Press Release

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Danfoss partner for data centre energy reduction and heat reuse

Thu 20 Jun 2024

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Danfoss have announced a collaboration to deliver HPE IT Sustainability Services – Data Center Heat Recovery, an off-the-shelf heat recovery module.

This initiative aims to help organisations manage and capitalise on excess heat as they move towards more sustainable IT facilities.

HPE said the rapid integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies across organisations and businesses is expected to have a dramatic increase in the power demand and utilisation of AI optimised IT infrastructure.

“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,” said Sue Preston, Vice President, WW Advisory & Professional Services at HPE Global Sales.

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 centre facility operators are taking action to reduce energy usage, like implementing modern power-efficient capabilities and improved cooling systems.

Excess heat in the EU alone represents an estimated 2,860 TWh/y, almost equals 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 centres is uninterruptible and therefore constitutes a very reliable source of clean energy.

HPE and Danfoss Introduces New Data Centre Solution

To address these issues, the new energy efficient data centre solution from HPE and Danfoss offers HPE’s scalable Modular Data Center (MDC), in the form of small footprint, high-density (kW/rack) containers. HPE said these can be deployed almost anywhere in the total absence of heavy industry and incorporates technologies like direct liquid cooling to reduce overall energy consumption by 20%.

Danfoss has introduced solutions like heat reuse modules, which capture excess heat from data centres to provide renewable heating onsite and to neighboring buildings and industries. They also offer Turbocor® oil-free compressors that enhance data centre cooling efficiency by up to 30%.

“Our strategic partnership with HPE is a great example of how we revolutionise building and decarbonizing the data centre industry together with users,” said Jürgen Fischer. President at Danfoss Climate Solutions.

Fischer added that with this latest partnership, the Danfoss is ‘building the blueprint’ for the next generation of sustainable data centres.

Benefits and Agility of Modularity

HPE’s MDC incorporates direct liquid cooling (DLC) technologies to enhance energy efficiency by over 20% and optimise energy production and distribution, leading to energy savings.

The design’s compactness minimises energy loss by reducing the distance for energy and cooling fluid transport and maximises the temperature differential at the inlet and outlet, which promotes the capture of excess heat.

HPE added 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 centres, decreasing from 18 months to as few as 6 months.

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.

HPE’s modular data centres offer a 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 centres.

Capable of handling the most power-demanding architectures like HPE Cray Supercomputing EX4000, HPE said its modular data centre 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.

Driving Innovation in Decarbonisation

To leverage excess heat, HPE has partnered up with Danfoss as their decarbonisation partner. The strategic partnership takes advantage of Danfoss’ product portfolio of energy-efficient solutions to drive innovation, support decarbonisation and build the blueprint for the next generation of sustainable modular data centres.

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 centre, 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 decarbonisation 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 centre offering uses Danfoss technologies, including Turbocor® compressors for heat pumps and chillers, heat exchangers, heat reuse modules, drives and pump skids allowing data centres to be cooled up to 30% more efficiently while recovering and reusing excess heat.

HPE introduced a new modular solution featuring components that integrate seamlessly. It offers two technology stack options: a heat recovery system utilising a hydronic heat recovery heat exchanger and a water-water heat pump. This system recovers heat from an air-cooled edge-to-cloud modular data centre and may extend to a liquid-cooled HPC modular data centre in a subsequent phase.

As part of its holistic ‘Reduce, Reuse, Resource’ approach, Danfoss also partners with HPE to retire its end-of-use IT assets through HPE Asset Upcycling Services, a circular economy solution that enables technology refurbishment and reuse, while recovering economic value from those assets.

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