Datacenters put green credentials at the heart of their offering

Kao Data's new site has an innovative cooling system to bring down energy use.

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Green credentials are increasingly important in the tech industry, and a datacenter in the UK featuring an innovative cooling system has just seen its first customer come on board.

Technology firm Server Choice is the first customer into Kao Data's London 1 (KDL1), a 40,000 square feet building with 8.8MW of capacity which is powered by wind, hydro and other sources of renewable energy.

The real star of the show is the center's cooling system – a source of energy waste in many data centers around the world. KDL1 uses a method called indirect evaporative cooling to cool down the air inside the center using the colder air from outdoors.

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The hot air coming from IT operations goes through heat exchangers and is then expelled to the outside with no mechanical refrigeration – and therefore no energy waste. 

Paul Finch, chief operating officer at Kao Data, told ZDNet that committing to environmentally friendly infrastructure is now a requirement that customers have, and is likely to become an industry standard.

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Server Choice inaugurated its contract with KDL1, which can store up to 8.8MW of IT load and is entirely supplied by sources of renewable energy.  

Image: Kao Data

"Having no mechanical refrigeration should be a standard for everyone," he said. "Of course, you need to have a high level of engineering skills, and a strong understanding of data center performance."

Server Choice has only just started using the the facility, but other customers have also already signed up. The European Bioinformatics Institute, for one, has agreed to take up 1.5MW of capacity at Kao Data's center.

And the company has plans to expand in the future. KDL1 is just the first out of four centers that will be built in what is called the Kao Data Campus – a 150,000 square metre space that will eventually provide 35MW of datacenter capacity (data center scale is measured as much by the power capacity as by physical space).

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The project has already received over £200 million in funding, and is counting on its location, right between London, Cambridge and Stansted, to attract customers around the world. 

"We are at the heart of the UK's innovation corridor," said Finch. "And the campus, with four buildings, is a big project. That means that customers will be able to scale with us, which is what they want, and can't find elsewhere."