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December 1, 2009

IBM, Syracuse University, New York State team up to launch Green Data Center

Uses on-site power generation system for electricity, heating and cooling

By CBR Staff Writer

Syracuse University, with partners IBM and New York State has constructed a new Green Data Center (GDC)- in advanced energy-efficient information technology and building systems.

According to IBM, the $12.4m, 12,000-square-foot facility uses an on-site power generation system for electricity, heating and cooling and incorporates its new energy-efficient servers, computer-cooling technology and system management software.

When the GDC becomes fully operational in January, it is anticipated to use about 50% less energy than a typical data center, making it one of the world’s greenest computer centers, IBM claims.

SU will utilise the center as its primary computing facility. In addition, as part of the GDC project, IBM and SU intend to establish a GDC Analysis and Design center in 2010 to offer research and analysis services for clients and others who want to build new energy efficient data centers or optimise the efficiency of current centers.

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IBM said it has provided more than $5m in equipment, design services and support to the GDC project, including supplying the power generation equipment, Bladecenter, Power 575 and z10 servers, and a DS8300 storage device. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) contributed $2m to the project.

The SU GDC features an on-site electrical tri-generation system that uses natural gas-fueled microturbines to generate all the electricity for the center and cooling for the computer servers. The center will be able to operate completely off-grid.

IBM and SU created a liquid cooling system that uses double-effect absorption chillers to convert the exhaust heat from the microturbines into chilled water to cool the data center’s servers and the cooling needs of an adjacent building. Server racks incorporate cooling doors that use chilled water to remove heat from each rack efficiently while sensors will monitor server temperatures and usage.

The GDC project also incorporates a direct current (DC) power distribution system. By directly generating DC power on site, transmission and conversion losses are eliminated, IBM added.

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