Data Centre and Power News: February 2023
At Hodgson Acoustics, we proudly provide noise control solutions to a number of partners across the data centre and power generation industries, and so keep across all the latest developments in these sectors. Here’s our round-up of the latest trends, from the progress of Europe’s renewable energy push to Microsoft’s smart energy storage plans…
Unused Heat Could Power Europe
According to a report from engineering company Danfoss, Europe could generate significant power by capturing the excess heat generated by data centres and appliances such as fridges. Europe wastes 2,860 TWh annually in excess heat, almost matching the EU and the UK’s total demand for heat and hot water. Using heat recovery technology and efficient appliances, Europe could harness this untapped energy source and make strides in the transition to green energy. Recycled heat might just be the next frontier of the green revolution!
The Race to Reduce Data Centre Power Consumption
The BBC reports that, as cloud computing’s explosive growth outpaces energy grids’ capacity, new technology is being developed to reduce data centres’ power consumption. A digital diet in Brunello, Italy, is trimming bits and bytes, and discarding surplus information to slash power use by up to 80%. In Ireland, a new facility in Grange Castle is claimed to be the first time a live, dynamic relationship has been established between a data centre and a national grid, using software to manage the connection and cut off electricity when the grid is under stress.
Microsoft’s latest energy efficiency move
According to Energy Storage News, Microsoft wants to replicate its lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) used to manage a data centre’s energy use in Dublin, Ireland, across its facilities worldwide. The project has been cited as an example of how the energy use of data centre assets can be managed, and the company is in conversation with utilities worldwide to establish how to participate in grid-balancing markets. It contracted Enel X to install a smart lithium-ion BESS to replace the data centre’s lead acid batteries, which reduced reliance on diesel.
Challenges Ahead for Data Centres
An article published in Data Centre & Network News in February suggests data centres face three big challenges in 2023: they have to cut costs, make their facilities more sustainable, and find qualified talent to manage their operations.
To meet the unrelenting demand for data storage and processing, data centre operators are trying to do more with less, while complying with local and national building codes, financial accounting laws, and security regulations. They are streamlining their operations, reducing operating expenses and easing workloads by installing monitoring and management platforms to automate tasks. They also face increasing pressure to become more sustainable and energy-efficient, meet increasingly rigorous sustainability and ESG financial reporting standards and measure their carbon footprint.
Finally, data centres are dealing with a widening skills gap, an ageing workforce, and a lack of qualified candidates interested in managing data centres.
Europe’s Shift Towards Renewables
VC Elements has mapped the top source of electricity generation for European countries, with many still relying on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, as their primary source. However, renewables have been rapidly increasing, making up 32% of the EU’s electricity generation in 2021, compared to 18% in 2011. The expansion of wind and solar has been the main driver of this shift, growing from 8% to 19% in the same period.
Hodgson Acoustics engineer, manufacture and install high-quality noise control solutions for Industrial and Power applications. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your business.