Data centers are the biggest energy hogs of the computing world, but the DOE is going whole hog towards energy efficiency with the construction of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) high performance computer (HPC) system in Golden, CO.
Working with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Intel Corporation, the NREL data center will save and recycle energy, working towards a power usage effective (PUE) rating of 1.06 or better, 94% more efficient than the average data center.
PUE compares the power used to operate a data center’s IT equipment to the total power used there, including heating, cooling, and lighting. An ideal PUE is 1.0, but a typical PUE is 1.92, according to the EPA’s Energy Star Program.
Intel and HP experts worked with data center designers at NREL to leverage innovative warm water liquid cooling technology to maximize the reuse of heat.
The data center will recycle about 70% of the waste heat from the computer systems as its primary source of heat for the offices and lab space, and excess heat will also be used to warm adjacent buildings on the NREL campus.
The 10 mW, $10 million HPC system is under construction and has already earned NREL the 2011 GreenGov Presidential Award for Green Innovation.
Scheduled for power-on in summer 2013, the data center will support NREL’s 220,000-square-foot LEED Platinum Research Support Facility.
It is expected to save $200,000 annually in electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 5 million pounds per year.