What, two "greenest" data centers in the same week?

An IBM-designed green data center at Syracuse University, using half the power of a typical facility, will be completely online by January 2010.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Not to be outdone by coverage of Helsinki's "greenest" data center, IBM has seen fit to update the blog-o-sphere about its own energy-efficiency breakthroughs at a new green data center it has constructed at Syracuse University.

Constructed in slightly more than six months, the 12,000-square-foot facility (which is split roughly in half in terms of data center space vs. infrastructure space) is expected to use roughly half of the power that a traditional data center of its size would use when it becomes fully operational in January 2010.

IBM's $5 million contribution to the effort includes IBM BladeCenter, Power 575 and z10 servers, as well as a DS8300 storage device. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority kicked in $2 million and additional funding was obtained from the New York State Senate. The facility will be used as a reference design example for other projects.

One significant feature is its ability to operating off-grid by using an on-site tri-generation system with natural gas turbines. A liquid cooling system converts exhaust heat from the turbines into chilled water, and the servers are designed with "chiller doors." The power distribution system generates direct current (DC) electricity directly, which cuts out a conversion step normally required when using alternating current (AC).

The link here includes a video describing the data center in more detail.

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