Friday, 1 February 2013

Green mist saves energy at BT’s flagship data centre

BT LogoBT has invested £300,000 in state-of-the-art technology to control temperature and humidity in the company’s flagship International Data Centre in Cardiff Bay. The investment will apparently save more than £250,000 a year in running costs and is projected to reduce annual carbon emissions by 1,357 tonnes.

The technology relies on ultra-sonic humidification which, rather than using heat to boil water, relies on sound waves to break up water molecules into a fine mist, regulating the amount of water in the air. The technology also involves variable speed magnetic fans to control the temperature in the data halls.

Dave Edwards, BT’s Head of Data Centre Operations, said: “This initiative allows our humidification process to use only one per cent of the energy consumed by the previous system by using sound waves instead of heat to produce the required moisture levels. Controlling the temperature in our data halls and getting the correct level of humidity is absolutely critical and this new technology is a much more efficient way of achieving that goal.”

The Cardiff Bay data centre houses more than 4,000 servers for BT and other companies around the globe. In 2010, the facility was the company’s first to receive accreditation from the European Commission for its work to reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions. BT is in the process of replicating the use of this new technology in other UK data centres which could save the company more than £2m a year.


Review:  Well it sounds interesting, but I’m not sure how this relates to other aspects of managing the data centre environment, such as raising the temperature or using external air to cool.  A little more detail would have been useful, particularly since the press release also says that the data centre “has taken energy efficiency to a new level to become one of the greenest of its kind in the UK” as the result of using the technology. No data (such as a PUE measure) is provided to back up that claim.

I also find the use of the ‘green mist’ phrase (BT’s words) rather ironic. From bitter experience as a consumer using BT services, I’m more familiar with a red mist that descends when dealing with the company.

© The Green IT Review

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