The Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit was held on May 16-17, 2024 in Dallas TX, USA. The data center industry’s energy requirements will represent 7–20% of the world’s energy consumption by 2030. This is because of the soaring demand for technology. In light of this, the Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit aimed to identify innovative approaches that would enable the IT sector to adopt a more sustainable ecology while containing rising energy expenses. In this article, we will see what the sessions were about and about the sponsors in detail. 

Sessions at the Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit

The Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit’s vast schedule of sixteen thought-provoking sessions covered a wide range of topics over two-days. Furthermore, pioneers, specialists, and visionaries from the industry came together for these sessions. They offered their priceless tactics and insights. So, let’s see them ahead:

The Future of Sustainable Data Centers in the Era of AI by Charlie SELLARS, Director of Sustainability, Microsoft

The speaker began investigating the enormous potential and far-reaching effects of AI on the world. He outlined his vision for sustainable data centers in the future. So, there was an emphasis on the critical necessity for an all-encompassing, top-to-bottom strategy. The speaker also underlined the industry’s shared responsibility for leading sustainability initiatives. Moreover, the critical role that innovation plays in scaling sustainable solutions was discussed.

Data Center Sustainability: Balancing Socioeconomic Responsibilities with Business Sense by Megan HOFMEYER, Sustainability Director, QTS Data Centers

The speaker’s enlightening talk explored the complex interplay in the field of data center sustainability. This is between commercial imperatives and societal duties. She laid out the essential elements of workforce development, well-being, and energy efficiency. Moreover, the speaker also emphasized the value of accessibility. She also discussed the value of digital inclusion, corporate social responsibility, and community involvement. This is an essential element of an all-encompassing sustainability plan.

Energy Efficiency Technologies by Calvin NICHOLSON, Sr. Director of Product Management, Legrand

Calvin’s session illuminated the pivotal role of cutting-edge technologies in driving energy efficiency within data centers. He emphasized the importance of leveraging advanced monitoring tools and analytics to garner real-time insights into energy usage patterns. Additionally, the speaker explored the implementation of virtualization technologies as a means to enhance resource utilization and discussed the exploration of cost-effective cooling methods and energy-efficient technologies.

Grid Integration & Speed to Market: New Utility Collaboration Frameworks by Michael DONOHUE, Power Working Group Chair, iMasons Climate Accord

In his session, Michael delved into the intricate realm of grid integration and the pressing need for expediting time-to-market strategies. He shed light on the emerging utility collaboration frameworks that could facilitate seamless integration while accelerating the deployment of innovative solutions.

Effective and Cost-Efficient Cooling Solutions by Mike HERWALD, Sales Manager North Americas, Munters

Mike’s session focused on the pivotal role of effective and cost-efficient cooling solutions in optimizing data center operations. He explored strategies for optimizing annual operating energy efficiency through superior capture of economizer cooling. Furthermore, the speaker delved into design options tailored to meet the cooling demands of high-density environments, tackled the intricate challenges of air and liquid cooling, and shed light on the exponential density increase and the accompanying challenges of reliable heat rejection. Notably, he also discussed the resurgence of evaporative technologies as a viable solution.

Boosting Energy Efficiency Through Increased Automation and AI-Enabled Data Centers by Lindsey BRUNER, Chief Operating Officer, CleanArc Data Centers

Lindsey’s session explored the transformative potential of automation and AI-enabled data centers in boosting energy efficiency. She examined the role of AI beyond mere asset monitoring. So, she shed light on its applications in capacity management. She also focused on the prospects for automated procurement strategies. Additionally, the speaker delved into the realm of AI-based anomaly detection, and predictive maintenance. She also discussed the opportunities for enhancing facility security through AI-driven solutions. Finally, she explored AI technology solutions for ensuring business continuity. It also ensures disaster recovery and effective incident response.

Goodbye PUE, Hello Full-Stack Efficiency! by Babak FALSAFI, Président, Swiss Datacenter Efficiency Association (SDEA)

In his thought-provoking session, Babak challenged the industry’s long-standing reliance on the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric. Instead, he advocated for a paradigm shift towards embracing full-stack efficiency, a comprehensive approach that holistically evaluates and optimizes the energy efficiency of data center operations.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency in Colocation Facilities by Jay PAIDIPATI, Vice President Sustainability Program Management, Uptime Institute

The speaker’s session shed light on the critical role of white space in colocation facilities and its implications for energy efficiency. He explored the competitive edge that energy-efficient colocation facilities could offer operators. Furthermore, Jay delved into the intricate realm of design and engineering risk management, emphasizing the importance of optimizing cooling system parameters to achieve optimal energy efficiency. He also discussed the significance of energy supply sources, the potential of digital twins, and other cutting-edge technologies for enabling best-in-class design and engineering practices. Finally, Paidipati shared insights on strategies for improving the energy efficiency of existing facilities.

IT Infrastructure and the Path to Net-Zero by 2050 – Panel Discussion

This engaging panel discussion brought together industry luminaries, including Stuart LAWRENCE (STREAM Data Centers), Lindsey BRUNER (CleanArc Data Centers), Daniel CROSBY (Legend Energy Advisors), and John COSTER (T-Mobile). Together, they explored the intricate challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning IT infrastructure towards a net-zero emissions future by the year 2050.

Equipment and Hardware: Maximizing Energy Efficiency by John COSTER, Sr. Manager, Innovation, Planning and Strategy, T-Mobile, and Sean SEEMANN, Sr. Engineer, System Architecture, T-Mobile

John and Sean’s joint session focused on maximizing energy efficiency. This is through strategic equipment and hardware procurement decisions. They delved into the realm of greening procurement decision-making processes and supply chains. So, the importance of incorporating sustainability considerations was underscored. Additionally, they explored the role of green and energy-related SLAs in driving energy efficiency. 

They also shed light on the significance of measuring PUE & developing targeted incentives. This is to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. Finally, they discussed the potential of emerging and developing technologies in revolutionizing energy efficiency. This includes:

  • Microservers, 
  • Low-power CPUs, 
  • Embedded SoCs, 
  • Hardware accelerators, 
  • Virtualization, and service architectures
Microgrid Technologies by Dave BELL, Director of Utility and Microgrid Development, VoltaGrid

Dave’s session explored the transformative potential of microgrid technologies in enhancing data center sustainability and resilience. He delved into the realm of decentralized energy generation, shedding light on the benefits of energy storage integration and the advantages of grid independence and resilience afforded by microgrids.

Keys to a Sustainable Data Center in the US by Haynes STRADER, Chief Development Officer, Skybox Datacenters

The speaker’s insightful session explored the intricate balance between power efficiency and water efficiency, underscoring the importance of considering local community impact. He shed light on the various certification standards and methods, such as LEED, that data center operators could leverage to enhance sustainability. Additionally, Haynes delved into the evolving landscape of air permitting regulations and their implications for backup power generation. Lastly, he looked at workable substitutes for conventional backup power production systems. As a result, this provided an outlook on the direction of environmentally friendly data center operations at the Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit.

Leading Sustainable Change: How the iMasons Climate Accord is Driving Decarbonization by Miranda GARDINER, Executive Director, iMasons Climate Accord

The speaker’s talk was centered on how the iMasons Climate Accord is essential to the industry’s efforts to decarbonize and implement sustainable transformation. She provided information about the organization’s plans and tactics. This is for quickening data centers and the larger digital infrastructure ecosystem’s shift to a low-carbon future.

Creating Meaningful Dialog on the Future of Nuclear Energy To Power the Digital Infrastructure Industry by Christine KING, Director, Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, Idaho National Laboratory

The speaker’s presentation started a meaningful conversation about nuclear energy’s future at the Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit. Moreover, its ability to fuel the rapidly growing digital infrastructure sector was also discussed. Furthermore, she looked at the advantages and disadvantages of using nuclear power. This is to minimize its negative environmental effects while meeting the industry’s rising energy demands.

Unlocking Sustainability: A Journey Inside a Cutting-Edge Datacenter by Michael HOLM, Global Sector Lead Helsinki Data Center, Telia Company

During the presentation, the speaker gave participants a virtual tour of a state-of-the-art data center. The speaker illuminated the revolutionary effects of the European Energy Directive on the sector. Furthermore, he investigated how the location and temperature of a data center have a significant impact on water use. energy efficiency, and cooling techniques. Also, the speaker explored the complex field of grid integration. He emphasized the critical function of UPS in smoothly integrating with the electrical system. Lastly, he examined cutting-edge tactics that may be applied in the real world. This is to recycle waste heat, increase the Energy Reuse Factor (ERF), and decrease Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

Powering State-of-the-Art Data Centers – Panel Discussion

This engaging panel discussion brought together industry thought leaders at the Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit. The discussion included Babak FALSAFI (SDEA), Jay PAIDIPATI (Uptime Institute), and Michael HOLM (Telia Company). Together, they investigated the complex problems and creative fixes related to running modern data centers. So, this illuminated the cutting-edge innovations and industry best practices. These could shape the direction of sustainable and effective data center operations in the future.

Who Were The Sponsors/Partners At The Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit?

The vital efforts and assistance of several prestigious sponsors and partners allowed the Energy Efficiency For Data Centres Summit to happen. Let’s look at them in detail ahead:

Legrand – Silver Sponsor

Brands like Ortronics, Raritan, and Server Technology help Legrand create smart solutions for data centers and building networks. Legrand makes great products for data, power, and control systems. They design, manufacture, and sell world-class products for a better future. Legrand’s technology reliability comes from years of proven performance and dedication to research and development.

Munters – Bronze Sponsor

Munters provides a wide range of cooling solutions, including air-handling systems and evaporative cooling. Furthermore, the business uses green electricity and products that are sourced responsibly. This is to reduce its customers’ emissions. Munters’ cooling solutions are energy-efficient, making them best-in-class for 24/7 facilities. Munters is renowned for its expertise and commitment to service excellence, fostering long-term customer partnerships from design to after-service support.

VoltaGrid – Presenting Partner

VoltaGrid helps the data center industry achieve faster market entry by providing large-scale (>25MW) microgrids in energy-constrained markets. Their offering includes temporary bridge power, permanent microgrids, and supplementary power for growth. VoltaGrid can provide large-scale power, design, and engineer power plants, and operate and maintain them. Their offering is scalable, reliable, and low-emission, with an inexpensive fuel supply.

Legend Energy Advisors – Business Development Partner

Legend Energy Advisors offers a holistic energy efficiency approach for large power/gas users across sectors. With infrastructure, market, and analytics expertise, they’re a trusted partner. They operate in regulated/deregulated markets for project development, optimal product selection, and real-time efficiency/carbon data utilization.

To Sum Up

The Energy Efficiency For Data Centers Summit provided an unparalleled platform for industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders. This is to engage in thought-provoking discussions, share best practices, and explore cutting-edge solutions. It was impactful in enhancing energy efficiency and driving sustainability within the data center ecosystem. So, such events play a crucial role in shaping a more sustainable and energy-efficient future for the industry. Moreover, it paved the way for transformative innovations and fostering collective action towards a greener tomorrow. If you want to attend such events, make sure you watch out for future events!

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