PALO ALTO, Calif. — Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced what it calls a "smart" cooling solution for the design of data centers that could significantly reduce energy use and save business users millions of dollars annually, says the company.

Created in HP Labs, the solution uses computational fluid dynamics to create a 3D model of temperature distribution throughout a data center. It then recommends strategic placement of computing equipment and air conditioning equipment to optimize energy use for cooling.

"Increasingly powerful microprocessors and systems are leading to higher heat densities in data centers," said Juergen Rottler, vice president, marketing, strategy and alliances, HP Services. "By making energy-efficient cooling a part of the overall data center planning process, we believe we can improve space utilization, control real estate expense, assure business continuity, and cut the cost of cooling in major data centers by as much as 25 percent."

In addition to new data centers, the company says its smart cooling services also may be used in the expansion, upgrade, or consolidation of existing data centers. The services also can be applied to address specific conditions of overheating, avoiding the potential of an interruption in data center operations, says HP.

Interested customers will be offered an analysis of their data centers to determine whether the smart cooling services could benefit them. After collecting information about floor space, computational requirements, and planned or existing cooling systems, the analysis is then performed.

HP says that the service cost could be offset by energy savings. For example, a future 30,000-square-foot data center with 1,000 racks might require 10 MW to power the computing equipment and half that amount — 5 MW — to remove the heat. At $100 per megawatt hour, the cooling alone could cost up to $4 million per year. HP believes its services could reduce cooling expenses at a data center of this size by up to 25 percent, or $1 million annually.

Publication date: 03/31/2003