Alfa Laval

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Energy efficiency: The key to sustainable data centers

In today’s society most of the information we consume is online. Whether you are working from home, checking social media, or watching Netflix, more and more data is created every day. In fact, it is predicted that in 2025 100 Zettabytes of the 200 Zettabytes of data that needs storage will be in the cloud. To put that into perspective, if we tried to put that amount of data on DVDs, we could create a stack that would wrap around the earth 222 times.
So, we need data centers to store and process this huge amount of data. With that said, the data center industry consumes a lot of energy and is already emitting the same amount of carbon dioxide as the air travel in 2023. Streaming videos alone currently accounts for 300 million tonnes of the CO2 that enters the atmosphere every year. The question is, what can we do about it?
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Energy efficient data center cooling

We know that 35-40% of the power consumption in data centers goes towards server cooling, but with the right technology in place, we can change that. Improving the energy efficiency of data center cooling processes can significantly reduce the amount of energy they consume.
Did you know that as much as 98% of the electricity used by data centers is converted into heat? This excess heat can be put into good use by capturing and connecting it to district heating networks for example. The technology to utilize this untapped potential is already available on the market today. With Alfa Laval’s heat transfer technology, we can help data centers cope with the increasing demand for high density computing, while also keeping their carbon emissions and energy bills low.

The future of energy supply

By 2030, the data center industry is predicted to consume 13% of global energy use. That sounds challenging in a world where the industries need to become carbon neutral by 2030. But, if data centers could reuse the energy that they consume, and even power local networks, this problem could actually become a solution. The answer is in excess heat reuse. When hot water leaves a data center as part of the cooling process, heat recovering technology can be used to capture any excess heat for new purposes. The best part is that this technology doesn’t just exist, it is available and ready to be installed in data centers today.
Take EcoDataCenter as an example. With the support of Alfa Laval’s heat transfer technology to boost energy efficiency, this sustainable data center has transformed the industry by transporting the excess heat from server halls to a nearby power plant. By doing so, EcoDataCenter can support the production of renewable fuel in the form of wooden pellets and contribute to creating a circular economy.
If every data center in the world shifted to this way of thinking by 2030, reusing the waste heat from their serves in district heating, we could save 3000 TW/h in electricity and prevent 680 million tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere every single year. That is enough electricity to heat 300 million European homes and the annual carbon emitted by France.
Find out more about how energy efficient data center cooling and heat reuse can support the planet’s future on Alfa Laval’s website.

  • Sarah Chabane

    6 w

    Super interesting, energy efficiency is really key in all industries!

    • dickson mutai

      7 w

      Doing away with obsolete systems and taking advantage of newer, more efficient technologies is the way to go ...

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