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Press Release

Energy Conservation Demonstration Project to Be Conducted in the U.S. State of Texas

-Introducing a High Capacity HVDC Power Supply System with the Aim of Energy Savings of 15% Compared to Conventional Systems-
August  12,2015
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

NEDO has agreed to cooperate with the state of Texas in the United States to advance the spread of high voltage direct current (HVDC) power supply system technology to achieve data center energy savings, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed.

In this project, we aim at energy savings of 15% compared to conventional systems by introducing a high capacity HVDC power supply system (500kW class) at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and demonstrating the operation of the system.

  • Project outline of the energy conservation demonstration project at the University of Texas at Austin
    Project outline of the energy conservation demonstration project at the University of Texas at Austin

1.Project Outline

In recent years, the demand for data centers has increased because of the proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT) and the rapid increase of data traffic due to the spread of mobile devices. As a result, data center power supply capacities and power consumption have also increased rapidly, making data center energy savings a global issue. Under these circumstances, high voltage direct current (HVDC) power supply systems *1 have been attracting attention as an innovative technique for energy conservation, but the current situation is that high capacity HVDC power supply systems scaled up to cope with the increasing demands of data centers while delivering high energy savings performance have been limited worldwide.

Previously, NEDO has demonstrated the practical use of high capacity (500kW class) HVDC power supply system technology with high energy savings performance through the “Research and Development Project for Green Network System Technology” (FY2008-2012).

Against this background, NEDO has agreed to cooperate with the state of Texas in the United States to advance the spread of high voltage direct current (HVDC) power supply system technology, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed. In this project, we will install the high capacity HVDC power supply system (500kW class) NEDO cultivated through the aforementioned project, demonstrating the energy savings of the system while aiming to promote the use of HVDC power supply systems in the United States, which is the world’s largest market in the ICT field.

More specifically, NTT Facilities, Inc. on the Japanese side and the University of Texas at Austin on the American side will participate in this project. The HVDC power supply system will be installed at the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and the energy savings of the system will be demonstrated. With regards to the HVDC power supply system, the direct current (DC) power supply system will be set up by combining high capacity HVDC power equipment with a solar power generation system and lithium-ion batteries (see figure), and the data center performance per energy (DPPE) method *2 will be used to measure the efficiency of the data center and evaluate the energy savings performance of the HVDC power supply system, as well as show the system’s superiority over AC power supply systems. In addition to this, by connecting the system to renewable energy from solar power generation and tailoring the number of operating HVDC power supply units (module level on/off control) within the HVDC power supply system based on variations in solar power generated over the course of the day, we aim for further energy savings by optimizing the operating efficiency of the power supply system, with a target of 15% energy savings for the system as a whole compared to conventional systems. The project period is about one year and eight months from August 2015 to March 2017, and the budget is scheduled to be about ¥1.6 billion.

In the future, we will demonstrate the validity and viability of our business model from both technological and business perspectives, and upon confirming its significance we aim to promote HVDC power supply systems as a solution for data center energy conservation in the United States. Also, we plan to continue considering how to use the United States as a pivot to expand in Europe and Asia as well.

2.MOU Signing Ceremony

At the signing ceremony, which was held at the University of Texas at Austin in the state of Texas on August 11th, NEDO Executive Director Fumio Ueda and Texas Secretary of the State Carlos H. Cascos attended and signed the MOU in order to establish cooperation to promote and advance this demonstration technology.

【Glossary】

*1 High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) System
A power supply system which improves the power conversion efficiency of the entire data center by reducing the number of AC-DC and DC-DC conversions in the course of supplying power from the utility company to ICT devices. Supply from the rectifier to the ICT equipment will be supplied in DC380V.
*2 Data center Performance Per Energy (DPPE) Method
A new indicator of the energy efficiency of an entire data center which the Green IT Promotion Council is promoting. With the use of the DPPE method, it is possible to evaluate objectively the efficiency of the entire data center, including IT equipment.

3.For more information, please contact:

NEDO Energy Conservation Technology Department, NEDO
TEL: +81-44-520-5284
International Affairs Department, NEDO
TEL: +81-44-520-5190