Equinix and Darmstadt-based energy intelligence startup 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 in nearly all Frankfurt based Equinix data centers, the solution is planned to be initially expanded to all three Equinix data centers in the West campus (FR4, FR6, FR8), expected to be followed by FR2.6, in addition to the current deployment in FR6. As a next step, Equinix plans to roll out the software in nearly all of its Frankfurt facilities. Both partners are also exploring additional measures for energy efficiency improvements throughout Equinix data centers.
The expansion follows the successful trial run and implementation into live operations of the pilot project in Equinix’s FR6 Frankfurt data center, 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 600 MWh per year, the forecast was now increased to about 900 MWh 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 centers, with the aim to reduce energy consumption by using AI software developed by etalytics to monitor and optimize the energy supply required for cooling the data center infrastructure. The AI system enables the cooling of the data center 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 recognizes energy efficiency measures including through digitization. The award ceremony, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), honors outstanding entrepreneurial achievements and innovative strategies on the path to climate neutrality.
Jens-Peter Feidner, Managing Director, Equinix Germany said: “We love pioneering sustainability! Launched well before any regulations or discussions about energy efficiency in data centers, 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 digitalization and new technologies such as AI can have on energy efficiency in the data center industry. We are particularly pleased to have received the prestigious Energy Efficiency Award from DENA for our energy efficiency, as data center providers are often perceived rather contrarily in this respect. This shows that we are on the right track.
The implementation of such solutions is another crucial building block in achieving climate neutrality, also against the backdrop of the very ambitious efficiency targets of the new German Energy Efficiency Act. Together with the rest of the industry and with innovative partners, we are continuing to work on becoming even more efficient and sustainable and look forward to a lively exchange with politicians on how this can be implemented without curtailing digitalization in Germany.”
Dr Thomas Weber, Co-founder and Managing Director, etalytics added: "The extended partnership with Equinix underlines the effectiveness and innovation of our AI-based analysis & optimisation solutions. The successful application in FR6 and the planned expansion to other locations demonstrate the enormous potential of our scalable technology to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Being recognised by the Energy Efficiency Award 2023 for Equinix reinforces our approach. Implementing this technology in a critical infrastructure environment with the highest security requirements demonstrates the reliability and robustness of our approach. We are proud to be at the forefront of the industry for energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions with Equinix."
When defining the savings of Equinix's cooling systems, etalytics takes into account 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. The system is thus operated with maximum efficiency in every situation.