United States: US Department of Energy's data center cooling fund

Oct 05, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

The US Department of Energy has announced a $42million funding package to develop high-performance energy efficient cooling solutions for data centers. This announcement comes following record high temperatures across the US, and multiple reports that the industry is seriously lagging when it comes to sustainability. The project also aligns with the government's wider goal of reaching net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. That said, considering how pertinent it is to resolve data centers' energy issue as quickly as possible, some have highlighted that $42 million is a rather small sum, especially when factoring in Green Revolution Cooling (GRC), a liquid cooling received a $28 million investment this year alone. 

The department highlighted that data centers currently account for approximately 2% of all electricity production in the US, with cooling being responsible for 40% of total data center energy usage. In response, its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will fund projects that seek to reduce the amount of energy data centers use for cooling to lower the operational carbon footprint associated with powering and cooling data centers. This funding will be run through the program 'Cooling Operations Optimized for Leaps in Energy, Reliable and Carbon Hyperefficiency for Information Processing Systems , or COOLERCHIPS, and ARPA-E will seek applications for access to funding via the ARPA-E eXCHANGE.

The program is set to focus on four key areas for funding opportunities: 
  • The first is energy-efficient cooling solutions for next generation high power density servers, 
  • The second is high power density modular data centers that can be operated anywhere efficiently,
  • The third relates to the development of software and modeling tools to design and optimize data centers' energy use, CO2 footprint, reliability, and cost, 
  • The final category covers facilities and best practices for efficient evaluation and demonstration of transformational technologies developed under the program.

Speaking about the necessity to make data centers more energy efficient and sustainable, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said: "Extreme weather events, like the soaring temperatures much of the country experienced this summer, also impact data centers which connect critical computing and network infrastructure and must be kept at certain temperatures to remain operational."

Adding: "Creating solutions to cool data centers efficiently and reduce the associated carbon emissions supports the technological breakthroughs needed to fight climate change and secure our clean energy future."

{{ commentCount }} Comments