The data centre industry is facing significant challenges in terms of energy use and sustainability, as demand for data is escalating worldwide, while the severity of climate change and urgency of climate action is increasing.
A large part of the energy used in a data centre is consumed when elaborate cooling systems remove heat to keep temperatures stable. Over 40% of the total energy in data centres is consumed for cooling the IT equipment.
Currently, the world’s data centres consumes about 3% of global electricity. However by 2025 up to 20% of all electricity in the world is expected to be used in connection to the data centre industry.
A new brief, by UNEP DTU Partnership – Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, Open Data Center Committee and International Telecommunication Union presents three different solutions for more energy efficient liquid cooling. Solutions that are already implemented and working in some of the world’s leading data centres.
Need for energy efficient solutions
The increased need for data centre heat dissipation calls for energy-efficient cooling solutions. Liquid cooling, with its efficient heat dissipation and high energy-saving characteristics, is becoming greatly preferred in China and is snow-balling with successful business cases already on the market.
The three solutions introduced in the brief are: cold-plate liquid cooling, immersion liquid cooling and spray liquid cooling.
Two good practices from Alibaba and Tencent have been selected to showcase their advanced liquid-cooling systems. Of the two leading Chinese internet companies, Alibaba has already achieved large-scale deployment of liquid-cooling technology.
On the policy side, the brief also contains a data centre sustainability assessment matrix and highlights regulations on energy-efficient data centres at China’s national and city levels to demonstrate the current progress on building an enabling environment for sustainable development of energy efficient data centres.
The brief is part of a series of four papers on sustainability on the data centre sector. The entire series can be accessed here.