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  • Danfoss and Hewlett Packard Enterprise partner to curb data center energy consumption and reuse excess heat

    Published on June 24, 2024

    Danfoss and Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently announced their collaboration to deliver HPE IT Sustainability Services – Data Center Heat Recovery, an off-the shelf heat recovery module, helping organizations manage and value excess  heat as they transition towards more sustainable IT facilities.

    The rapid integration of AI technologies across organizations and businesses is expected to have a dramatic increase in the power demand and utilization of AI optimized IT infrastructure. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2026 the AI industry is expected to have grown exponentially to consume at least ten times its electricity demand in 2023 . To mitigate these challenges, IT leaders and data center facility operators are taking action to reduce energy usage, such as implementing modern power-efficient capabilities and improved cooling systems. Excess heat in the EU alone represents an estimated 2,860 TWh/y, almost equal to the EU’s total energy demand for heat and hot water in residential and service sector buildings . The flow of excess heat from data centers is uninterruptible and therefore constitutes a very reliable source of clean energy.

    Mr Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India, said, “Sustainability is at the heart of our partnership with HPE. By harnessing excess heat, we’re not only reducing energy consumption but also creating a reliable source of clean energy. Danfoss’ heat reuse modules will make it possible to capture and reuse heat produced by data centres, providing a renewable energy source to supply heating on site and to neighbouring commercial and residential buildings, communities and industries that need heat for their processes.”

    Benefits and agility of modularity

    HPE’s MDC incorporates direct liquid cooling (DLC) technologies to enhance energy efficiency by over 20% and optimize energy production and distribution, leading to notable energy savings. The design’s compactness minimizes energy loss by reducing the distance for energy and cooling fluid transport and maximizes the temperature differential at the inlet and outlet, which promotes the capture of excess heat. Furthermore, the MDC’s agility and the exclusion of heavy industrial materials negate the need for costly, conventional building materials and substantially reduces the time to market. Deployment can be achieved three times quicker than with traditional data centers, decreasing from 18 months to as few as 6 months. Finally, the reduced land footprint and flexibility of the MDCs allow for placement in proximity to data generation sites, which diminishes the energy impact and bottlenecks associated with complex networking solutions and data transfer, while also supporting enhanced data governance and security.

    “Our strategic partnership with HPE is a great example of how we revolutionize building and decarbonizing the data center industry together with customers,” said Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Climate Solutions. “With this latest cross-industry partnership we’re building the blueprint for the next generation of sustainable datacenters – using technologies available today”.

    With unparalleled density, HPE’s modular data centers offer an impressive power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1  in contrast to the PUE of 1.3 to 1.4 typically associated with the best modern designs of traditional brick-and-mortar data centers. Capable of handling the most power-demanding architectures like HPE Cray Supercomputing EX4000, HPE’s modular data center is the adequate architecture for mission critical and compute intensive workloads like supercomputing and generative AI, enabling scientists, universities, and enterprises to achieve faster outcomes.

    “At HPE, we believe in the power of collaboration to create transformative solutions,” said Sue Preston, Vice President & General Manager, WW Advisory & Professional Services & Managed Services, HPE. “Our partnership with Danfoss brings together HPE’s innovative modular data center with Danfoss’ groundbreaking heat reuse technology. Together, we are not just adding value; we are multiplying it. By harnessing the typically untapped resource of waste heat, turning waste into worth, showing the future of energy usage is efficient, intelligent, and, most importantly, achievable now.”

    From chip to chiller: Driving innovation in decarbonization

    To leverage excess heat – one of the largest untapped sources of energy and the largest potential for data centers across Europe, HPE has partnered up with Danfoss as their decarbonization partner. The strategic partnership takes advantage of Danfoss’ extensive product portfolio of energy-efficient solutions to drive innovation, support decarbonization and build the blueprint for the next generation of sustainable modular data centers.

    HPE IT Sustainability Services – Data Center Heat Recovery is inspired by how Danfoss is already using heat reuse technology at its own headquarters campus in Denmark. Here, the heat is recovered from Danfoss’ onsite data center, boosted by a heat pump, and re-used in surrounding buildings to provide space heating. The heat can also be fed into the local district heating network to provide a renewable heat source to local residents. Reusing heat is a major part of Danfoss’ own decarbonization strategy which has helped Danfoss achieve carbon neutrality in the energy system of its 250,000m2 campus in Nordborg in 2022.

    The new scalable modular data center offering leverages Danfoss technologies, including Turbocor® compressors for heat pumps and chillers, heat exchangers, heat reuse modules, drives and pump skids allowing data centers to be cooled up to 30% more efficiently while recovering and reusing excess heat. It’s a modular solution with components that work together seamlessly and includes two technology stack options with a heat recovery system, including hydronic heat recovery heat exchanger and water-water heat pump, recovering heat from an air-cooled edge-to-cloud modular data center today and potentially second phase liquid cooled HPC modular data center.

    Ms Anju Mary Kuruvilla, Director- Industry Affairs, Communication & Sustainability- Danfoss India, said, “As we navigate the data-driven era, sustainability is crucial for India’s expanding data center industry,  which is expected to grow exponentially by 132% to ~10 billion USD by 2027. Danfoss  partnering with HPE as part of our holistic “Reduce, Reuse, Resource” approach will help inspire more green data centers in the nation, with circularity and decarbonization embedded in them.”

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