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Press Release

NEDO Demonstration Project Aims for 15% Energy Savings with a High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Feeding System

-Data Center Energy Conservation Demonstration Launches in Texas-
August  26,2016
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

NEDO and NTT Facilities, Inc. (NTTF) are collaborating with The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) to begin demonstration tests of a High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) feeding system installed at the university to improve energy efficiency of the data center.

By introducing an energy-saving demonstration system combining high-capacity HVDC power equipment and lithium-ion batteries at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at UT Austin, the demonstration project aims to verify a predicted 15 percent energy savings compared to conventional systems.

  • photo: HVDC feeding system / Solar power system 
  • figure: Diagram of the energy conservation demonstration system installed at the University of Texas at Austin

1.Overview

In recent years, the expansion in the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) systems have led to an increase in the volume of data handled by data centers. At the same time, the amount of power consumed by data centers has increased rapidly, making the energy efficiency of such facilities an urgent global challenge to address. Given these circumstances, NEDO has promoted the domestic commercialization and introduction of High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) feeding systems*1, which is one of the innovative techniques for reducing data center energy consumption, through the “Research and Development Project for Green Network System Technology” (FY2008-2012). It is also important from the perspective of strengthening international competitiveness to expand the use of HVDC feeding systems overseas in the future, beginning with the world’s largest ICT market in the United States.

Against this backdrop, NEDO agreed to collaborate with the government of the State of Texas to jointly promote HVDC feeding systems, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on August 11, 2015. Based on the MOU, NEDO and NTTF, in collaboration with UT Austin, installed HVDC feeding systems at TACC, and the project is now entering the demonstration testing phase.

Through the process described below, the demonstration tests aim to achieve a 15 percent energy savings compared to conventional systems.

  • 1) The energy conservation demonstration system installed at TACC consists of 500kW-class high-capacity HVDC power equipment (rectifier and DC distribution board), lithium-ion batteries, HVDC servers, HVDC air conditioning equipment and HVDC lighting equipment, as well as a solar power system (see diagram).
  • 2) With regards to evaluating the efficiency of the energy conservation demonstration system, the partners will quantitatively analyze the performance of the new system compared to existing AC feeding systems by using the DPPE (Datacenter Performance Per Energy) *2 to assess its advantages.
  • 3) In this demonstration test, by linking the HVDC feeding system and solar power system, the number of the operating HVDC rectifier will be controlled based on the amount of energy generated from the solar power system, resulting in the HVDC feeding system optimization.

In the future, using the results of this demonstration as a foundation, NEDO plans to promote the expanded deployment of HVDC feeding systems as one solution to the problem of reducing data center power consumption focusing on the U.S. but also looking more broadly towards the European and Asian markets.

The three project partners - NEDO, NTTF, and UT Austin - held a ceremony to celebrate the start of demonstration system operations at TACC on August 25. Mr. Munehiko Tsuchiya, Executive Director of NEDO; Atsushi Ichihoshi, President and CEO of NTT Facilities, Inc.; Tetsuro Amano, Consul-General of Japan in Houston; and Dr. Daniel Jaffe, Vice President for Research of the University of Texas at Austin attended the ceremony.

【Glossary】

*1 High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) feeding system
A feeding system that improves the energy efficiency of an entire data center by reducing the number of times the electric current of the power supplied needs to be converted between AC and DC, which is necessary in the course of supplying power from external sources to internal ICT equipment. In this project, DC power at 380V will be delivered from the power equipment to ICT equipment.
*2 DPPE (Datacenter Performance Per Energy)
A new metric used to indicate energy efficiency of an entire data center being promoted by Japan’s Green IT Promotion Council. The use of DPPE allows for the objective evaluation of the energy efficiency of an entire data center, including the ICT equipment it contains.

2. For more information, please contact:

NEDO Energy Conservation Technology Department
Contact Persons: Yonezu, Numata
Tel: +81-44-520-5284­

NEDO International Affairs Department
Contact Persons: Ishikawa, Sekine
Tel: +81-44-520-5190­