Speaking at Data Centre World, Jon Summers, research lead at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), said that there are important lessons to learn in order to future proof smaller data centres, which are expected to show growth with the increasing proliferation of edge sites and as 5G evolves.
The data centre industry, in general, represents 3-5% of global power use and has the fastest growing carbon footprint in ICT. Future applications are expected to drive demand even further. In the face of rising energy use, the European Union’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, announced an innovative project aimed at tackling the efficiency challenge.
The Boden Type Data Centre based in Sweden has a budget of around 3 million EUR and was officially inaugurated on 7 February 2019. The project aims to evaluate the most cost and energy efficient approaches to data centre design – including efficient fresh air cooling, modular building design, the use of 100% renewable technology and favourable climate conditions.
“The Boden’s pilot site is about understanding what we mean by ‘energy efficiency’ and the cost of producing data centres,” commented Summers. “Some of this could be perceived as quite challenging to the industry.” He observed that there is a move among some operators towards building resilience in to the software, as opposed through the infrastructure. While he believes that UPS remains crucial for mission critical sites, the Boden Type Data Centre is initially exploring how well the site can perform with hydroelectric power and no UPS.