Going Green: The Design and Operation of a Sprawling Energy-Efficient Data Center

By Lori Cameron
Published 08/17/2017
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The largest data centers can consume 100 megawatts of energy—equal to the power consumption of 10,000 US households. As modern computing workloads, storage, and processing continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, data center operators continually search for more energy-efficient designs.

However, they like to keep it a secret.

Operators keep their proprietary designs to themselves to give themselves a competitive advantage.

Fortunately, the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center opened its doors to researchers so they could study the energy-efficiency of the sprawling 90,000-square-foot facility.

The July/August 2017 issue of IEEE Internet Computing discusses how researchers found that the center uses some of the most recent advances in cooling and power distribution such as evaporative cooling towers that take advantage of the relatively low outdoor air temperatures, spinning flywheels for energy storage, and high-voltage/low current power networks to reduce transformer losses.

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About Lori Cameron

Lori Cameron is a Senior Writer for the IEEE Computer Society and currently writes regular features for Computer magazine, Computing Edge, and the Computing Now and Magazine Roundup websites. Contact her at l.cameron@computer.org. Follow her on LinkedIn.