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New Green Data Center Cooled by Wind

by on March 18, 2010

Wind When wind and green energy are mentioned these days the first thing that pops to mind are windmills, but Hewlett Packard has found another use for Boreas: data center cooling. In February, the company opened its 360,000-square-foot Wynyard center, located near Billingham in the UK. The facility, which HP says is 40 percent more efficient than conventional data centers, uses the brisk winds off the North Sea to cool the rooms housing its hardware.

According to HP, the wind helps keep the temperatures in the center at a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). It’s only when the mercury rises above 75 on the outside of the building–which only happens on about 20 days a year–that the data center managers will have to resort to conventional chillers to keep internal temperatures under control.

In building the data center, HP is looking to cut into the ballooning cost of cooling which, for the average UK facility, it predicts will be $15.33 million.

How does Wynyard’s energy consumption stack up? Its average cost per kilowatt-hour is estimated at $0.117. That, HP says, should save the facility $1.4 million per hall and give the center a carbon footprint that’s less than half its competition.

Its power usage effectiveness (PUE), the ratio of total energy consumed by a data center to the energy used by its equipment, is an impressive 1.2. That means for every 1.2 watts of juice delivered to the facility, one watt is delivered to the IT load. The average PUE for a typical data center, according to the Uptime Institute, is 2.5.

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