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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article19 January 20211 min read

The BodenType Data Centre Project - Demonstrating a nearly perfect Power Usage Effectiveness

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The BodenType Data Centre project has designed one of the most energy efficient conventional data centres in the world.

Within the EU, data centres accounted for 2.7% of electricity demand in 2018 and will reach 3.2% by 2030.  The topic of energy-efficient cloud computing has become a priority on the EU political agenda and the European Digital Strategy sets the goal of achieving climate-neutral, highly energy-efficient and sustainable data centres by no later than 2030.

The BodenTypeDC project, funded under H2020 Energy Efficiency, supports the European Digital Strategy goals and built a highly-energy efficient prototype 500kW data centre demonstrating that power usage for cooling can be significantly reduced at commercial scale.

Typical data centres operate between 1.6 and 2.5 PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness - ratio between the total power used in the facility and the useful IT load). Applying the advanced cooling techniques from Boden Type Data Centre, the PUE was reduced to significantly low values below 1.02 (1 = optimal). The energy demand from the data centre is fully covered by renewable energy.

The BodenTypeDC project, winner of the Non-profit Industry Initiative at the Data Centre Dynamics 2019 awards,  minimised the air flow maintaining the CPU chip temperature through adequate control of server fans. Another technique applied was to synchronise the cooling system fans of the facility with the IT server fans. Most importantly, the application of these techniques required no significant changes to the data centre design and hardware, including cooling systems. These techniques have been successfully demonstrated in real life conditions and with various applications using Open Compute servers, High Performance Computing GPUs and ASICs.

For the future, the project consortium proposes to develop and implement a new EU standard for IT equipment sold in Europe: making airflow data from IT servers open in a readable and interoperable format. Harmonising IT and facility data formats would easily allow fast implementation of the techniques and principles demonstrated in BodentypeDC project.

The BodentypeDC consortium consists of data centre engineering specialist H1 Systems, cooling manufacturer EcoCooling, research institute Fraunhofer IOSB, research institute RISE SICS North and infrastructure developers Boden Business Agency.


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Publication date
19 January 2021