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Pioneering DATAZERO project enabling greener data centers celebrates completion

October 14, 2019

Morges, SWITZERLAND … Power management company Eaton today announced the completion of DATAZERO, an ambitious joint innovation project aiming to make data centers as green as possible.

The DATAZERO project began in 2015, funded by the French National Research Agency. Led by the Toulouse Institute of Computer Science Research (IRIT), the project consortium also includes the LAPLACE laboratory and FEMTO-ST Institute, as well as Eaton. The research focuses on enabling data centers to harness multiple renewable power sources effectively and store energy locally through batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

Targeting mid-sized data centers of up to 1000m2 and 1MW, DATAZERO has passed many milestones in the last four years. This includes designing microgrids that combine renewable production with hybrid energy storage and integrating a middleware ‘negotiation loop’ that matches energy production and storage with data center requirements. In June 2019, the team also confirmed it’s theoretically possible to run a 1MW data center with only local renewable power, as well as long and short-term energy storage.

To celebrate the team’s achievements, members of the DATAZERO consortium are hosting a workshop to discuss ‘Renewable energy-powered data centers’ on 14-16 October. Organized by the FEMTO-ST Institute and IRIT Lab, the workshop is taking place on 14-16 October at the FEMTO-ST in Besançon, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, France. The event features international keynote speakers, technical sessions, live demonstrations, and a roundtable on the future of data centers. Participants from a wide range of disciplines will hear about the latest progress and challenges in enabling data centers to harness renewable power effectively. Topics include efficient resource scheduling, cooling and heat management, and interactions with the power grid.

“The DATAZERO project set out to solve a crucial challenge,” comments Professor Jean-Marc Pierson from IRIT. “Sustainable energy sources, like solar and wind power, are intermittent by nature—yet data centers must remain reliable and resilient at all times. We’re very excited to share the best methods we’ve discovered for powering greener data centers at the workshop. We’ve made excellent progress and now have a much better understanding of both renewable power generation and data center consumption, as well as the dynamics between them.”

Key findings from the DATAZERO project are being presented at the workshop, and participants can see hydrogen fuel cells, small scale microgrids, and ‘negotiation loop’ middleware in action. Ciaran Forde, business segment manager for Data Center and ICT at Eaton, will also be giving a presentation on the current state of the industry and how to drive the transition to renewable-powered data centers.

“This is a great moment to celebrate the huge achievements of the DATAZERO consortium,” adds Jerome Lecuivre, Engineering Team Manager, Eaton EMEA. “With data centers producing more carbon emissions than airlines, we’re very proud to have supported making their operations greener and more sustainable through this ambitious project. Ultimately, our work will enable data centers to reduce both their carbon footprint and energy expenditure, as the world reaches the ‘tipping point’ for the transition to renewable power.”

Learn more about the DATAZERO project at http://datazero.org.

Learn more about the DATAZERO workshop at: http://events.femto-st.fr/workshop-datacenters-2019/

Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit Eaton.com.


Contact (for journalist enquiries)

Nathalie Lapoirie, Corporate Communications Manager, EMEA, nathalielapoirie@eaton.com, tel: +41 21 811 46 47