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Green ICT Forum - Part of Africa Tech Festival
7 December 2021, 10:00 - 13:20 (GMT+1)

In Pursuit of Carbon-Neutrality: Building Low Carbon Energy-Saving Data Centers

With the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, the digital economy is bucking the wider trend and booming. By 2023, it will account for an astonishing 62% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), one of the world's leading market intelligence firms.

Clearly, the world is entering a new age, one where the digital economy plays the starring role. And with that, energy — the literal engine of the digital world — is now one of the key competitive factors for the digital economy's success.

Which is also to say: accelerated transformation of energy infrastructure, as the world digitalizes, is inevitable, driving big changes for energy enterprises and the sector as a whole. Of course, energy conservation and emissions reductions — under the threat of irreversible climate change — are pressing global concerns. With all industries actively engaged in implementing carbon neutrality goals, building greener and far more energy efficient data centers is a major target for the data center industry. Fortunately, this is an area that Huawei has already explored and made significant breakthroughs in.

Data centers are evolving, shifting focus to the additional value they add beyond simple storage. Accordingly, traditional construction models are changing, moving toward modularization and prefabrication. And the arrival of Huawei FusionDC on the market — a next generation, green data center solution — has further shaken up how things used to be done. Indeed, its promise is the wholesale reconstruction of data centers, from overall architecture and management to temperature control and power supply systems. And the results? Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) that's substantially improved, building truly low carbon and energy saving data centers.

A Greener Way to Build

In contrast to the traditional way that data centers were built before, Huawei's FusionDC has a modular design, with all core subsystems prefabricated in the factory. This means that modules simply have to be assembled onsite, block by block, making construction far faster and far, far easier.

Indeed, with this solution, a high-level data center with 1000 cabinets can be delivered within just six months, supporting rapid service rollout. Plus, building a prefabricated modular data center involves dramatically reduced waste, and while the assembly rate (the proportion of equipment that is prefabricated) reaches 97%. In the case of a five-story building area of 8600 m2 and 1500 cabinets with power density of 8 kW per cabinet, construction waste is slashed by 80%. Furthermore, carbon emissions related to construction tumble by 90%. This truly is a greener way to build data center facilities.

Achieving Optimal Energy Efficiency

A data center's cooling system is its biggest consumer of energy. Indeed, in today's world, traditional chilled water solutions have unacceptably high energy needs, not to mention frustratingly complex architectures. Instead, Huawei FusionDC uses indirect evaporative cooling to maximize natural sources of cooling, effectively improving PUE. In addition, as an innovative leader in data center energy, Huawei applies Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to data center operations, cloud-edge collaboration, cloud model training, and local high-performance policy execution. In a particular 1500-cabinet data center currently in operation in China Beijing, with power density of 8 kW per cabinet and a load rate of 50%, Huawei's indirect evaporative cooling solution cuts electricity consumption by 32% and water consumption by 33%, compared to a chilled water solution.

Elsewhere, the power supply system uses full-chain converged power modules and Huawei SmartLi intelligent lithium batteries to deliver high efficiency and power density. With distributed components and a converged power supply, the physical space required for the power distribution system is cut by 40%, with system efficiency reaching up to 97.5%, compared to a traditional solution.

Optimizing Energy Efficiency in Real-Time Through Intelligent O&M

Converged intelligent features enable End to End (E2E) predictive maintenance and E2E optimization of resource utilization as well as energy efficiency and Operations and Maintenance (O&M). This is a full-lifecycle experience and, in energy operations, an autonomous driving data center.

Energy conservation and sustainable development are now key drivers of the data center industry's development. Huawei FusionDC provides a green data center solution, one that has already been widely adopted around the world. In the future, Huawei will continue to innovate and help enterprises achieve carbon neutrality by building more energy efficient, low carbon data centers, that foster business success but not — quite literally — at the cost of the planet.