Greener Outlook for 2022: How Data Centers Can Become More Climate Neutral
(Convenient translation of German version)
Data centers are an important pillar of technical progress. For this reason, new data centers are constantly being planned and built. At the latest since the pandemic, people are spending more and more time online increasing compute demand and power consumption. According to the Borderstep Institute, the energy demand of German data centers in 2020 was around 16B kWh. At the same time, the topic of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in society. Discussions initially provoked by the high energy consumption of data centers have expanded to include demands for climate neutrality. To achieve net-zero emissions, there are three areas to be thoughtfully considered:
1. Effective use of waste heat
The demand for climate-neutral solutions is getting louder and louder. The use of waste heat can make a significant contribution to this – especially in industrial areas. Many companies still rely on classic heating methods such as coal and have to compensate for this with increasingly expensive CO2 certificates. With the expansion of a local heating network, the waste heat from data centers in the immediate vicinity can be used. That is not only more cost-effective for larger volumes but, above all, sustainable.
2. Advanced cooling methods
To prevent the hardware components from being damaged by the considerable heat generation, the entire system must first be cooled. Therefore, the use of efficient cooling technology in the data center is essential for this. Conventional air cooling requires a large amount of energy and does not allow for efficient heat reuse. Water and liquid cooling methods, on the other hand, not only achieve higher cooling efficiency but can store more heat making them more attractive for heat reuse purposes and can be connected – almost – directly to the heating network.
3. Making construction processes sustainable
It is also important to pay attention to climate neutrality in the deployment phase. After all, construction projects are accountable for almost 40 percent of CO2 emissions worldwide. Since many resource-intensive processes are involved here, it is important to plan them out carefully. That is the only way to avoid bottlenecks – or even dismantling measures – and carry out the construction processes in a climate-neutral manner.
Further information as well as the entire technical article by Herbert Radlinger, VP Projects & Solutions at NDC-GARBE can be read here.
For more information on advanced cooling processes, click here.
For more information on more sustainable construction processes, click here.