HP was recently recognized by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce with its annual Ripple Award, for its groundbreaking Sustainable Data Center, designed from the ground up as a showcase for sustainability. The Chamber’s Ripple Award recognizes sustainability impact that inspires others, and honors businesses that recognize the value of using environmental products to enhance their corporate bottom line.
A joint project between HP Labs’ Sustainable Ecosystems Research Group (SERG) and HP’s Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) business, the HP Fort Collins Laboratory Infrastructure Transformation (LIT) Data Center was unveiled in March 2011.
The award ceremony, held on February 23, included praise for HP from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper: “The groundbreaking research taking place at HP’s Fort Collins facility demonstrates that Colorado is leading the country in developing environmentally focused solutions. These kinds of efforts will eventually help companies become more sustainable, improving both energy use and the environment.”
The Fort Collins datacenter provides an at-scale testbed for HP Labs researchers. It incorporates cutting-edge sustainability features including thermal sensors, control of CRAC (computer room air conditioning) fan speed and set points, 533 Adaptive Vent Tiles (AVTs) developed at HP Labs and sophisticated software for real-time management of the supply-side and demand-side infrastructure. Using temperature, pressure and flow data, HP Labs algorithms initiate real-time control of the AVTs to deliver chilled air exactly where it is needed. HP Labs’ research Sandbox, an environmentally separate space, adds 350 watt-per-square-foot power density, outside-air cooling and humidity control.
The entire facility has been instrumented with nearly 10,000 networked environmental sensors collecting data on air and water temperature, humidity, airflow, and power usage. HP servers also ship with HP’s ‘sea of sensors’ – thermal sensors providing component-level measurements which are used to control and optimize server cooling and power usage. HPL researchers are developing advanced analytics models to process, analyze, and visualize sensor data – and then optimize datacenter operations.
Another important partner in the Datacenter’s design has been HP’s ESSN R&D team located in Puerto Rico. The team is responsible for the dashboard software that allows for visualization of the thermal instrumentation in the data center, which quickly highlights – on a 3D display – any cooling or performance issues that need to be addressed. The Puerto Rico team also contributed to the design of the data center through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses to verify the effectiveness of the cooling infrastructure.
Learn more about the HP Fort Collins Laboratory Infrastructure Transformation (LIT) data center:
Present at the awards ceremony were HP Labs researcher and Principal Scientist Tom Christian, along with HP colleagues Steve Stiesmeyer, Holly Jo Roseberry, Lynne Christofanelli, and Sandra Bonet. Read more about HP Labs’ research advancing environmental sustainability, and check out some great pictures of the Fort Collins Sustainable Data Center here.