Waste heat from the Container Data Centre's CHP unit can also be employed to heat offices

'Container data centre' offers eco-smart portability

System enclosures firm Rittal and Würz Energy have launched what's claimed to be a stand-alone 'container data centre', redundantly supplied with its own redundant power supply and integrated co-generation combined heat and power (CHP) plants, at Hannover Messe this week.

The unit's refrigeration machines use heat generated by the power plants for cooling. The power produced from vegetable oil or natural gas in the CHP is fed into the connected data centre; then the waste heat generated by the power plant is used to cool IT equipment installed.

The refrigeration machines used are supplied by InvenSor, and use an 'adsorption' process - agglomeration of water molecules on the surfaces of adsorbents. The companies are claiming potential annual savings of around €14,000 with the Container Data Centre's 30-kilowatt version.

The refrigerating machines continuously supply water to the Rittal Liquid Cooling Package (LCP) installed in the data centre container. The LCP placed between the racks uses the water to cool the air, which is then directly guided to the server.

In winter free cooling is used. The re-cooling system of the adsorption refrigerating machine performs the free cooling using the cold water. Also, waste heat from the CHP unit can be employed to heat the offices when outdoor temperatures are low, the Container Data Centre's makers say.

“Companies with little available space can, quite literally, place their data centre or backup solution 'out in the yard'," says a Rittal spokesperson. “It is no longer a problem to present applications that need intense computer power at trade shows or on important customer visits. The technology can even be deployed in remote locations without any electricity or water supply: at events, for instance, or on research projects, or construction sites. Data can then be transmitted via microwave link or satellite.”

Rittal can also equip the system with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and an automatic fire alarm and extinguisher system.

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