More and more companies move their data to the cloud. According to a study by Bitkom in 2016, two out of three German companies with 20 or more employees already rely on cloud computing. In the financial metropolis of Frankfurt, a lot of computing capacity is needed. Consequently, the Main metropolis with its several dozen computer centers is considered as the Datacenter capital of Germany. Each of them consumes an average of as much electricity as a small town with 30,000 inhabitants, all together more than the Frankfurt airport, according to the calculations of the energy supplier Mainova. Above all, the energy-intensive cooling down process of the computers is the biggest energy emitter. Cloud&Heat Technologies GmbH has developed a technology that uses up to 90 percent of the server heat for the hot water circuit of buildings. This enables significant cost savings and an improved carbon footprint.
In Dresden, the company operates the most energy-efficient data center in the world. This technology, which is patented and has been awarded by the “Deutsche Rechenzentrumspreis” several times, will be deployed and connected to the network in the building complex of the Eurotheum in autumn 2017. To cover the growing demand for cloud server capacity, Cloud&Heat installs its own servers on a total of 640 square meters of vacant datacenter areas of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Cloud&Heat data center in the Eurotheum supports “Masterplan 100% Climate Protection” of the city of Frankfurt am Main
On two floors, the premises in the former ECB provide space for a total of 84 server racks equipped with powerful computer and storage units. When fully equipped, the servers produce up to 300 kW of waste heat on each floor, which is absorbed and transported away from the heat hotspots with minimal loss only, thanks to a highly efficient direct cooling system. The waste heat is used directly on site to heat the local office and conference rooms, hotel industry and gastronomy. By feeding the waste heat into the heating circuit of the building, the Eurotheum can save up to 40,000 euros of heating energy per year – this equals a heat output for 150 low-energy houses. In addition, approximately 30,000 euros per year of cooling costs are saved by the direct, loss-free cooling of the servers. Perspectively, the use of the waste heat shall be increased by the installation of additional server racks in the ground floor.
The City of Frankfurt am Main’s Energy Agency welcomes the energy and IT concept for the revitalization of the Eurotheum: “Within the framework of the Masterplan 100% Climate Protection, the city of Frankfurt am Main has committed itself to reduce its energy supply by 50 percent by 2050. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions shall be reduced by at least 95 %, compared to 1990 levels. Energy-efficient concepts such as the one of Cloud&Heat support the city of Frankfurt am Main,” says Head of Agency Wiebke Fiebig. Currently, the Energy Agency is working on the design of a waste heat cadaster to show where industrial waste heat is generated in the city. On the basis of the cadaster, local utilization concepts of the waste heat shall be made possible. In particular, data centers with their high power consumption are in the special interest of the city.
Individual, fail-safe cloud solutions from the heart of Frankfurt
Since 2012, Cloud&Heat has been operating its own data centers spread throughout Germany. Besides the locations in Dresden, Hamm and Münster, the fourth is going to be located in Frankfurt. With the server infrastructure, Cloud&Heat provides the foundation for digital transformation. In addition to the classic Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which is the needs-based leasing of computing capacities in the cloud, all tenants of Eurotheum and external companies can use physical servers as a Hosted Private Cloud. They benefit from all the advantages of the cloud, in particular the flexible scalability of the capacities, but they do not have to worry about the administration and maintenance of the software and hardware. “With the Eurotheum, we are expanding our cloud infrastructure by a strategically important location,” says Nicolas Röhrs, CEO of Cloud&Heat Technologies. “We only install servers of the latest generation and thus meet even the most stringent data, process and failure security requirements.” It particularly pays off for banks, which do not obtain computer, storage or network capacities from permanently installed computers, but outsource them to the cloud. A big driver is the cost pressure, which is intensified in a time of sustained low interest rates for many institutions. With the expansion of the former ECB data center in Frankfurt am Main, the Dresden company could not choose a better location. Commissioning is planned for autumn 2017.
Cloud&Heat provides tailored private and public cloud solutions based on highly efficient, water-cooled hardware and powered by OpenStack. As a result, the company meets highest requirements for failure, data and process security. Thanks to an innovative hot-water cooling system, Cloud&Heat makes use of the server-generated waste heat for heating the office and business premises of its customers. This results in uniquely low energy values and a reduction in operating costs of up to 50 percent. With a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.014, Cloud&Heat holds a record worldwide. This number describes the relationship between the total energy consumption of a data center and the recorded electrical energy of the IT hardware. The closer the value is to one, the lower the energy consumption. Cloud&Heat passes on its long-term know-how in the operation of data centers and OpenStack to its customers: from the creation of ready-to-use, scalable data centers to the operation and maintenance of software and hardware as well as training and consulting on individual OpenStack projects. The cooperation with the internet provider Innogy Telnet was only recently announced at three locations in Rheinland-Pfalz. In a financing round in May 2017, Cloud&Heat received a significant amount of capital by INVEN CAPITAL, a subsidiary of the Czech energy supplier ČEZ and VNG Innovation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Leipzig VNG-Verbundnetz Gas AG.
About the Energy Agency of the City of Frankfurt am Main
The Energy Agency is the municipal energy and climate protection agency of the city of Frankfurt am Main. The Energy Agency offers different opportunities for investment and consulting to Frankfurt households, companies, builders and investors. For further information, please visit: www.energiereferat.stadt-frankfurt.de.
About the Masterplan 100% Climate protection
Since 2012, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has supported 19 selected municipalities and counties with the “Masterplan 100% Climate protection” funded project. Frankfurt am Main is the largest of these 19 municipalities. Since July 1, 2016, 22 new Masterplan municipalities have joined. The Masterplan guideline promotes municipalities that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 and their final energy by 50 percent. The Department of Environment and Women is responsible for the project in the city of Frankfurt am Main; The Energy Agency takes over the leadership role in the implementation. Detailed information at www.energiewende-frankfurt.de.