Data Center Power & Cooling in 2023: Top Stories So Far

From a case study on cooling tech to predictions on the future of renewables, these are the top data center power and cooling stories of 2023 so far.

Dylan Fisher, Digital SEO Content & Copy Editor

August 2, 2023

4 Min Read
Cooling system pipes inside a Google data center

For those in the data center space, questions around power and cooling have been at the center of many of this year's most important conversations. That's because the significance of efficient power and cooling is twofold — it has just as much to do with saving money as it does with protecting the environment.

Ultimately, as we ask for more from our data centers — from training large language models to storing exponentially growing amounts of data — any long-term industry growth will require innovations in our power and cooling solutions.

From a case study on innovative cooling technologies to predictions on the future of renewable power, these are our top 10 data center power and cooling stories so far this year:

1. Hot in Here: Is Raising Temperatures in Data Centers Good for Hardware?

Equinix's plan to reduce energy consumption by increasing its data center temperatures beyond the standard range has raised hardware safety concerns among some experts. Here, we investigate the potential benefits and risks of Equinix's plan, and its potential to set a precedent for the industry as other providers observe the results.

2. Data Centers Are Losing Their Cool

In the latest AFCOM State of the Data Center report, cooling emerged as a crucial concern. In this op-ed, Bill Kleyman assesses the results and discusses the creative solutions data center leaders are taking to manage density and airflow and improve cooling capacity.

Related:Data Center Sustainability in 2023: Top Stories So Far

3. Data Centers Leverage Cooling to Heat Homes

Data centers in Nordic countries, including QTS, Digital Realty, and Equinix, are repurposing excess heat from cooling operations to provide affordable heat for nearby homes. Learn how this symbiotic relationship between data centers and the local community can lead to increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

4. What Does the End of Moore's Law Mean for the Data Center Industry?

A slowdown in computing power growth, signaling an end or decline of Moore's Law, has significant implications for the data center industry. In a post-Moore's Law era, workload optimization becomes paramount, with businesses likely to adopt strategies like containerization and cloud cost optimization to maximize efficiency. Learn about the impacts of slowing processor advancements on power consumption, cooling requirements, and data center design.

5. Are Underwater Data Centers Truly Practical?

Offering the benefits of abundant real estate, low cooling costs, and sustainable energy sourcing, underwater data centers have recently grown in popularity. However, challenges in hardware maintenance, network connectivity, physical security, and energy sourcing make their practical implementation at scale uncertain. In this article, we dive into the feasibility of deploying data centers underwater and the potential hurdles of this unorthodox approach.

Related:The Environmental Impact of Lithium-ion Batteries – How Green Are They Really?

6. Why You Can't Power Your Data Center Only With Renewables – But Should Try Anyway

Renewable energy sources are on the rise, but can a data center rely on renewables for 100% of its power? In this article, Chris Tozzi examines the limitations and challenges of powering data centers exclusively with renewable energy and potential solutions. Although it may not yet be practical for most data centers to run only on renewables, Tozzi argues, it's still worth trying.

7. Data Center Physical Infrastructure Sales Soar

Data center power and cooling equipment, along with other physical infrastructure, is witnessing a surge in sales — and the momentum is expected to continue throughout the year. This article takes a closer look at the factors driving the demand for data center equipment and its implications for the sector.

8. What Is Data Center PUE? Defining Power Usage Effectiveness

Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is a crucial metric for optimizing data center energy consumption. In this comprehensive guide, we break down the components of the PUE metric, its benefits and challenges, and how it can be used to achieve a greener and more sustainable data management approach.

9. Not Cool: Intel Dashes Plans for Data Center Cooling Research 'Mega Lab'

Intel's decision to abandon a significant data center cooling research project raises questions about the data center industry's cooling innovations. Here, we look at the factors leading into Intel's decision and what this may signal about future development for the space's major players.

10. HoMEDUCS's Unique Approach to Keeping Modular Data Centers Cool

In April, the U.S. Department of Energy announced funding for 15 projects aimed at developing efficient and reliable cooling technologies for data centers. In this case study, Joe Milan looks at one of these projects and how it could reduce cooling-related energy consumption in modular data centers.

Stay tuned for more stories as we continue to monitor the advancements and trends shaping the future of data center power and cooling.

About the Author(s)

Dylan Fisher

Digital SEO Content & Copy Editor

Dylan Fisher is the Digital SEO Content & Copy Editor at ITPro Today, Data Center Knowledge, Information Week, and Network Computing. He's the author of "The Loneliest Band in France." He lives with his wife, Danielle, and their two adopted dogs, Rosie and Daisy, in Atlanta, GA.

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