GENiC (Globally optimised ENergy efficient data Centres)

Cork Institute of Technology is leading the EU-funded GENiC (Globally optimised ENergy efficient data Centres) project, which aims to develop a platform that uses renewables for power generation and to optimise cooling to reduce costs driven by the server workload while at the same time making use of the waste heat to heat nearby buildings such as offices or houses.

Problem Statement
Data Centre (DC) energy consumption has doubled between 2000 and 2005 and grew by 50% from 2005 to 2010 consuming 1.5% of global energy with continued rapid growth. On average, computing consumes 60% of total energy while cooling consumes 35%. While new technology can lead to a 40% reduction computation and cooling typically operate without coordination or optimization. While server energy management can reduce energy use at CPU, rack, and DC level dynamic computation scheduling is not integrated with sensing and cooling. DC cooling typically operates at constant cold air temperature to protect the hottest server racks while local fans distribute the temperature across racks. However, these local server controls are not integrated with room cooling systems so it is not possible to optimize chiller, air fans and server fans as a system. The integration of renewable energy sources (RES) has received limited interest from the DC community due to lack of interoperability of generation, storage and heat recovery and installation and maintenance cost versus payback. The adoption of new technologies related to computing, cooling, generation, energy storage, and waste heat recovery individually requires sophisticated controls, but no single manufacturer provides a complete system so integration between control systems does not exist.

GENiC Solution
To address this need for a complete systems approach GENiC will develop a novel scalable, integrated management and control platform for data centre wide optimisation of energy consumption by integrating monitoring and control of the primary data centre energy producing/consuming components: computation, communication, and data storage, cooling, local power generation, energy storage, and waste heat recovery. The platform will include open interfaces and a common data format and provide control and optimisation functions and decision support tools enabling data centre operators to achieve a substantial reduction in energy consumption, PUE and CUE. GENiC will also define a process and develop a tool chain supporting cost-effective integration of renewable energy sources into data centre power systems demonstrating renewable energy penetration in excess of 80%.

Visit the GENiC official website here.

Coordinator: Dr. Dirk Pesch
Organisation: Cork Institute of Technology
Tel: +353 21 4325566