Boden Type DC – Newsletter Q3 2019
Boden Type DC One, the first installation and pilot site of the project has been operational for a couple of months. By now we have seen the first results and have experienced different seasonal conditions. In this edition we report about the achieved extraordinary efficiency, introduce consortium member EcoCooling, share some short news and let you know where you can meet our experts in person in the coming months. Enjoy reading and feel free to contact our consortium members.
Group members on the river Danube at the consortium meeting in Budapest, June 2019
En route to becoming the world’s most efficient data center
When the project kicked-off the consortium’s vision was to build the world’s most cost and energy efficient data center where environmental impact had to be minimal. Let us see where we stand after 7-8 months of operation.
The facility efficiency results do exceed the expectations of even our very ambitious and committed experts at times: the category 2 PUE of the facility shows 1,025 for the whole period since we started operations. We often measure instantaneous PUEs below 1,01 (live values and data on www.bodentypedc.eu).
We are aware that PUE has limitations as a metric, however we use it as a comparative measure as it is widely understood and used.
The project has incorporated and proven a number of innovative elements in the construction and operation of the Boden Type Data Center One. These elements include the building construction, potential for its flexible application, holistic ventilation control and ultra-high density direct fresh air cooling of the data center.
The building has a unique asymmetric design which has the facility to install fresh aircooling inlets on both sides with exhaust at high level. This can then accommodate multiple arrangements of cooling units in each pod supporting IT loads up to 1MW at the highest density. The simple construction allows for rapid internal layout reconfiguration designed to support existing and emerging markets such as HPC, rendering, blockchain, AI, IoT, 5G, etc.
Fully populated design of Boden Type DC One
There are three PODs in the facility designed for different applications. POD 1 is populated with 140kW of OCP servers. The holistic cooling control system has shown it is possible to maintain compliant chip temperatures while achieving instantaneous PUE values of less than 1.01. Additionally, a patented humidification system has maintained ASHRAE compliant conditions in ambient temperatures of less than -30°C with a power overhead of less than 100W for up to 140kW of IT workload.
These extraordinary results are achieved on top of the creative design by applying a holistic approach to cooling. For air cooled data centers, energy can be wasted by providing too much air to the IT space from the cooling equipment. Traditionally, air cooled systems are controlled by providing a set temperature to the cold aisles, which invariably leads to slow response of the cooling systems to the thermal swings in the data center created by large changes in the IT workload.
In Pod1 of the Boden Type DC One servers’ load and temperature data have been made accessible to the cooling system. The EcoCooling system then takes the server data and optimizes the cooling fan speeds to exactly match the requirements of the server. This holistic approach ensures there is no wasted energy at any stage of the cooling process whilst maintaining conditions for maximum IT and chip reliability. As a next step a combination of workload distribution and a control algorithm of the speed of the server fans will be created and used in order to keep power utilization the lowest possible. These experiments are yet to be executed but may bring groundbreaking results.
A case study will be presented on the achievements so far at the OCP Regional Summit in Amsterdam (September 26th) with a call to action to facilitate integrated cooling control in future releases of the OCP hardware.
POD1 of the Boden Type DC One
POD 3 is populated with 180kW of ASIC servers. There are some remarkable metrics associated with this POD. The density is equivalent to 60kW per standard rack. The general perception that high density IT equipment can only be cooled using direct liquid cooling or similar has been disproved with this simple, direct fresh air system. The combination of the fans and chip heat sinks within the latest ASICs show that chip temperatures of 75°C can be achieved and maintained with supply temperatures up to 35°C. This extreme engineering results in a hot aisle temperature exceeding 50°C.
Since the air off temperature is so high, it improves the opportunity for waste heat recovery. The higher temperature difference through the servers (ΔT) corresponds to a lower air flow rate. Since the energy used by fans is proportional to the cube of the flow rate, increasing the ΔT from 10°C up to 40°C has resulted in a reduction in cooling overhead power by 98% compared with conventional fresh air-cooled systems. The average instantaneous PUE supporting the 180kW IT workload is 1.003 at an ambient of 20°C and 1.002 at an ambient of 10°C.”
POD2 is designed for compute intensive GPU based applications. The consortium is in talks with potential testing partners. Nevertheless should there be interest please contact our colleague in charge of testing partners. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The BTDC project is designed with no redundancy or resilience built into the infrastructure and so relies on stable power supply and/or its use as part of a geo-redundant operation. It is also a ‘dark’ facility with no permanent staff in attendance. Therefore, nearly the only factor affecting the PUE is the cooling system. Continuous measurement with metering after the incoming transformer indicated that POD 1 (Open Compute CPUs) is operating at a PUE of <1.03 and POD 3 (ASICs) is operating at a PUE of <1.003 over the period in which the IT became live. Truly remarkable results for a small scale operation.
Snapshot on PUE results taken on September 20th 2019
Meet our consortium members – EcoCooling
Established in 2002, EcoCooling is the largest manufacturer and distributor of fresh air direct coolers in the UK. There are over 4,500 EcoCooler installations worldwide.
Based in Suffolk, EcoCooling manufacture their CloudCooler Range in the UK. The range includes the highest quality components sourced from across the world including Italy, Sweden and Germany.
EcoCooling MD, Alan Beresford talking to consortium members
Started by MD, Alan Beresford, we are proud to be a family-run business. Our values lie in creating innovative fresh aircooling products which provide lowest total cost of ownership for data center operators. Our engineering team design, produce and manufacture all of our products while our commissioning and controls team develop and refine software for specific applications worldwide. EcoCooling is credited with revolutionizing the control systems required to use direct evaporative cooling in IT environments.
EcoCooling are very proud to be members of the BTDC consortium. One of the most exciting aspects of the project from our perspective is the opportunity for collaboration with research institutes. The ability to test and apply strategies that integrate the control of hardware and fans across the whole data center has allowed us to engineer new solutions which optimize our equipment’s operation in a synchronized way, reducing total cost of ownership.
While this holistic approach has been talked about a lot within the industry, the ability to apply and experiment within the facility with both ASIC and now OCP technologies will provide a template for facilities being built for industry 4.0 and allow them to operate as efficiently as possible, irrelevant of size or type of equipment. This new holistic view on efficiency and control has allowed the facility to achieve unparalleled cost reductions both on capital and operational levels.
As a UK based manufacturer, we have embraced the opportunity to work with a pan-European consortium and build our reputation for engineering efficiency across a number of different regions. The project has attracted attention across the industry and it has been a pleasure disseminating the results to both our clients and prospects over the last 12 months. The platform the project has provided us from both a research and development perspective and a marketing tool has been incredibly useful, allowing us to increase our brand awareness in a very competitive sector.
We have achieved significant reductions in energy use already with this project, and over the next few months we look to capitalize on these and incorporate them into our standard product offerings. This will provide a new generation of data centers the opportunity to adopt the techniques learnt to optimize efficiency and ultimately lead to a more sustainable and lower carbon footprint for data centers as a whole.
Our mission at EcoCooling was to save the UK 1% on its electricity bill, this is the equivalent to shutting down a power station. We would now like to expand this to the whole of the Western world. Dream big, innovate fast, we would like to thank all the consortium members for their contributions which have led to some truly phenomenal results which we anticipate will change the way the sector looks at free cooling, efficient data center design and operation.
Want to know more
#MoreThanCooling #CloudCooler #BTDC
@EcoCooling1 – +44 1284 810586 – email@example.com – www.ecocooling.co.uk – www.cloudcooler.co.uk
Where to meet us
Our project members are happy to meet you at the following events:
Open Compute Regional Summit, 26-27 September, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Speaker Jon Summers – 26 September, Thursday 13.30
Datacenter Forum, 26 September, Copehagen, Denmark
Datacenter Day, 22 October, Würzburg, Germany
Data Center Dynamics, 5-6 November, London, The UK
Data Center World, 13-14 November, Frankfurt, Germany
- H1 Systems won the IT Business magazine’s special award with the Boden Type DC project as the consortium leader.
- Live PUE and more live data are available on the project website (www.bodentypedc.eu).
- The road at the data center has been paved with help from Boden municipality.
- The Boden Type DC project was featured as the cover story of Data Center Dynamics Magazine Issue 32 (Click here to open).
- Constructive and successful consortium meeting was held in Budapest on June 17-19. Next internal meeting planned for October 2019 in Boden.