Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP)
TCD Funded Investigator examining
Sustainable Energy Use at Data Centres
2016 - 2020
In 2012, data centres in Ireland consumed 6.4% of the national average electricity supply, a figure which is expected to double by 2022. Much of this electricity is consumed by computing equipment which generates heat. Currently this waste heat is considered a negative externality, however, novel emerging technologies offer the potential to convert this waste heat into uses such as space and water heating and to more actively manage the electricity demand. This project will investigate the economic costs and benefits of utilising the waste heat and options for dynamic management of electricity demand for data centres.
This project is part of the wider Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP). ESIPP brings together a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research team in Ireland with expertise in electricity, gas, water and data, with the relevant industry partners to focus on building the human capacity. ESIPP involves 23 academics from 7 institutions across Ireland.
Alongside Eleanor, there are currently three other researchers involved with this project.
Dr. Tim Persoons
Tim was appointed Assistant Professor in Engineering in the Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering at TCD in 2013, and Affiliate Faculty Member in the Energy Institute at University College Dublin in 2016.
Tim’s current research activities include multi-scale convective heat transfer in electronics thermal management systems using unsteady flows, active flow control for sustainable energy devices, and developing experimental thermo-fluid measurement techniques. He is currently supervising five PhD students and three postdoctoral researchers in TCD, and has graduated two PhD students.
Tim has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference publications, as well as several keynote and invited lectures. His publications have attracted more than 700 citations. He has managed research projects totalling about €1.5m in funding.
Jaakko is currently pursuing a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Tim Persoons at Trinity College Dublin. He received his Master’s degree from Trinity College Dublin in 2015.
He is currently working on novel liquid cooled heatsink solutions using unsteady flow and surface structuring, for next generation servers in sustainable data centres. The main target application is thermal management and heat recuperation from CPU packages in rack-mounted volume servers for data centres.
This work aims to develop an adaptive liquid cooling solution to account for spatial and temporal heat load variations using a range of techniques, such as: Computational fluid dynamics; Advanced experimental flow visualisation; Velocity field quantification and temperature and heat transfer rate measurements.
Bryan is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics under the supervision of Prof. Eleanor Denny at Trinity College Dublin. His research is focused on economic aspects relating to data centers.
He is currently investigating how different data center cooling techniques could be used to provide additional economic benefit across a number of areas such as: Reducing the level of data center demand on the electricity grid; Repurposing waste heat for district heating and how efficiencies in data center energy consumption could help countries work towards meet emission reduction targets.
Prior to this, Bryan worked at the Economic and Social Research Institute as a Research Assistant from August 2014-2016 in the Economic Analysis division. He holds a BA in Finance & Economics and an MA in Economics from NUI Maynooth.