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Premiere: First "Blue Angel" for servers

Thomas-Krenn.AG and Cloud&Heat Technologies GmbH receive federal eco-label for jointly developed data centre product

Freyung/Dresden, 29.03.2022: The Blue Angel has stood for environmentally friendly products and services for over 40 years - and now Thomas-Krenn.AG is allowed to carry this award for two rack servers as the first server technology manufacturer - one of which is water-cooled. The partner company Cloud&Heat Technologies was significantly involved in the development of the water-cooled server RI2208-LCS.

251 watts and 263 watts: That is the maximum power consumption of the two Thomas Krenn servers RI2208 and RI2208-LCS. This means that the more powerful of the two servers requires about 2,300 kWh of electricity per year - less than a two-person household in a single-family house.[1]. With an average of 1,650 hours of sunshine[2] per year in Germany, four commercially available solar modules would be sufficient for 24/7 operation. To achieve this value, an optimally configured system is one of the supporting pillars. An economical processor is just as much a part of this as an appropriate power supply unit.

In order to receive the Blue Angel label, the following criteria must be met in addition to the corresponding Eco-design and Energystar criteria[3] other decisive parameters must also be taken into account: These include, in particular, environmentally conscious production as well as durability - five years of updates and spare parts must be guaranteed as a minimum - and the recyclability of the system. In addition, it must be proven that it is low in pollutants and must comply with the REACH criteria.[4] of the EU Chemicals Regulation. Fair production is guaranteed, among other things, by the proven absence of child labour. Only when all conditions are met is the Blue Angel eco-label awarded; for the RI2208-LCS, the award is made for servers and data storage products in accordance with DE-UZ 213.


Cloud&Heat water cooling exploits untapped potential

The Blue Angel certification was initiated by the partner company Cloud&Heat Technologies GmbH, which equipped the existing RI2208 server of Thomas-Krenn.AG with a specially developed cooling kit. The direct hot water cooling makes the system a Liquid Cooled Server (LCS), whose great advantage lies in the possible immediate energy reuse. "Instead of letting the exhaust air escape unused, it can be used to supply heat, such as for heating buildings. But water cooling systems like the one from Cloud&Heat also prove to be indirectly advantageous compared to the air cooling still predominantly used by companies: costs are reduced, CO2-emissions," reports Dr Jens Struckmeier, Chief Technology Officer at Cloud&Heat Technologies GmbH. This is green digitisation, as also envisaged by the coalition agreement of the German government with the orientation of German data centres towards ecological sustainability and climate protection.

"The requirements for obtaining a Blue Angel are crystal clear: climate protection, reduction of energy consumption, conservation of resources and avoidance of pollutants," explains Bernhard Seibold, Vice President Systems Engineering and authorised signatory at Thomas-Krenn.AG. "We are proud to be the first server manufacturer to have fulfilled all these requirements so well that we are allowed to receive our Blue Angel. And it will continue blow by blow in terms of sustainable IT: We are aiming for DIN ISO 14001 certification in July 2022. This globally recognised standard for an environmental management system is in turn important for many companies that commit to environmentally friendly suppliers through their own governance."

The RI2208-LCS server has already been successfully used in the project "Waste heat utilisation from compact data centres" (HotFlAd) funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection in 2021. From now on, Thomas.Krenn.AG and Cloud&Heat will take the next step in productive cooperation with the RI2208-LCS: Cloud&Heat will supply the components for the cooling kit, Thomas.Krenn will assemble them and distribute the joint server product - now including the first award of the eco-label.


Mission European Green Deal

The Blue Angel thus also plays an important role in the European Green Deal, which aims to make the EU climate-neutral. The future demand for green server solutions in particular can be read off well from current projections: According to a study[5] of the German Information and Telecommunications Industry Association, Bitkom e. V. for short, the electricity demand of data centres could rise from 16 billion kWh/year in 2020 to up to 29 billion kWh/year in 2030.

However, because a large part of industry will need more time for the transformation, information technology with its shorter cycles can make a particularly fast and sustainable contribution here. For this reason, the Federal Environment Agency is also constantly developing the Blue Angel and had awarded the servers of Thomas-Krenn.AG for the first time around the turn of the year 2021/2022.

"The European Union has set itself the goal of being climate neutral by 2050. Of course, we are also committed to this goal at the federal level and support it with corresponding vigour. The transition will be all the more successful if we underpin corresponding targets with incentives and award successes," explains Marina Köhn, responsible for the development of criteria at the Blue Angel for data centres, servers and software, among other things. "The award for Thomas-Krenn.AG is an example of how small and medium-sized businesses, as the backbone of the economy in this country, can make a valuable contribution to environmental protection."


About the Thomas-Krenn.AG

Thomas-Krenn.AG is a leading, fast-growing manufacturer of individual server and storage systems. Since 2002, the company has been supplying end users, resellers and data centre operators with high-quality hardware according to the build-to-order principle. Also as a solution provider for individual customer projects, Thomas-Krenn.AG stands for the highest service quality in hardware-related development, contract manufacturing, product finishing and logistics. It is thus a recognised reliable partner for industry, system houses, service providers and medium-sized end customers from every sector. Thomas-Krenn.AG currently produces all servers in Germany at the Freyung site with around 200 employees.

Information on the Blue Angel eco-label

For more than 40 years, the Blue Angel has been the German government's environmental label and the orientation for sustainable purchasing. Independent and credible, it sets demanding standards for environmentally friendly products and services. The Blue Angel guarantees that products and services bearing it meet high standards in terms of environmental, health and usage properties. The entire life cycle must always be taken into account in the assessment. For each product group, criteria are developed which products and services labelled with the Blue Angel must fulfil. In order to reflect technical developments, the Federal Environment Agency reviews the criteria every three to four years. In this way, companies are challenged to make their products ever more environmentally friendly.