Press Releases 2011
Data centres could save millions through energy-efficiency
A Finnish ICT collaboration project concludes that energy efficiency in data centres can be improved by as much as fifty per cent. For individual data centres this would mean annual savings of thousands of megawatt hours and hundreds of thousands of euros.Electricity used by Finnish data centres represents roughly 0.5-1.5 per cent of the total national electricity consumption. The amount has nearly doubled during the past five years. According to Motiva, a company specializing in energy and material efficiency, the annual electricity consumption in Finnish data centres can be reduced by as much as 350 GWh.
With appropriate measures, the energy consumption of an individual data centre can be reduced by half. “In a medium-sized data centre with 1 megawatt electricity consumption this would mean savings of 500,000 euros per year. For large data centres the amount is considerably higher”, says Petri Nieminen, Senior Consultant at Motiva.
New data centres are continuously being established in Finland. The need for data centre services grows steadily with the increasing needs for digital data communication, back-up security, and data storage. International companies find Finland an attractive country due to the cool Nordic climate, abundant waters, and good data protection and maintenance security. Finland also has a comprehensive and reliable electricity and data communication network as well as geological and political balance. Additionally, Finland has strong technical expertise, which is easily available.
Free cooling and recycling of heat are the trump cards of Finland“Finland has data centres where state-of-the-art energy efficiency solutions have been implemented, for example, in free cooling and heat recovery for reuse”, says Nieminen.
The cold climate and extensive waterways in Finland make it possible to utilize free cooling solutions at data centres. In Central Finland, for example, 58 per cent of the hours per year are below 5 degrees Celsius, whereas in Budapest in Central Europe only one third of the hours per year are this cold. The cool waters of Finland can be used to cool a data centre throughout the year, for the cooling systems work well with water at 20 degrees Celsius.
Data centres generate a lot of heat worth recovering and reusing. Recycling of heat significantly increases the energy efficiency of a data centre and hence reduces the need for other heat production.
The Finnish Government supports energy efficiency
The required measures to increase energy efficiency in data centres are determined in energy audits that are supervised for quality by Motiva. At the national level, energy audits strive for improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. The Finnish Government subsidizes the implementation of energy audits.
Energy audits are part of the energy efficiency agreements scheme that is widely applied in Finland. Voluntary agreements cover industries (industry, energy and private service sector), property and building sector, municipalities, oil sector, goods transport and logistics, public transport, and farms.
A project called “Energy Efficient Data Centre” implemented in 2011 sought measures to improve data centres' energy efficiency in Finland. The collaboration project was coordinated by Motiva and the other participants were Coromatic Oy, CSC-IT Center for Science Ltd, DataCenter Finland Oy, Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics FiCom, Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Fujitsu Finland Oy, Helsingin Energia, Hewlett-Packard Oy, Oy International Business Machines Ab, Rittal Oy, Schneider Electric Finland Oy, TeliaSonera Finland Oyj and Tieto Oyj. The project was funded by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and the companies mentioned above.
Petri Nieminen, Senior Consultant, Motiva Oy
tel. +358 40 778 3473, firstname.lastname@example.org