Funding will support projects that reduce carbon emissions attributed to energy use specifically related to cooling of data centres – that are fast growing their contribution to global carbon footprints.
The announcement in funding is to overcome technology barriers associated with the development of high-performance energy efficient cooling solutions for data centres. Used to house computers, storage systems and computing infrastructure, data centres account for approximately 2% of total US electricity production while data centre cooling can account for up to 40% of data centre energy usage overall.
DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will fund projects that seek to reduce the amount of energy data centres use for cooling to lower the operational carbon footprint associated with powering and cooling data centres. This funding will support President Biden’s goals to reach net zero carbon emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.
“Extreme weather events, like the soaring temperatures much of the country experienced this summer, also impact data centres which connect critical computing and network infrastructure and must be kept at certain temperatures to remain operational,” said US secretary of energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Creating solutions to cool data centres efficiently and reduce the associated carbon emissions supports the technological breakthroughs needed to fight climate change and secure our clean energy future.”
ARPA-E’s Cooling Operations Optimised for Leaps in Energy, Reliable and Carbon Hyperefficiency for Information Processing Systems (COOLERCHIPS) funding program aims to develop highly efficient and reliable cooling systems that will enable a new class of efficient power-dense computational systems, data centres and modular systems. The program will prioritise four technical categories for cooling system innovation opportunities:
- Energy-efficient cooling solutions for next generation high power density servers
- High power density modular data centres that can be operated anywhere efficiently
- Software and modelling tool development to design and optimise data centres’ energy use, CO2footprint, reliability, and cost, simultaneously
- Facilities and best practices for efficient evaluation and demonstration of transformational technologies developed under the program.
For more information, please visit the DoE website.