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 System draws power from daily temperature swings
16.02.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht Researchers at Kiel University develop extremely sensitive sensor system for magnetic fields
15.02.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>