The data center of the future might do more than crunch and store information.
In addition to serving web pages, streaming Netflix videos, and hosting social networks, data centers might produce their own power.
Data centers consume a lot of energy. In the United States, data centers used 76 GWh of electricity in 2010 (or roughly 2 percent of the country’s energy usage, according to a report in the New York Times. Therefore, companies are looking for ways to reduce energy usage and pollution while maintaining reliability.
A team of researchers at Microsoft is studying how they could bring the power plant into the data center itself to improve efficiency and reliability using fuel cell technology.
“We are taking an unconventional approach to power a datacenter entirely by fuel cells integrated directly into the server racks. This brings the power plant inside the datacenter, effectively eliminating energy loss that otherwise occurs in the energy supply chain and doubling the efficiency of traditional data centers”, writes Sean James, Senior Research Program Manager for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services (the group that manages the company’s data centers).
Data centers typically source electricity from utilities (or in some cases provided by onsite renewable generation). If electricity is purchased from the grid, it is likely produced using some form of combustion. First, fuel is combusted to spin a turbine (either directly in a gas cycle or using steam). The turbine blade then spins a generator to produce electricity, which is then transmitted and distributed along wires until it gets to the data center.
The laws of thermodynamics tell us to expect losses at each of the stages, so much so that only 20 percent of the energy produced at the power plant makes it to the server rack. Losses occur every time energy changes form (say, going from chemical energy in the fuel to thermal energy in steam, to mechanical energy of a spinning turbine blade, and so forth).
By eliminating the number of energy conversions, James and his team have found they can double the efficiency to 40 percent.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Pliops Closes $65M Funding Round to Skyrocket Data Center Efficiency, Starts Countdown to Product Launchon February 24, 2021 at 7:04 am
Led by Koch Disruptive Technologies with NVIDIA Expanding Share, Investment in Game-Changing Technology Aimed to Up Data Performance, Deliver Unprecedented ScalabilitySAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 24, 2021 ...
- IBM unveils next gen version of its data center operating systemon February 24, 2021 at 7:02 am
As it re-focusses on moving to hybrid cloud, IBM has announced the next version of its AIX operating system for servers - the first release since 2015. The release of AIX 7.3 is further testament to ...
- Data Center Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026 - In-depth Analysis and Data-driven Insights on the Impact of COVID-19on February 24, 2021 at 6:59 am
The "Data Center Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
- Samsung Begins Mass Production of Data Center SSD for Hyperscale Environmentson February 24, 2021 at 5:22 am
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced it has begun mass producing its most advanced line of data center SSDs, the PM9A3 E1.S. The new PM9A3 fully complies with the Open Compute Project (OCP) ...
- Sungard AS builds data center for NYU Langone Healthon February 24, 2021 at 3:27 am
Sungard Availability Services has completed construction on a data center for NYU Langone Health. The 1MW facility has 5,000 square feet (465 sq m) of raised floor space, 2N redundancy, and utilizes ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- NTT opens data centers in Illinois and Oregonon February 24, 2021 at 4:07 am
Japan's NTT has opened two 36 megawatt (MW) data centers in Chicago, Illinois, and Hillsboro, Oregon. The new Chicago and Hillsboro data centers will be officially unveiled during a virtual launch ...
- India’s Adani launches joint venture for renewables-powered data centerson February 24, 2021 at 1:04 am
AdaniConneX, the joint venture with US-based data center solutions provider EdgeConneX, will develop renewable energy-powered data centers with up to 1 GW of power demand in India over the next decade ...
- Hitachi ABB Power Grids drives digital transformation of the pow-er sector with new Smart Digital Substationon February 24, 2021 at 12:02 am
Hitachi ABB Power Grids announced the launch of its Smart Digital Substation offering which brings together the latest in digital substation technology with ...
- Samsung starts mass-production of power-efficient SSD for data centerson February 23, 2021 at 6:06 pm
Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday it has started mass-production of a power-efficient solid state drive (SSD) for data centers that also boasts enhanced security solutions. The South Korean tech ...
- How Data Centers Have Weathered the Stormon February 22, 2021 at 6:50 am
Data centers play a crucial role in storage and transmission of data, making them vital to our increasingly digital economy. In addition to giving customers a place to store their data, data center ...