Sustainable energy strategy for VUB data centre – Brussels

March 20, 2017
BS_Reference_Page_VUB_Data_Centre

Client:  VUB
Period:  2013


Work

3E was asked by the Free University of Brussels (VUB) for assistance in determining a sustainable energy strategy for different types of servers and associated cooling installations and UPS services. This support was part of an overall future strategy adopted by the VUB for grouping servers and supercomputers.

Based on three different types of servers (close control with elevated floor, close control with cold/hot aisles and cold racks), 3 criteria were evaluated in terms of electricity supply and 3 criteria in terms of cooling:

Electricity supply: via the net (1), via CHPs sized for critical installations (2) and via CHPs sized for the full power of the servers (3). The intention would then be for the heat production of the CHPs to serve the adjacent swimming pool. Some supplemental analyses were carried out, whereby the heat produced by the CHP cannot be used in its entirety for the swimming pool and some of which is injected into the heating network of the VUB.

Electricity supply: via the net (1), via CHPs sized for critical installations (2) and via CHPs sized for the full power of the servers (3). The intention would then be for the heat production of the CHPs to serve the adjacent swimming pool. Some supplemental analyses were carried out, whereby the heat produced by the CHP cannot be used in its entirety for the swimming pool and some of which is injected into the heating network of the VUB.

These analyses resulted in a technical/financial evaluation of the various measures per server type. For each measure, an energy balance (energy-saving and production) and CAPEX and OPEX was drawn up. In this way, the VUB was able to gain an overview of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for each type of electricity supply and cooling installation, in relation to the server type.