Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
December, 2nd 2009

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With all the press about energy costs sinking data center budgets, along comes a data center that consumes only half the normal power. And it even offers excess heating and cooling to nearby buildings, sometimes returning spare electricity to the grid. Syracuse University, teaming with IBM and NY State just opened what is likely the world’s most energy-stingy data center.

The fact that the new data center generates all of its own electricity on site is at the top of a cascade of opportunistic energy management. There goes all the heat loss of a traditional fossil fuel powered generation plant along with the transmission line and transformer losses, too. Then they proceeded to throw a net over the entire thermal profile of the place and squeeze out every BTU by capturing hot exhaust from the natural gas turbines, using it to heat buildings and cool – through  absorption chillers -  all those churning servers. Additional green tools include water cooled server racks, DC power distribution – they even use outside air for free cooling during the winter.

This type of systems approach to designing efficiency into an entire operation can be an important offset to the booming growth of  data centers. Many of the same principles can also work in the design of any building.

Syracuse University has made this terrific story even richer by wiring the entire place with sensors with plans to run the center as a living laboratory. The volumes of data collected will allow researchers to progressively tweak the equations of the complex until they reach…. thermal nirvana.

See the greenest data center for yourself in this three minute video.

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December 4, 2009
1:03 pm

While there will certainly be Syracuse University research papers and PHD dissertations based on the optimization work done in the new data center, it is also a commercial endeavor that will lead to design, software and service offerings from the IBM-SU design center mentioned in the press release. So not a fully “open source” project. Either way, the new greener techniques will be put into practice.

Posted by: jimwilkinsonray
December 3, 2009
6:05 am

Will Syracuse University share their raw data and their inferences from the sensors openly? I’m sure there would be a lot of people interested, including me, to know how well this project is working out

Posted by: Swami
1 Trackback
December 2, 2009
8:36 am

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