Last December I told you about Intel plans to develop datacenter technologies that would allow datacenter operators to run their facilities temperatures up over 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). They were prototyping this capability at a datacenter facility in New Mexico where they maintained operations with a daily average temperature of 92 degrees. Well today they’ve announced that they have convinced Korean mobile carrier KT to give the technology a shot, with the opening of a High Temperature Ambience test center in South Korea.
The new testing facility, which is itself a prototype for the technology which KT and Intel expect to roll out to KT’s 10 existing datacenters, has a more modest goal than the 100 degree operations of Intel’s new Mexico test bed. The plan here is to validate technologies to allow safe datacenter operations at 30 degrees C; a more modest 86 degrees F and a temperature which should also alleviate concerns about voiding equipment warranties and melting datacenter personnel who need to be in the server rooms.
According to the report in the Korea Times, Intel and KT expect to reduce energy costs by 7% for every 1 degree C they can raise the average operating temperature. Hitting their target of 30 degrees C and implementing the program at all 10 KT Mobile datacenters would result in an annual savings in energy costs of about $7.5 million (8.6 billion won). Currently, the target operating temperature for the datacenters is 22 degrees C.
In 2011 annual energy costs in Korea rose by over 10% across the year, and an increase of almost 5% just this month, so any reduction in consumption should see an immediate impact on the operational expenses of KT ‘s datacenters.