Data center power consumption (2022)

Data center power consumption (1)

The demand for internet and smart technologies makes it vital that we reduce electricity use in data centers and implement more efficient energy solutions to create data center sustainability and cut CO2 emissions.

Insights for policy makers

Data center power consumption (2)

Data center sustainability – a more efficient future is needed

By 2025, every person in the developed world will have at least one ‘interaction’ with a data center every 18 seconds of their lifetime. Our demand for internet and smart technologies is increasing rapidly.

The numbers above highlight what is happening online in just 60 seconds, showing that in the near future our demand for internet services will be huge. At the same time, power usage within the information industry is growing rapidly. This makes it vital that we reduce electricity use in data centers and implement more efficient energy solutions to create data center sustainability and cut CO2 emissions.

Data center power consumption (3)

So, what is a data center?

All data centers are simply buildings that provide space, power and cooling for network infrastructure and are filled with varying amounts of servers. Data center power consumption is directly related to the number of servers they have. Data centers store, share, and manage data and centralize key IT operations and equipment. They can be categorized by business model, ownership structure and location.

Of the five main types of data center, edge data centers – a data center that is strategically located in an area near where the data is being collected and analyzed – are expected to have the most significant growth in the data center market and is expected to nearly triple by 2024. By 2025, more than 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional data center or cloud.

(Video) Fundamentals of Data Center Power: Power Calculations

How is data center power consumption efficiency measured?

Data center power consumption performance is measured in units of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). PUE is a limited-focus design, real-time and annual measurement of the total facility power divided by the IT equipment power, or a measurement of energy ‘waste’ going to non-IT equipment purposes.

An ideal PUE is 1.0, that means 100% efficiency (i.e., all consumed energy is used only on IT equipment, no power distribution loses). But it is almost impossible to achieve. The average power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio for a data center in 2020 was 1.58, only marginally better than 7 years ago, according to the latest annual Uptime Institute survey.

In addition to PUE, alternative metrics that account for waste heat utilization have been suggested, for example PUErecycledand ERE (energy reuse effectiveness). These units indicate the net energy consumption of the data center after factoring in reused energy.

Data center power consumption (4)

What is the challenge for data centers?

The International Energy Agency estimates that 1% of all global electricity is used by data centers and that by 2025, data centers will consume 1/5 of the world’s power supply. The majority of the energy demand comes from powering the servers, but they in turn produce heat and need to be cooled. This cooling again requires a lot of energy and generates a lot of excess heat – most of which is currently being let out into the surrounding environment.

To reduce data centers’ carbon footprint, a smart combination of innovation and technology is needed to reach net zero emissions. Fortunately, there are already more energy efficient solutions available to make the most of the energy we put into our data centers.

How can policies make data centers greener?

There are several steps policy makers can take to help implement green solutions for data centers. For example, they could:

  • Design a regulatory framework which encourages systems integration and the use of waste heat, heat pumps, smart heating and cooling systems, and energy storage. It should focus not only on greening energy sources but encourage reduced use and reuse of energy.
  • Improve energy planning to better integrate the different sectors to the energy system and leverage synergies, such as utilizing the waste heat from a nearby data center to heat buildings instead of investing in additional heat supply.
  • Allow urban regulatory free test zones to innovate and develop new energy efficient technology, through removing technical, regulatory and financial barriers for reusing energy between sectors.
  • Encourage thermal networks by introducing a facilitating framework. Elements include allowing flexible energy prices and not taxing waste heat.

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(Video) How Data Centers Impact the Environment

How can Danfoss help decrease power consumption of data centers and increase their energy efficiency?

There are many ways in which it is possible to create greener data centers and to process data sustainably. Danfoss solutions help the full range of data centers reach high power usage effectiveness (PUE) and energy reuse factor, while supporting reliably high uptime. Fromdata center cooling sources such as chillers, to piping distribution network, to cooling terminals, close control units,air-handling units (AHUs), fans and pumps, and electric heating to protect pipes, we offer a wide range of innovative solutions to deliver highly reliable cooling and reduce energy cost in a sustainable way.

Data center power consumption (5)

What is the most efficient way to cool data centers?

IT cooling is vital because it protects equipment. By optimizing the capacity of IT equipment and preventing expensive downtime, Danfoss solutions create ideal thermal conditions around server installations, while optimizing PUE, keeping energy consumption and CO2 emissions at a minimum to generate more data more sustainably.

Find solutions for cooling data centers

Data center power consumption (6)
(Video) Energy Consumption of Data Centers

How Danfoss utilizes sector integration for greener data centers

By using district heating and solutions for heat pumps, Danfoss provides reliable and innovative solutions for data center heat recovery and sector integration, which eventually leads to carbon neutrality and greener data centers.

Find solutions for heat recovery and sector coupling

Data center power consumption (7)

How does energy storage contribute to sustainable data generation?

Integrated energy storage ensures a reliable supply to the data center, overcoming an unreliable grid or the intermittent nature of many renewable energy sources. Danfoss solutions ensure reliable power conversion for energy storage in smart distribution grids and enable peak shaving. This is where energy storage smooths the peaks and troughs, so the grid supply can operate consistently at the average power demand - which is usually relatively low.


Find solutions for energy storage

Danfoss decarbonizes by building green data centers | Case

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Data center power consumption FAQ

By using the most efficient technologies to protect and cool the IT equipment.

Through sector integration, the excess heat produced by data centers can be used in district heating networks to heat the nearby communities. Besides using renewable energy, data centers can significantly reduce the amount of energy they use by installing the most efficient cooling systems. Furthermore, the excess heat produced can be reused to help decarbonize district heating networks.

A green data center uses the most efficient technology for protecting and cooling the IT equipment in order to use as little energy as possible. It reuses excess heat to make the most of the energy and uses renewable energy to further avoid CO2 emissions.

The most efficient way to cool data centers depends on the site size, location, and architecture. Danfoss offers a wide range of innovative solutions such as chillers, piping distribution network, cooling terminals, close control units, air-handling units, fans and pumps, and electric heating to protect pipes.

Find energy efficient solutions for data centers at datacenters.danfoss.com

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(Video) Fundamentals of Data Center Power | Fundamentals of Power

FAQs

How much power does a data centre use? ›

In order to keep data centres running continuously and without interruption, managers must use a lot of electricity. According to one report, the entire data centre industry uses over 90 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This is the equivalent output of roughly 34 coal-powered power plants.

Which consumes the most power in a data center? ›

On average, servers and cooling systems account for the greatest shares of direct electricity use in data centers, followed by storage drives and network devices (Figure 1).

Why data centres consume a lot of power? ›

Thirdly, data centres use power in two ways: they need power to run the IT equipment that they house (ie servers which execute the digital transactions that we rely on) and, because servers emit heat when they are working1, they need power to keep those servers cool enough to function reliably (see point 2 below).

How much energy do data centres use globally? ›

Globally, data transmission networks consumed 260-340 TWh in 20214, or 1.1-1.4% of global electricity use.

How many MWH does a data center use? ›

For context, 1 megawatt can power about 700 homes. Sustaining 72 megawatts per hour in one data center campus, the equivalent of over 50,000 homes, is a tremendous feat—albeit, one that may become increasingly common in the years ahead.

How much power does a data center use per square foot? ›

For colocation providers, the typical power density in a data hall has risen from 150 watts per square foot to 250 or 300 watts per square foot, with some providers going up to 400 watts, said Mike Kilkeary, associate principal engineer at Southland Engineering, an engineering services provider.

How many MW does a data center use? ›

Data centers are increasingly requiring energy capacity of close to 100 MW of power, which is the equivalent power for about 80,000 U.S. homes, says Greenpeace.

Do data centers use AC or DC power? ›

Servers and other IT products in a data center run on low-voltage DC. The existing AC-based powering architecture in a data center requires multiple AC-DC-AC conversion that results in an overall system efficiency of AC-DC lower than 50%.

How many kWh does a server use? ›

In terms of annual energy usage, a two-socket server may use approximately 1,314 kWh a year (which is simply just powering it on) to about 2,600 kWh per year. Allowing for variations in workload demand, the average annual power use for a two-socket server is around 1,800 to 1,900 kWh annually.

Are data center energy efficient? ›

And the average annual power usage effectiveness for our global fleet of data centers in 2019 hit a new record low of 1.10, compared with the industry average of 1.67—meaning that Google data centers use about six times less overhead energy for every unit of IT equipment energy.

How often do data centers lose power? ›

Data center outages are fairly common. Survey results from just a few years ago showed that around one-third of all data centers had experienced an outage during that year. At the time it was a significant increase from the 25 percent from the previous year. Unfortunately, it's a number that's likely risen even higher.

How can we save power in data center? ›

10 Ways to Save Energy in Your Data Center
  1. Turn off idle IT equipment. ...
  2. Virtualize servers and storage. ...
  3. Consolidate servers, storage, and data centers. ...
  4. Turn on the CPU's power-management feature. ...
  5. Use IT equipment with high-efficiency power supplies. ...
  6. Use high-efficiency UPSs. ...
  7. Adopt power distribution at 208V/230V.
30 Apr 2008

How many kWh are in a GB? ›

If you search for information about data energy usage, then you're likely to find studies that state that transmitting and storing one gigabyte of data consumes 7 kilowatt hours (kWh), or 3.9 kWh or 0.06 kWh: a huge variance.

Which country has maximum datacenter? ›

As of January 2022, around 2,751 data centers were in the United States, with a further 484 data centers located in Germany. The United Kingdom ranked third among countries in terms of the number of data centers with 458, while China recorded 447.

How many houses does 1000 MW power? ›

Going through the math, a 1,000 megawatt rated coal generator with a 75 percent capacity factor generates about 6.6 billion kWhs in a year, equivalent to the amount of power consumed by about 900,000 homes in the Northeast but only 460,000 homes in the South.

What does a 10 MW data center mean? ›

A Megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts or 1,000,000 watts and is abbreviated as MW. In the data center industry, megawatts are reserved for wholesale colocation customers that require enough power for thousands of servers and related IT hardware.

Is a MWh bigger than a kWh? ›

Thus, any comparison between kilowatts and kilowatt-hours can be applied to megawatts and megawatt-hours, just 1,000 times as large. 1 MWh of energy is equivalent to 1,000 kWh of energy.

How many kW is a data center? ›

Today, the average power consumption for a rack is around 7 kW, depending on the data centers location and configuration. However, almost two-thirds of data centers in the US experience higher peak demands, with a power density of around 15 or 16 kW per rack. Some data centers may hit 20 or more kW per rack.

How many kW does a cell tower use? ›

The average cellular base station, which comprises the tower and the radio equipment attached to it, can use anywhere from about one to five kilowatts (kW), depending on whether the radio equipment is housed in an air-conditioned building, how old the tower is and how many transceivers are in the base station.

How many kW is a kWh? ›

1 kWh equals one hour of electricity usage at a rate of 1 kW, and thus the 2 kW appliance would consume 2 kWh in one hour, or 1 kWh in half an hour. The equation is simply kW x time = kWh.

How many houses can 1 MW power? ›

As indicated in Figure 1, 1 MW of dispatchable capacity can serve about 1200 California homes if measured in terms of the electricity produced by an average MW in kilowatt-hours (kWh), or about 600 homes if the MW is measured at peak times.

How many homes would 100 MW power? ›

To put that number in perspective, the Solar Energy Industries Association (a U.S. trade association) calculates that on average 1 megawatt of solar power generates enough electricity to meet the needs of 164 U.S. homes. 100 megawatts of solar power is thus enough, on average, to power 16,400 U.S. homes.

What is power supply in data center? ›

Data centers also use DC power circuits, especially in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. DC power circuits are also used to supply current for networking gear as well as IT hardware like routers and switches in data centers.

Do data centers have backup power? ›

Data centers get their main power source from one or more utility feeds. They also have backup power sources such as batteries, generators, and fuel reserves in the case of a commercial power outage.

Can data centers run on renewable energy? ›

Data center operators can increase their use of solar energy through the use of renewable energy credits and power purchase agreements, which are discussed below. However, as a standalone power source, solar cells are unlikely to be cost-effective until battery technology makes on-site storage practical.

How much usage is 1 kWh? ›

A kilowatt-hour is 1,000 watts used for one hour. As an example, a 100-watt light bulb operating for ten hours would use one kilowatt-hour.

How much power does a tower server use? ›

For instance, one server can use between 500 to 1,200 watts per hour, according to Ehow.com. If the average use is 850 watts per hour, multiplied by 24 that equals 20,400 watts daily, or 20.4 kilowatts (kWh). Multiply that by 365 days a year for 7,446 kWh per year.

What can run on 1 kWh? ›

So what can 1 kWh power?
  • Running an electric shower (10,000 watts) for 6 minutes.
  • Keeping an immersion heater (3,000 watts) on for 20 minutes.
  • Cooking in an oven (2,000 watts) for 30 minutes.
  • Using an iron (1,000 watts) for 60 minutes.
  • Running a dishwasher (1,000-1,500 watts) for less than an hour.
8 Nov 2021

How much RAM do data centers use? ›

The average data center server today contains less than 256 GB of system memory. It's a reflection of the fact that a server fully loaded with 64 GB modules costs 17.5 times as much as one with 16 GB modules.

How much does IT cost to run a datacenter? ›

The average yearly cost to operate a large data center ranges from $10 million to $25 million. A little less than half is spent on hardware, software, disaster recovery, continuous power supplies and networking. Another large portion goes toward ongoing maintenance of applications and infrastructure.

Do data centers make money? ›

Data centers located next to robust fiber optic and power infrastructure, large population centers and in business-friendly states are most attractive to customers. How do data centers make money? Data center operators make money by leasing or licensing power and space.

What is the lifespan of a data Centre? ›

Data centers normally have a much shorter lifespan than humans. The buildings are typically on 25 year leases or less. “A hyperscale facility could last 15 to 20 years,” says Howe.

What happens if a data center loses power? ›

A sudden loss of power can bring an entire data center operation to its knees. Power outages are harmful to IT systems because an outage and can result in lost data, corrupt files and damaged equipment.

Do data centers waste water? ›

The typical data center uses about 3-5 million gallons of water per day -- the same amount of water as a city of 30,000-50,000 people,” said Venkatesh Uddameri, professor and director of the Water Resources Center at Texas Tech University.

Can data centers be destroyed? ›

Types of Impacts a Disaster Can Have on Data Centers

In an extreme fire that is out of control, the entire facility could be destroyed. A good data center, however, will respond quickly to even a small fire in order to minimize further damage.

Do servers consume a lot of power? ›

In terms of annual energy usage, a two-socket server may use approximately 1,314 kWh a year (which is simply just powering it on) to about 2,600 kWh per year. Allowing for variations in workload demand, the average annual power use for a two-socket server is around 1,800 to 1,900 kWh annually.

How are data centers powered? ›

Most data centers get their primary electricity from the wider municipal electric grid. The facility will then either have one or several transformers in place to take in the energy, while also ensuring the power coming in is of the right voltage and the right type of current (converted from AC to DC typically).

How much power does a tower server use? ›

For instance, one server can use between 500 to 1,200 watts per hour, according to Ehow.com. If the average use is 850 watts per hour, multiplied by 24 that equals 20,400 watts daily, or 20.4 kilowatts (kWh). Multiply that by 365 days a year for 7,446 kWh per year.

How much energy does IT take to store 1gb of data? ›

If you search for information about data energy usage, then you're likely to find studies that state that transmitting and storing one gigabyte of data consumes 7 kilowatt hours (kWh), or 3.9 kWh or 0.06 kWh: a huge variance.

How do I calculate server power consumption? ›

To calculate the power rack consumption, multiply the number of servers per rack by the total number of racks, then multiply that result by the wattage consumed by each server.

How many megawatts is a data center? ›

Data centers are increasingly requiring energy capacity of close to 100 MW of power, which is the equivalent power for about 80,000 U.S. homes, says Greenpeace.

Do data centers use DC power? ›

Servers and other IT products in a data center run on low-voltage DC. The existing AC-based powering architecture in a data center requires multiple AC-DC-AC conversion that results in an overall system efficiency of AC-DC lower than 50%.

Are data centers AC or DC? ›

Limited DC power resources.

DC and AC are two alternative approaches for data centers. Since most data centers use AC power, it would be difficult to change their existing architecture to DC. However, when designing a new data center, DC power certainly is a promising option.

Videos

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