Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 59 | Page 42

The data centre industry is responsible for more greenhouse gases than commercial flights so the pressure is on for it to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 . Here we take a look at two examples of how leaders in the data centre space are making big progress when it comes to achieving their sustainability targets .

A data centre in Swindon , Carbon-Z , has become one of the first in the UK to be fully carbon neutral , following an overhaul of its site and work practices . This includes the submersion of all hardware components in cooling liquid and sourcing electricity from green energy providers . Plans are also in place for installing solar panels on the site ’ s roof .

The site was previously known as SilverEdge and is rebranding itself to reflect the change of direction in how it operates and the services it provides to clients . It now hopes to inspire a wider shift towards sustainability within the data centre industry , which accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions annually than commercial flights .
Jon Clark , Commercial and Operations Director at Carbon-Z , commented on the company ’ s new direction : “ As the United Kingdom and the world move towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 , our industry is responsible for making data centres greener and more efficient . At Carbon-Z , we continually look for new ways to improve our sustainability with the goal being to get our data centres to carbon neutral , then carbon zero and then carbon negative . We believe this is possible and hope to see a wider movement among our peers in the same direction over the coming years .”
Playing it cool
The growing intensity of computing power as well as high performance demands has resulted in rapidly rising temperatures within data centres and a negative cycle of energy usage . More computing means more power , more power means more heat , more heat demands more cooling , and traditional air-cooling systems consume massive amounts of power which in turns contributes to the heating up of sites .
To get around this , Carbon-Z site operates using liquid immersion cooling , a revolutionary technology which involves the submersion of hardware components in dielectric liquid which does not conduct electricity and conveys heat away from the heat source . This greatly reduces the need for cooling infrastructure and costs less than traditional air cooling . The smaller amount of energy that is now needed to power the Swindon site can now be sourced through Carbon-Z ’ s Green Energy Sourcing .
While its clear benefits mean that immersion cooling is quickly catching on , it is predicted to grow from US $ 243 million this year to US $ 700 million by 2026 , the great majority of the UK ’ s more than 600 data centres are not making use of it and continue to operate in a way which is highly energy intensive and carbon emitting .
Riding the wave
As part of its rebrand , Carbon-Z has also updated the kinds of services it offers to customers to make sure

Data centre industry makes strides towards sustainable future

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