Eat as much electricity as the whole of Berlin: New technology makes German data bunker green

the computer center of the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems in Biere, near Magdeburg, according to company information one of the largest Cloud Data Center

Eat as much electricity as the whole of Berlin: New technology makes German data bunker green

the computer center of the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems in Biere, near Magdeburg, according to company information one of the largest Cloud Data Center in Europe. Business customers Parking here is your data: Several Hundred petabytes of storage volume are available for it. Very soon after the first data bunker T-Systems has built a second next to it.

It points out there in this country, a Boom in the construction of new nodes. The reason is that the company it is important to store your data on servers in Germany. On the other, the so-called Edge Computing nurtures the Boom. In the industry 4.0. and in the future, when Autonomous Driving, any amount of data that must be processed. This requires many small, decentralized facilities.

national and international Cloud providers such as Google and Amazon are investing heavily in Germany, as a recent study by the Berlin Board step Institute revealed, which was commissioned by the eco-Association of the Internet economy. And although electricity costs as much, as in almost no other industrialised country.

Hunger for data and power

Around 50,000 data centers of all sizes in Germany, so the on-Board step-expert for Green IT Ralph behind the man. For him, everything is home to at least three Server belongs to. The data centers are owned and operated by IT companies, public authorities, universities, banks or industry. Currently, the Bytes-envelope places to consume, according to the network of Sustainable data centers (mink) 12.4 billion Kwh of electricity a year, which is almost as much as the city of Berlin.

"The demand for computing power has increased tenfold since 2010," says Hinte man. Although the energy requirements per Gigabit in the data center today is 12 Times lower than ten years ago, but the high demand for computing power, have to eat the efficiency progress up the study. The opportunities to save energy or to be climate-neutral, non-irritating, far wherever.

When it comes to efficiency, screw cooling is the key parameter: it consumes almost as much power as the data processing itself. It has not cooled earlier, the whole room evenly, so that the servers are running hot, today is Cold from the warm air separately and directly to the Server set.


In some data centers, to dare, to leave water in the vicinity of the electronics, because it absorbs heat much better than air. Prof. Volker Lindenstruth of the University of Frankfurt, an expert on high-performance computers, has developed a patented process that protects today the Supercomputer research facilities are extremely energy-efficient from Overheating. For this, computer cabinets, Racks, in high shelves stacked. On the rear pipes run in doors made of metal. In this heat, softened water flows exchangers in a closed circuit. A Startup marketed the technology to industrial customers. dw The Google data center in Finland, benefits from the low average temperature of two degrees and the proximity to the sea: The servers are cooled with cold sea water.

Even better is the energy balance, if the waste heat is used. The falls in huge quantities, all the year round and with temperatures of around 30 degrees. Usual, it was already behind the man, to heat up their own offices in order. The Rest - 99 percent - but fizzles out. Either there were no customers or it was too uneconomical.

city planners, and energy suppliers to the table

to get But it can be done differently: In Frankfurt Eurotheum, the whole heated to the data bunker-high-rise building with offices and conference rooms, hotel rooms and catering.

Otherwise it is also in Volkswagen. 2017 Volkswagen Financial Services AG has built on the site of a former barracks in Braunschweig a new data center with advanced cooling and green electricity. The waste heat from the processing of the financial transactions supplied to 100 houses in the adjacent new housing area. A heat pump raises the temperature to the required level. The VW subsidiary was the whole project according to its own figures, around 65 million Euro cost.

Such projects are, however, only be achieved if energy providers and city planners to sit at the table, if you want to establish IT service providers in a targeted manner and with heat network connections to help out. In Germany, this happens rarely. In Stockholm, however, the data nodes feed their waste heat to municipal district-heating network in Switzerland, you heat some municipal swimming pools. "You will be asked for buttons and connections," says Hinte man. In Germany, a liberation of the geothermal pumps from the EEG would be the waste heat levy make use of more economically attractive.

waste heat for food production

use A vision of the future is to build greenhouses in addition to a data center and operate with the excess heat. So fruit, vegetables, fish, or algae could be in the middle of bred in the city. A symbiosis is much to be said: The "Vertical Farming" need more and more data, the computer delivered all year round at the right temperature. The connection could be with little effort to implement.

Too old can be more efficiently

modernize An older data center during operation is difficult: the risk of data loss, says Hinte man. But also in the portfolio there is potential for efficiency gains in Soft - and Hardware. The Institute for energy Economics and the rational use of energy (IER) at the University of Stuttgart has published in the beginning of the year, a guide for sustainable data centers. A lever is the optimal utilization. Even if they are not used, bearing in Server eating switched a lot of electricity.

"Because operational safety is the A and O, is tolerated at times of low server usage to avoid peak hours restrictions," says the IER. It is recommended, therefore, to improve the capacity utilization, "Zombie Server" to turn off and to keep the components and concepts is always up to date.

on-Board step-an expert behind the man sees further advantages in the intelligent load management: "Some of the processes such as Backups and the consolidation of the databases are not time-critical. You can move and then run when the weather is due to more green electricity in the grid."

In the PCP In the

*can be The contribution of "Green-IT: How data centers more sustainable" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Date Of Update: 14 July 2020, 13:26

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