The European project DC4Cities, which stands for “An environmentally sustainable data centre for Smart Cities”, has recently been launched aiming to promote the role of data centres as “eco-friendly” key players in Smart City energy policies.
Data centres play two different and complementary roles in Smart Cities’ energy policies. On the one hand, they support Smart Cities by, for example, optimizing resource allocation and by providing ICT services to customers. On the other hand, data centres are large energy consumers that are expected to run at the highest levels of renewable energy sources.
Thus, the goal of the DC4Cities project is to make any type of existing and new data centres energy adaptive, without requiring any modification to the logistics, and without impacting the quality of the services provided to their users. Targets include ensuring that 80 percent of data centres’ energy comes from renewable sources, while at the same time minimizing their overall energy consumption.
The optimal energy source usage in urban eco-friendly data centres will be achieved through the adaptation of the data centre software and operations to the available energy, while no modification in the data centre logistics is required.
DC4Cities project will develop a wide span of technology components at different layers. The main central component is the “Data Centre Energy Controller” that provides two main interfaces. One is the “Renewable Energy Adaptive Interface”, which is used to retrieve information on energy availability from energy providers and energy constraint directives from the Smart City authorities and the Smart Grid. Besides, there is the “Energy Adaptive Data Centre Operation Interface”, used to enact power consumption plans on the data centre’s subsystems.
The results of the project research will be evaluated in two (already existing) Smart City trial test beds in Trento (Italy) and in Barcelona (Spain), and by a special lab experimentation at the HP Italy Innovation Centre.
DC4Cities is defined in the frame of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research and technological development of the European Union, and it is funded with 3.500.000 euros lasting for 30 months from 1st September 2013.