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May 8 – 12, 2023
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
US/Eastern timezone

Data Centre Refurbishment with the aim of Energy Saving and Achieving Carbon Net Zero

May 9, 2023, 12:15 PM
Marriott Ballroom IV (Norfolk Waterside Marriott)

Marriott Ballroom IV

Norfolk Waterside Marriott

235 East Main Street Norfolk, VA 23510
Oral Track 7 - Facilities and Virtualization Track 7 - Facilities and Virtualization


Traynor, Daniel (Queen Mary University of London)


Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) as part of the refurbishment of one of its's data centres has installed water to water heat pumps to use the heat produced by the computing servers to provide heat for the university via a district heating system. This will enable us to reduce the use of high carbon intensity natural gas heating boilers, replacing them with electricity which has a lower carbon intensity due to the contribution from wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, biomass sources of power sources.

The QMUL GridPP cluster today provides 15PB of storage and over 20K jobs slots mainly devoted to the ATLAS experiment. The data centre that houses the QMUL GridPP cluster, was originally commissioned in 2004. By 2020 it was in significant need of refurbishment. The original design had a maximum power capacity of 200KW, no hot/cold aisle containment, down flow air conditioning units using refrigerant cooling and no raised floor or ceiling plenum.

The main requirements of the refurbishment are: To significantly improve the energy efficiency and reduce the carbon usage of the University; Improve the availability and reliability of the power and cooling; Increase the capacity of the facility to provide for future expansion; Provide a long term home for the GridPP cluster to support the computing needs of the LHC and other new large science experiments (SKA/LSST) into the next decade.

After taking into account the future requirements and likely funding allocation, floor space in the datacentre and the space available to house the cooling equipment the following design was chosen: A total power capacity of 390KW with redundant feeds to each rack; 39 racks with an average of 10KW of power per rack (flexable up to 20KW); An enclosed hot aisle design with in row cooling units using water cooling; water to water heat pumps connected to the universities district heating system

An overview of the project, it's status and expected benefits in power and carbon saving are presented.

Consider for long presentation Yes

Primary authors

Traynor, Daniel (Queen Mary University of London) Dr Owen, Richard Alex (Queen Mary University of London) Prof. Hays, Jonathan (Queen Mary University Of London)

Presentation materials

Peer reviewing