At Equinix, we’re always ready to embrace new ways to reduce energy use and increase efficiency. Several techniques we’ve adopted are now standard at Equinix data centers globally, including energy efficient lighting and cold/hot aisle containment. But other practices are a bit more unique.
With Earth Day approaching, we at the Interconnections blog thought the time was right to start a regular “green spotlight” series that highlights some of the distinctive ways Equinix data centers are saving energy and protecting the environment.
Our inaugural spotlight turns to Amsterdam and AM3. This facility qualifies as cool based on its security moat alone. But its design also incorporates the earth, sky and rooftop to increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution. It won the Datacenter Dynamics Green Data Center EMEA Award in 2012 for good reason.
First, the earth. AM3 relies on free-air cooling until the temperature hits about 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius). Then, the facility uses hybrid cooling towers and water from an aquifer about 170 meters underground to cool the data center. But that’s just half the cycle. The system removes heat from the data center environment by transferring it into the water from the aquifer. That water is then used to heat nearby buildings.
In addition, we raised the water temperature required for all water circuits in AM3, enabling our cooling system to work with water temperatures 30% higher than in traditional cooling systems. That removed any need for a mechanical cooling process.
AM3 also looked skyward for greener energy. A solar photo voltaic system was installed to supplement the power supply.
Finally, the rooftop. We covered the roof with plants and vegetation, which helps keep the building cool and also reduces storm water runoff, which can carry pollution into nearby lakes and rivers and contribute to flooding.
So AM3 saves energy in a wide variety of ways. It’s just one example of Equinix’s commitment to put our data centers on an aggressive path to greater efficiency.