Data Center to Be Powered by '100% Renewable Energy' in Niigata

With use of snow, biomass, etc

2019/01/31 15:09
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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"Yuzawa IT Container Field" (source: Aosfield)

Aosfield Co Ltd (Niigata City) announced Jan 25, 2019, that it will introduce biomass power generation facilities to a container-type data center (DC) operating in Yuzawa-machi, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

The company aims to operate the power supply of the data center, "Yuzawa IT Container Field," with 100% renewable energy in addition to its air-conditioning system.

In July 2018, the data center started operation as an energy-saving data center that uses 100% renewable energy for the air-conditioning system. By combining snow, river water (irrigation water) and cool air in Yuzawa-machi (town), which is located in a heavy-snow region, to generate cold energy throughout the year, Aosfield reduced the cost of purchased electricity necessary for the air-conditioning system by more than 90%.

This time, in the aim of further reducing power consumption and CO2 emissions, Aosfield introduced biomass power generation to supply electricity to meet the power demand of all the facilities including servers. The company will produce fuel for a diesel generator by refining natural oil extracted from agricultural residue. It will use no palm oil, which causes an environmental problem.

The power generation capacity is expected to be about 2,000kVA in the first phase of the project. Also, surplus electricity will be sold to a PPS (power producer and supplier), etc. The company is considering using the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

The data center is expected to be used for a cryptocurrency mining business, etc. At first, it was scheduled to start operation in April 2017, but Aosfield changed the plan because of decreases in the value of cryptocurrencies.

By realizing "100% renewable energy" and drastically lowering electricity cost, Aosfield can turn an enough mining profit with the current value of cryptocurrencies (1 Bitcoin = about ¥390,000), the company said. The power usage efficiency (PUE) is less than 1.1.

The container-type data center was made by making improvements to a marine-transport dry container and equipping it with a power source and air-conditioning system. It contains five to seven 19-inch server racks, each of which can store 30-40 servers.

Because the date center is an integrated type, it can be easily moved and set up. Also, it can be relocated at the time of disaster. It can be installed in two months at the shortest.