Eco-Friendly Data Center First to Use Wind for Cooling
The hottest topic in data center design these days is the legendary cold wind blowing off England’s North Sea. This glacier-cooled coastal air, often bone-chillingly icy, is being innovatively harnessed into a new technology tool: lowering temperatures of IT equipment and plant rooms for an anticipated annual energy saving of 40 percent compared to conventional data centers.
Currently under construction by HP Enterprise Services, the Wynyard facility in North East England near Billingham incorporates a number of design considerations that are expected to make it one of the largest and most environmentally friendly data centers in Europe once fully constructed. It has already drawn the attention of data center design professionals, receiving the Green Datacentre Award in December 2008, given by DatacenterDynamics to recognize innovation and reward excellence in facility design and operations for use of innovative technology.
“We hope that making the industry aware of what we have achieved at Wynyard will set a new standard for data centers around the world,” said Sally Poynter, HP Data Center Services Lead. “When Wynyard is completed it will be one of the largest data centers in Europe, but will achieve costs and energy savings on a different level from other data centers.”
Data centers can be the single largest source of electrical power consumption and carbon emissions for large corporations. Traditional data centers, on average, use several thousand megawatt hours per year. If data centers were classed as a separate industry, they would be the sixth-largest user of electricity.
By 2011, the average UK data center is expected to spend around $15.33m a year on cooling IT systems, equipment and plant rooms. With the rising cost of energy and mounting concern over the IT industry’s contribution to carbon emissions, HP’s design for Wynyard sets a new standard for data centers around the world.
Wynyard is able to reduce the cost of cooling in its facility through a number of design considerations:
• Eight 2.2-meter-diameter fans in each of the four halls in the data center used to supply air, and another eight used to exhaust air
• A mixing chamber in the facility recirculates air to maintain conditions in the five meter-high pressurized plenum below the computer equipment.
• 8100m2 of technical space at an average capacity of 2260 w/m2 to a tier 3 standard
• Humidification and cooling coils in the data center to tune the outside air condition and remove contaminants
At an average 11.7 cents per kWH, this design will save Wynyard approximately $1.4m per hall, which will deliver HP and its clients energy efficient computing space with a carbon footprint of less than half of many of its competitors in the market.
Anne Augustine, HP Head of Sustainability in EMEA, said that this data center was just one of the many ways that the business unit reduces its carbon footprint.
“HP is committed to environmental sustainability. The company recently announced that it will reduce the combined energy consumption of operations and products by 25 percent below 2005 levels, by 2010,” Augustine said. “the organization has solutions and products to mobilize its clients to take action on their environmental impact; be that from the data center to the desktop and into the wider business operations our clients run.”