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NREL Data Center Cuts Water Use in Half With Hybrid Thermosyphon System Video (Text Version)

This is the text version for the video NREL Data Center Cuts Water Use in Half With Hybrid Thermosyphon System.

Our data center not only provides production compute cycles but it's also a living laboratory where we experiment with energy efficiency and water efficiency.

Here in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, we operate the world's most energy-efficient data center. So, one of the features of our data center is it's warm-water liquid cooled and we use evaporative cooling to reject waste heat. We use the evaporative coolers because they're energy efficient and they cost less but one of the concerns we had was with the evaporative cooling we evaporate approximately two million gallons a year per megawatt of IT load in our data center and we were looking for ways that we could be more water efficient as well as we are energy efficient. So, why bother with the water?

Water's inexpensive. But looking ahead, depending on where you live, water challenges are becoming more pronounced, not just the energy use. So, we wanted to do a bit of pathfinding with our partners at Sandia National Lab and with Johnson Controls to identify ways that we could maintain our efficiency and save water through this thermosyphon dry cooling. So, this is the first time that a thermosyphon dry cooler, something of this sort, has been installed in a data center and the project was able to show that during the course of a year we cut our water usage by more than half.

I'm particularly proud of this project team because they took new technology, they showed how it could be successfully installed in an existing data center, worked through the control sequences, the design of experiment, and they showed through to completion that they were able to cut the water usage by 50% and I think that's quite an accomplishment.

So, this summer we'll be installing a new supercomputer in our data center and that's gonna double our electrical draw. It'll increase our compute capability but accompanying that is the additional cooling requirements.

So, with the thermosyphon, the 50% savings instead of being just a million gallons a year, it'll be up closer to maybe 2 or 3 million gallons a year of savings with this technology. I think this is an exemplar and something to be extremely proud of that this DOE laboratory and our work with industry is leading the way in energy efficiency and water efficiency for the entire community.