Going Green: Cooling computers saves energy
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Anyone who has ever used a laptop on his or her lap knows how much heat even a small computer like that can generate. Now, imagine a large room full of larger computer systems generating heat and using up a lot of energy doing it. However, that's not the case in the SU-IBM Data Center at Syracuse University.
“We have combined a number of functions in ways that eliminate waste and wasted power. Most of the technology is not brand new technology but this is a novel way to assemble old technology to eliminate the waste in conventional data centers and by eliminating that waste, we believe we're going to save at least 50 percent of the power normally consumed in a data center,” said Mark Weldon, Executive Director of Corporate Relations at SU.
A major key to create savings is using water to cool the individual racks of servers as opposed to cooling down the entire room whether all the servers are in operation or not.
“If you're just cooling the room, you have to run the air conditioner full blast all the time no matter how many computers are working because it doesn't discriminate. We have the tools to tune the system to the need. No one gives up any service or reliability but we don't fire hose energy at the problem,” said Weldon.
Cool water is circulated through the rack's cabinet and the warm water is carried off by hoses in the floor for use in this building and the building next door.
The power for the system comes from an array of power turbines fueled by natural gas and located right next door to the data center.
“We make our own hot water as a result of the exhaust that comes out of those turbines and we make our own cold water using the exhaust from those turbines but it's put through an absorption chiller,” said Weldon.
SU partnered with IBM and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to build the data center and each shares in the resulting research.
About Going Green:
Going Green is produced in cooperation with the College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Learn more about SUNY ESF by visiting their website, esf.edu.