Morges, Switzerland -- 13/03/14 -- The European Commission has awarded a ¤2.9m grant to a consortium of manufacturers, users, and academics to develop new technologies to build smarter, more energy-efficient data centers.
The GreenDataNet project is led by power management company Eaton, working together with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Nissan, ICTroom, Credit Suisse, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and the University of Trento (UNITN).
The GreenDataNet project will develop state-of-the-art technologies that will allow urban data centers to reach 80% of renewable power use and decrease their average Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) from an average of 1.6-2.0 today to less than 1.3. GreenDataNet will enable energy monitoring and optimization of IT, power, cooling and storage at three levels: servers and racks, individual data centers and networks of data centers.
To further reduce the need for grid power, GreenDataNet will also work on the integration of local photovoltaic energy in combination with an innovative, large-scale storage solution that will facilitate the integration of data centers into smart grids. Within this project, second-life electric vehicle Li-ion batteries will be investigated as a more advantageous solution for data centers to become actual smart grid nodes.
The whole solution will be implemented on an open-source platform to allow third parties to provide additional optimization modules and ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. Three demonstration sites will be utilized to test and validate the GreenDataNet concept: a data center operated by Credit Suisse in Switzerland, a data center at CEA in France that includes a large photovoltaic area and a smart grid test platform and a pilot site in the Netherlands that is being used by a Dutch consortium working on Green IT technologies.
Based on the project outcome, GreenDataNet will release guidelines to help make data centers more sustainable in the future.
"The intention of GreenDataNet is to make it easier to design data centers that balance rising demand for their services with sustainable energy policies," said Cyrille Brisson, Vice President EMEA for Power Quality at Eaton, which leads the consortium.
"We aim to achieve three things with this project: create significant efficiency gains for data centers and overall environmental benefits, demonstrate networks of data centers running on renewable energy and finally, create new market opportunities for data centers that can use, and store and share renewable energy."
"The growth of data centers has leapt in recent times, and the responsible thing for users, manufacturers and academics to do is to make sure that use is as efficient and sustainable as possible," said Eaton's Brisson. "This project will look beyond the immediate needs of data center operators to the collective savings and opportunities that interconnected data centers and urban grids provide - not just to the industry, but to the community as a whole."