense of connection with people who share a curious, entrepreneurial spirit.

Since the University of Twente’s founding in 1961, we have been deeply connected with the rich industrial heritage of our region and the well-being of its population. We proudly carry that forward, both at home and internationally. Today we are a catalyst to many high-tech communities and sectors with strong partnerships in a wide range of industries and societal domains. We participate in ground-breaking, globe-spanning networks and programs. We maintain lifelong connections with more than 50,000 alumni worldwide.

ABOUT EkkoSense

EkkoSense has the people, immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to help optimize your critical facilities and remove thermal risk for your organization. This expertise gives EkkoSense early insight into key technologies such as low-cost Internet of Things sensors, 3D software and AI/Machine Learning enabled advanced analytics – and that translates directly into quantifiable reductions in data center cooling costs and thermal risk for your organization.

EkkoSense has continued to invest in the development of its EkkoSoft Critical SaaS 3D visualization and analytics solution for data centers, which is increasingly becoming the smart choice for organizations looking to optimize the performance of their data center capacity, power and cooling.

ABOUT Lunavi

At Lunavi we believe in the power of people to illuminate the path forward. You can throw technology at problems all day, but if you don’t have the right high-performing team-based culture, you’ll find yourself in an uphill battle. It is this unique combination of people, process, and technology that sets us apart.

Our team lives by strong core values to do right by the customer and provide an exceptional client experience. We seek to understand your organization and what makes you tick. Only then can we fully realize the business outcomes driven by your applications, data, and technology services.

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