Syracuse University (Syracuse) is a leading national research university of more than 18,000 students and 1,400 faculty members. Syracuse is a leader in promoting and practicing campus sustainability and has a long tradition of energy management and conservation that goes back more than 35 years.
In partnership with IBM and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Syracuse constructed a 12,000 square foot Green Data Center, a state of the art facility that uses nearly 50 percent less energy than a typical data center making it one of the world’s greenest computer centers. An integral component of the Data Center is a Combined Heat, Cooling and Power plant that comprises two arrays of 6 Capstone C65 microturbines each with a total installed capacity of 780 kW. Each array can direct the turbine exhaust to a heat exchanger for use in space heating and/or a double effect absorption chiller which provides cooling for IT equipment, air conditioning for the data center and a co-located administration building. Creating on-site power represents enormous progress in the construction of data centers; on-site generation utilizes waste exhaust for heating and cooling, eliminates energy losses associated with standard power transport and significantly lowers the chance of power disruption. The energy efficient technology used at the Data Center is estimated to save 3,600,000 kWh annually.
Syracuse’s Green Data Center is the first of its kind and serves as a model for other data centers around the world. The lessons learned here will inform future construction and provide valuable data on energy efficiency in data centers.