An EU-funded research project has launched a free online tool to help design energy efficient and renewable data centres.
Data centres house networks of computer servers to store, process or distribute large amounts of data. They are generally large users of energy and the industry as a whole is keen to reduce the impact they have.
The RenewIT tool is designed to help operators, designers and stakeholders maximise the sustainability of new data centre sites by comparing more than 60 European locations by electricity costs, access to renewable power and other factors. It can help select the best location, cooling concept or energy efficiency measures, and the results can be compared to a conventional data centre or with another facility.
Financial services company ING has used RenewIT to demonstrate how they could improve the efficiency of one of their zero carbon data centres by adding a biogas fuel cell and raising the operating temperature of the facility.
Jo Harris, Sustainable Construction Group Manager at BSRIA, said: “It allows data centre operators to replicate the advantages and expenses of on-site and grid renewables, predicts productivity gains from technologies such as free cooling and the finer aspects of workload management can also be calculated.”
The tool is for use in the EU, but there is potential for it to be extended to North America and Asia in the future.
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