U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Advanced Manufacturing Office – Industrial Distributed Energy

New Report Highlights Opportunities for Combined Heat and Power in Data Centers

March 17, 2009

Data centers represent a rapidly growing and very energy intensive activity in commercial, educational, and government facilities. They currently consume 1.5% of the total power in the U.S., and growth over the next five to 10 years is expected to require a similar increase in power generation. This energy consumption is concentrated in buildings that are 10 to 40 times more energy intensive than a typical office building. The sheer size of the market, the concentrated energy consumption per facility, and the tendency of facilities to cluster in “high-tech” centers all contribute to a potential power infrastructure crisis for the industry. 

 

ITP’s Opportunities for Combined Heat and Power in Data Centers report analyzes the opportunities for combined heat and power (CHP) technologies to assist primary power in making the data center more cost-effective and energy efficient (PDF 1.5 MB). Download Adobe Reader. Broader application of CHP will lower the demand for electricity from central stations and reduce the pressure on electric transmission and distribution infrastructure.

 

This report features information on the following:

 

·         Data Center Market Segmentation—the description of the overall size of the market, the size and types of facilities involved, and the geographic distribution

·         Data Center Energy Use Trends—a discussion of energy use and expected energy growth and the typical energy consumption in data centers

·         CHP Applicability—potential configurations, CHP case studies, applicable equipment, heat recovery opportunities (cooling), cost and performance benchmarks, and power reliability benefits

·         CHP Drivers and Hurdles—evaluation of user benefits, social benefits, market structural issues and attitudes toward CHP, and regulatory hurdles

·         CHP Paths to Market—discussion of technical needs, education, and strategic partnerships needed to promote CHP in the IT community

 

Learn more about ITP’s efforts to improve data center efficiency.