Transforming Data Centres to prosumers cooperating in urban energy marketplaces
The GEYSER Vision is based on the premise that Data Centres will act as accomplished energy prosumers within tomorrow’s Smart Cities. They will be adept at using (a mix of) of available energy sources as well as catering for flexible management of the ICT workload. This will enable the Data Centre to optimize its energy demand by continuously selecting the most attractive energy profile available.
This vision demands a Smart City (urban) environment with Smart Grid capabilities that can handle a mix of and dispersed energy sources –, a (locally active) energy market with which prosumer Data Centres (as well as other energy consumers) can interact with. This is a complex environment and gives rise to many issues which do not exist today, but can also enable many new possibilities.
Realizing this vision is not easy and indeed there is no single ‘silver-bullet’ solution.- Each city context will be slightly different, which is why any (contributing) technology needs to be flexible enough to create the best fit. GEYSER focuses on some of the key challenges associated with realizing this vision. These include:
- developing solutions which optimize the Data Centre’s use of dispersed current and near-term available energy options
- developing solutions which support advanced interaction between the Smart City and the Data Centres, which go beyond demand/response mechanisms
- developing solutions which enable the Data Centre to dynamically adapt its ICT workload to the energy requirements conditions in co-ordination with Data Centres customers
The crux of GEYSER is to match energy supply with computing resource demand in the most efficient way which ultimately reduces the urban energy footprint.
GEYSER is focused on developing an innovative software based framework to the above challenges. More specifically, GEYSER is developing:
- an advanced Data Centre management and control system which has a complete and fine-grained view of all Data Centre components as well current and future energy supplies
- a network-wide Data Centre management and control system which can leverage differences between available resources - both energy and ICT workload - across a network of interconnected Data Centres
- a model of a local energy market which can be used to demonstrate how the Data Centre would react to changing energy conditions
The benefits of GEYSER can be classified as benefits for the Data Centre sector and benefits for the Energy sector.
The benefits for the Data Centre sector are:
- advanced control solutions which will result in more efficient use of energy ultimately translating into lower cost Data Centre operations
- more sophisticated control of renewable energies which can be passed on to customers, thus facilitating greater use of renewables by Data Centre customers
- enables better integration with the Smart Grid and Smart City initiatives
The benefits for the Energy Sector are:
- much tighter linkage with the Data Centre world, enabling grid operators and the ‘city’ to understand and make use of the dynamic requirements of one of the major energy consumers
- a more stable local energy distribution system in which large users can adapt their consumption to the prevailing energy conditions of their physical environment