Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More than wind in the datacentre

22.01.2014
EU launches initiative to increase the use of renewable energy in datacentres - Professorship Technical Thermodynamics of TU Chemnitz is involved in the project `RenewIT´

In October 2013 started the project RenewIT, which is funded for three years by the European Union. It explores how data centres can be designed and operated in compliance with a more efficient use of renewable energy.

In addition to partners from Spain, Italy, Great Britain and the Netherlands also the Professorship Technical Thermodynamics of Technische Universität Chemnitz is involved.

"We are focused on cooling techniques and renewable energy sources. The power supply systems shall be designed and simulated for different locations in Europe," said PD Dr. Thorsten Urbaneck Head of `Thermal Energy Storage´ at the Professorship Technical Thermodynamics.

“Currently, only a minority of European datacentres derive energy from renewable sources. Of those that do, the motivation is usually to gain positive publicity or curry favour with regulators rather than for purely commercial reasons,” said Andrew Donoghue of 451 Research and project spokesperson.

The RenewIT project, co-funded by the EU with a budget of 3.6 million Euros, will develop tools that will help datacentre operators to develop a more compelling business case for using on-site sources of renewable energy – such as solar, wind and biomass - and renewable cooling including outside air cooling and sea water cooling.

“The main roadblocks to using renewable energy to power datacentres are the perceived costs and the lack of tools to help operators make decisions about renewable energy. This project aims to overcome some of these obstacles by designing tools to evaluate the environmental performance and the share of renewable energy sources in the emerging concept of Net Zero Energy datacentres,” added Dr. Jaume Salom of IREC and RenewIT project coordinator.

The main challenges in using renewable energy for datacentre power are cost, capacity, lack of integration and the unreliability of its implementation. For example, existing datacentre infrastructure is geared to a continuous power flow but renewable sources, such as solar and wind, fluctuate depending on the day, time and the season. The RenewIT project plans to develop tools to help match the intermittent flow of energy from onsite renewables with the applications and workloads being executed by the datacentre.

The RenewIT project will focus on five main outcomes:

The RenewIT Tool: This will be a web-based planning tool to help datacentre owners, operators and design organisations understand the economic, energy and sustainability related costs of building a facility that uses a high-proportion of on-site or grid renewable energy.

Workload management and scheduling: RenewIT consortium partner, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, will lead efforts in this area, developing algorithms for scheduling workloads within a facility, or between facilities using a monitoring and control platform engineered by Loccioni Group.

Develop concepts for integration in datacentres: The team will quantify the benefits of various energy concepts. These concepts will use a holistic approach that integrates various solutions:
- Renewable heat sources (biomass, solar thermal, geothermal)
- Renewable power generation (wind, solar, photovoltaic)
- Renewable cooling (fresh/free air cooling, water, snow, sky radiation)
- Energy storage (daily or seasonal)
- Heat-pumps to increase the temperature of waste heat from datacentres
- Heat re-use and interaction with district heating and cooling systems
- Solar cooling.
Validation of tools with real datacentres: The project will establish a validation process in close collaboration with eight datacentres across Europe to exchange continuous feedback with the technical developers. Based on existing case studies, the validation process will use live datacentres to test the robustness and the end-user applicability of the project’s technical energy concepts and the simulation software tools.

Propose new metrics and contribute to standardisation efforts: RenewIT will contribute to the establishment of a standard approach to datacentre energy evaluation, incorporating infrastructure, equipment and IT workload management and renewables. New ways of evaluating load matching - the relationship between loads, the generation of renewable energy and the grid interaction flexibility – will help operators understand how a particular technical solution can meet the needs of the datacentre and the grid.

The project will also tackle the issue of how to better integrate datacentres with smart cities infrastructure by plugging into smart grid and micro grids, as well as strategies such as redirecting waste heat from datacentres to other businesses and residential accommodation.

RenewIT is made up of both commercial and scientific organisations. It is led by not-for-profit energy research centre Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC). The other members are 451 Research, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Loccioni Group of Italy, AIGUASOL, Amsterdam-based datacentre design specialist DEERNS, and Technische Universität Chemnitz, Professorship Technical Thermodynamics. The organisations bring a range of expertise to the project including green IT (IREC), renewable energy systems (AIGUASOL) and energy storage (Technische Universität Chemnitz), datacentre monitoring (Loccioni), workload and application energy management (BSC) and energy efficient datacentre design (DEERNS).

RenewIT is one of six projects funded by the EU under its Framework Programme 7 (FP7) initiative. The other projects are DOLFIN, GENiC, GEYSER, GreenDataNet andDC4Cities. The goal of these projects is to develop research and commercial tools to help increase the proportion of renewable energy generated and used by datacentres.

For further information about the involvement of TU Chemnitz, please contact PD Dr. Thorsten Urbaneck, phone 0371 531-32463, e-mail: thorsten.urbaneck@mb.tu-chemnitz.de.

Katharina Thehos | Technische Universität Chemnitz
Further information:
http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/tu/presse

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Engineering researchers use laser to 'weld' neurons
10.02.2016 | University of Alberta

nachricht Simulating the European electricity grid in 2050
10.02.2016 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

Im Focus: Superconductivity: footballs with no resistance

Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications.

Superconductors have long been confined to niche applications, due to the fact that the highest temperature at which even the best of these materials becomes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

About injured hearts that grow back - Heart regeneration mechanism in zebrafish revealed

10.02.2016 | Life Sciences

The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

10.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

Absorbing acoustics with soundless spirals

10.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>