An EU-funded research project has launched a free online tool to help design energy efficient and renewable data centres.
Data centres are large networks of computer servers used to store, process or distribute large amounts of data. They typically use a lot of energy.
The RenewIT tool is designed to help operators, designers and stakeholders maximise the sustainability of new data centre sites by comparing more than 60 European locations in terms of electricity costs, access to renewable power and a number of other factors.
Financial services company ING has been involved with RenewIT from the start of the project. Using the tool, RenewIT demonstrated how ING could improve the efficiency of one of its zero carbon data centres by adding a biogas fuel cell and raising the operating temperature of the facility.
Andrew Donoghue, Project Spokesperson for RenewIT, said: “The tool is truly unique. It not only allows data centre operators to model the benefits and costs of on-site and grid renewables but also the efficiency gains from technologies such as free cooling and even workload management can also be assessed in detail.”
The tool may be extended to North America and Asia in the future.