Intel gets a taker for their high-temperature datacenter

Intel gets a taker for their high-temperature datacenter

Summary: Intel partners with Korean mobile carrier to field test their high temperature datacenter ideas

TOPICS: Data Centers, Intel

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.

Topics: Data Centers, Intel

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  • Compare & combine the savings from High Temp vs External Ambient Air

    It seems to me that a mix of External Ambient Air most of the year combined with recirculating air at 86% on hot days would yield the highest savings.

    Intel's Outside air reports from 4 years ago indicate a 74% savings. (see )

    I am not advocating running ambient air with minimal filtering and no humidity control, as Intel did in their experiment, with its reported 80% increase in failure rate. The filtering, humidifcation, and dehumidification would add to the power consumption and reduce external air's electricity benefit to below 74%, but it would still be very large.

    The High Temperature article's suggestion of 7% savings per increase in °C would also come out to a 74% savings with a 10.5°C rise, from 22 to 32.5°C (71.6 to 90.5°F)

    I think it is interesting to note that Rio Rancho New Mexico's average temperature (54°F) is almost the same as South Korea's (54.4°F), based on an analysis of data from the Weather Channel (
    and )
  • How?

    What do they do to their systems to make them able to tolerate the high temperatures better than other servers? It seems like you could use a water chiller and liquid cooling for the processors. If you used some kind of geothermal water chilling system that only cooled the water to a moderately cool temperature, like maybe 60 degrees Fahrenheit. That would probably use less energy than cooling the whole building. That would also help keep the buildings ambient temperature down some as well.