Equinix, a global digital infrastructure company, and Darmstadt-based energy intelligence start-up, etalytics, have announced the expansion of their collaboration to implement the AI-based cooling solution developed by etalytics in several further Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) in Frankfurt to further optimise the locations’ energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.
Based on the technical feasibility tests carried out by etalytics – which concluded that its AI software can be integrated into nearly all Frankfurt-based Equinix data centres – the solution is planned to be initially expanded to all three Equinix data centres in the West campus (FR4, FR6 and FR8), expected to be followed by FR2.6.
As a next step, Equinix plans to roll out the software in nearly all its Frankfurt facilities. Both partners are also exploring additional measures for energy efficiency improvements throughout Equinix data centres.
The expansion follows the successful trial run and implementation into live operations of the pilot project in Equinix’s FR6 Frankfurt data centre, which significantly improved the energy efficiency of the cooling supply system and thus reduced the overall PUE of the facility closer to 1.2. Instead of the originally estimated energy consumption reduction potential of about 600MWh per year, the forecast was now increased to about 900MWh per year. Etalytics estimates that Equinix can potentially reduce the annual energy input of the affected cooling systems by up to 48%.
The joint project was launched in 2020, way ahead of regulations for energy efficiency in data centres, with the aim to reduce energy consumption by using AI software to monitor and optimise the energy supply required for cooling the data centre infrastructure. The AI system enables the cooling of the data centre to be regulated to the required level for 99% of annual operation, creating a more efficient process.
For the pilot project’s promising results, Equinix was awarded by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) with the prestigious Energy Efficiency Award in the category that recognises energy efficiency measures including through digitisation. The award ceremony, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), honours outstanding entrepreneurial achievements and innovative strategies on the path to climate neutrality.
“We love pioneering sustainability,” said Jens-Peter Feidner, Managing Director, Equinix Germany. “Launched well before any regulations or discussions about energy efficiency in data centres, this innovative collaborative project proves that Equinix’s ‘Future First’ strategy is a true promise and commitment to the company’s science-based sustainability
goals. This is a promising example of the positive impact that digitalisation and new technologies such as AI can have on energy efficiency in the data centre industry.
When defining the savings of Equinix’s cooling systems, etalytics considers various cross-sectional technologies such as pumps, cooling towers or heat exchangers. The operating characteristics of these components are modelled using telemetry data and a digital twin of the overall system is learned. In turn, the digital image can be used to dynamically calculate optimum operating strategies in real-time, taking into account all influencing factors such as the ambient temperature, humidity or the cooling requirement to be covered.Click below to share this article