Going beyond ‘consumption’.
With both the precarious supply and consequent soaring cost of energy an increasing cause for concern to individuals and businesses of all types, the time is ripe for data centre designers and operators to rethink their approach to ‘power’.
Conventionally, the focus has been with power usage and efficiencies, manifested in the preoccupation with PUE. Reflecting this concern, we have developed a number of ways to reduce PUE. First and foremost, our solutions are application-driven: because we ensure that cooling environments are matched to IT infrastructure requirements, this means that power is only used when and where it is needed. Secondly, our designs deploy closed-loop water systems which maximise energy efficiency further by enabling us to run the IT at higher operational temperatures. This has the added benefit of reducing water consumption.
However, efficiency is only part of the story. What if we could reframe data centres not just as consumers of energy, but as energy producers as well? We believe that data centres can contribute to energy security and aim to develop designs which – location depending – allow for power to be generated and stored on site. Installing a Combined Heat & Power engine, for example, not only avoids having to rely on the grid as the primary source of power, but can also help reduce the overall carbon footprint if the heat is also utilised as a source of energy.