Efficiency analysis and optimisation for small scale data centres

Panel: 4. Technology, products and system optimisation

Dirk Turek, Institute of Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use, Germany
Peter Radgen, Institute of Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use, Germany
Simon Türk, Germany


In the light of growing computing-demand and significant new build of large data centers, smaller data centres and server rooms still count for a significant energy saving potential based on the number of installations and their low efficiency. For large data centres efficiency optimisation has become more and more common and the energy management is often certified. But for the vast amount of small scale server rooms such optimisation is often considered not to be economical feasible or the technical staff is not aware of these saving potentials. Using a small scale data centre as an example a study was conducted to identify the biggest efficiency potentials in prevalent server rooms and data centres. The dimensions of these data centres make up a huge portion of the current infrastructure and are expected to increase their share due to “Industry 4.0” and autonomous driving in the future.

For this study the temperature, humidity, air pressure and multiple power consumptions were measured in the server room. In addition, a literature review was conducted, focusing on best practices and scientific papers. The findings are weighted with respect to the limited budget and technical capabilities commonly attributed to SMEs. The two most promising optimisations can cut the energy costs for the cooing system by up to 65,3 %. Of which 40,3 % saving were derived from real data simulations and 25 % from literature estimations. These simple measures, consisting of restructuring the server room, can be replicated in other installations. Further system optimisations are possible but the needed higher investments or expertise are commonly not available for most SMEs.


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