Pioneering sustainable new solution: Energy Surplus powers digital infrastructures
Dresden / Oslo, 18.10.2021. Cloud&Heat Technologies (C&H), a specialist in secure and energy-efficient digital infrastructures, has entered into a long-term cooperation with the Norwegian company Earth Wind & Power (EW&P). The goal is the joint development and provision of sustainable digital infrastructures for colocation, high performance computing (HPC) and cloud applications. The key: Until now, escaping gas from global oil production has been flared, emitting millions of tonnes of CO2 into the earth's atmosphere. This is one of the most wasteful aspects of the energy industry. EWP plans to use the otherwise unused energy as "fuel" for digital infrastructures. For this purpose, the company has purchased its first data centre (144 servers, 1.8 MW power) in a mobile 40-foot container from C&H. The container can be placed in close proximity to oil wells. This can be positioned and operated in the immediate vicinity of oil production plants - but also renewable energy plants (e.g. wind, sun).
Saving emissions and exploiting untapped potential
By using the surplus energy, data centres can be operated without additional energy consumption. In this way, both the energy companies and the purchasers of the computing capacities can optimise their climate footprint - an imperative not only because of the ESG criteria and targets that are becoming increasingly important in the EU. Companies in the oil and gas industry are particularly in demand here: in 2020, around 142 billion cubic metres of gas were flared worldwide. Norway alone, one of the world's largest oil producers, accounted for the equivalent of 13 million tonnes of CO2-emissions. The problem is that oil production also releases natural gas, which is often flared off unused due to a lack of infrastructure. Local pollution and the emission of CO2 are the result. EW&P is now planning to use the gas sensibly and create green computing capacities with the energy. This will not only save costs, but above all improve the energy balance. In addition, new jobs in the digital economy will potentially be created in oil-producing countries. However, a prerequisite for this novel approach is digital infrastructures that can cope with extreme climatic conditions and do not require a lot of additional energy for cooling.
Project launch with energy-efficient 1.8 MW data centre in 40-foot container
C&H is expected to deliver the 1.8 MW data centre in a 40-foot container to EW&P in the first quarter of 2022. The Dresden-based company has been commissioned to set up the corresponding data centre infrastructure, while EW&P will provide the locations and the necessary basic infrastructure such as power and internet. The data centres are modular, scalable and water-cooled and can be used almost anywhere. The container with integrated servers is designed in such a way that it can also be used in extreme climatic conditions such as dryness, wetness as well as outside temperatures from -30 °C to +48 °C. It is also extremely quiet. It is also extremely quiet.
The design of the server boards and a specially developed heat sink have been radically adapted to the water cooling system developed and installed by C&H. This is the only way to achieve such an extreme power density. If required, this can even be increased to 2.4 MW. At the same time, the RZ is particularly energy-efficient due to a closed liquid cooling system. No air filters are required either. In addition, an interface for waste heat utilisation is installed, so that energy efficiency can be improved depending on the possibility of heat demand at the site. For example, due to the special characteristics of the container, EW&P is exploring using the heat output of almost 1.8 MW for seawater desalination.
"The collaboration is a major important step not only for our two companies, but for the global energy and data centre industry as a whole. By matching the energy surplus of one economy with the energy deficit of the other, we have launched a groundbreaking ESG solution," says Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Wind & Power and former Norwegian Minister of National Public Security and Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
"We are very happy about this cooperation, as all partners share the same vision of a sustainable digital future and optimally contribute their respective strengths right from the start. This is a joint pioneering achievement that could also be found in other markets in the future and a great example of what can happen when you work together beyond your own traditional value creation levels. Earth Wind & Power has a huge network and opens up important new markets for us. This also applies to countries that may be underserved and have insufficient access to compute resources," says Nicolas Röhrs, CEO and Co-Founder of Cloud&Heat Technologies.
About Earth, Wind & Power
Earth Wind & Power provides a sustainable data centre power solution by harnessing surplus energy from wind, solar, geothermal and gas to meet growing energy demand for computing power - without negatively impacting existing grids. The company positions modular data centre units near local power generation facilities around the world and uses the most energy-efficient technologies to harness surplus energy on-site for digital infrastructure when no other off-take of energy is economically viable or when demand and energy prices are low. Led by CEO and former Norwegian Minister of Public Security and Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, EW&P was founded by pioneers from the wind, solar and international oil and gas exploration and production industries.
More information: https://earth-wind-and-power.com/