Microsoft has partnered with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to research and develop sustainable technologies to improve the energy efficiency and economic viability of data centres.
Vast amounts of energy is required to cool and maintain computer servers in data centres. With the demand for these centres increasing, the need to establish sustainable solutions is becoming increasingly important.
“Our objective is to bring together technology, economics and commercialisation to create a smart intelligent energy system,” said C. Mauli Agrawal, UTSA vice president for research. “We want to identify economically viable technologies that will reduce the environmental footprint of data centres.”
The focus of the research will be on the expansion of business opportunities for new distributed energy technology which helps reduce energy consumption and emissions.
Microsoft is building a new data centre in San Antonio, and the company is working to address how electricity is used and distributed within data centres, as well as how electricity consumption impacts the broader grid. As well as the agreement, Microsoft has also contributed US$1 million to support UTSA’s research and technology programmes.
“Distributed generation represents a major shift in the energy sector that will dramatically change how data centres operate,” said Brian Janous, director of energy strategy at Microsoft. “The leadership of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at UTSA and the city of San Antonio were instrumental in bringing this research to a community like San Antonio.”
Much of the research will be carried out by staff at the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at UTSA, which specialises in the areas of energy, water and sustainability.
“Research partnerships like this are a game changer for San Antonio and UTSA,” said UTSA president Ricardo Romo. “They enable UTSA to conduct innovative research in sustainable energy while positioning the city on the global business stage.”
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