Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Danfoss partner to curb data centre energy consumption and reuse excess heat


Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Danfoss announced their collaboration to deliver HPE IT Sustainability Services – Data Centre Heat Recovery, an off-the shelf heat recovery module, helping organisations manage and value excess heat as they transition towards more sustainable IT facilities.

The rapid integration of AI technologies across organisations and businesses is expected to have a dramatic increase in the power demand and utilisation of AI optimised IT infrastructure. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2026 the AI industry is expected to have grown exponentially to consume at least ten times its electricity demand in 2023. To mitigate these challenges, IT leaders and data centre facility operators are taking action to reduce energy usage, such as implementing modern power-efficient capabilities and improved cooling systems. Excess heat in the EU alone represents an estimated 2,860 TWh/y, almost equal to the EU’s total energy demand for heat and hot water in residential and service sector buildings. The flow of excess heat from data centres is uninterruptible and therefore constitutes a very reliable source of clean energy.

To address these issues, the new energy efficient data centre solution from HPE and Danfoss offers:

  • HPE’s scalable Modular Data Centre (MDC), in the form of small footprint, high-density (kW/rack) containers, can be deployed nearly anywhere in the total absence of heavy industry and incorporates technologies such as direct liquid cooling, reducing overall energy consumption by 20%.
  • Danfoss’ innovative solutions, including heat reuse modules that capture excess heat from data centres to provide renewable heating onsite and to neighbouring buildings and industries for various applications, and Turbocor® oil-free compressors that enhance data centre cooling efficiency by up to 30%.

“Our strategic partnership with HPE is a great example of how we revolutionise building and decarbonising the data centre industry together with customers,” said Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Climate Solutions. “With this latest cross-industry partnership we’re building the blueprint for the next generation of sustainable datacentres – using technologies available today”.

Benefits and agility of modularity
HPE’s MDC incorporates direct liquid cooling (DLC) technologies to enhance energy efficiency by over 20% and optimise energy production and distribution, leading to notable energy savings. The design’s compactness minimises energy loss by reducing the distance for energy and cooling fluid transport and maximises the temperature differential at the inlet and outlet, which promotes the capture of excess heat. Furthermore, the MDC’s agility and the exclusion of heavy industrial materials negate the need for costly, conventional building materials and substantially reduces the time to market. Deployment can be achieved three times quicker than with traditional data centres, decreasing from 18 months to as few as 6 months. Finally, the reduced land footprint and flexibility of the MDCs allow for placement in proximity to data generation sites, which diminishes the energy impact and bottlenecks associated with complex networking solutions and data transfer, while also supporting enhanced data governance and security.

“At HPE, we believe in the power of collaboration to create transformative solutions,” said Sue Preston, Vice President & General Manager, WW Advisory & Professional Services & Managed Services, HPE. “Our partnership with Danfoss brings together HPE’s innovative modular data centre with Danfoss’ groundbreaking heat reuse technology. Together, we are not just adding value; we are multiplying it. By harnessing the typically untapped resource of waste heat, turning waste into worth, showing the future of energy usage is efficient, intelligent, and, most importantly, achievable now.”

With unparalleled density, HPE’s modular data centres offer an impressive power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1 in contrast to the PUE of 1.3 to 1.4 typically associated with the best modern designs of traditional brick-and-mortar data centres. Capable of handling the most power-demanding architectures like HPE Cray Supercomputing EX4000, HPE’s modular data centre is the adequate architecture for mission critical and compute intensive workloads like supercomputing and generative AI, enabling scientists, universities, and enterprises to achieve faster outcomes.

From chip to chiller: driving innovation in decarbonisation
To leverage excess heat – one of the largest untapped sources of energy and the largest potential for data centres across Europe, HPE has partnered up with Danfoss as their decarbonisation partner. The strategic partnership takes advantage of Danfoss’ extensive product portfolio of energy-efficient solutions to drive innovation, support decarbonisation and build the blueprint for the next generation of sustainable modular data centres.

HPE IT Sustainability Services – Data Centre Heat Recovery is inspired by how Danfoss is already using heat reuse technology at its own headquarters campus in Denmark. Here, the heat is recovered from Danfoss’ onsite data centre, boosted by a heat pump, and re-used in surrounding buildings to provide space heating. The heat can also be fed into the local district heating network to provide a renewable heat source to local residents. Reusing heat is a major part of Danfoss’ own decarbonisation strategy which has helped Danfoss achieve carbon neutrality in the energy system of its 250,000m2 campus in Nordborg in 2022.

The new scalable modular data centre offering leverages Danfoss technologies, including Turbocor® compressors for heat pumps and chillers, heat exchangers, heat reuse modules, drives and pump skids allowing data centres to be cooled up to 30% more efficiently while recovering and reusing excess heat. It’s a modular solution with components that work together seamlessly and includes two technology stack options with a heat recovery system, including hydronic heat recovery heat exchanger and water-water heat pump, recovering heat from an air-cooled edge-to-cloud modular data centre today and potentially second phase liquid cooled HPC modular data centre.

As part of its holistic “Reduce, Reuse, Resource” approach, Danfoss also partners with HPE to retire its end-of-use IT assets through HPE Asset Upcycling Services, a circular economy solution that enables technology refurbishment and reuse, while recovering economic value from those assets.


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