June 29, 2020

The Green IT Cube receives the Blue Angel eco-label.

Innovation at the FIAS makes research in the state of Hesse strong.

The FAIR and GSI high-performance computing center developed in cooperation with FIAS is particularly energy-efficient thanks to its special cooling system. This makes it the first computer center to be awarded the Federal Government's eco-label. With the Green IT Cube, one of the most powerful scientific computing centers in the world was built at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. The novel cooling technology was developed by FIAS board members Volker Lindenstruth and Horst Stöcker.

The enormous amounts of data that will be generated during experiments at the accelerator facilities at GSI and, in the future, FAIR must be processed efficiently. In conventional data centers, more than a third of the power consumption is used for cooling, while less than seven percent is needed for the Green IT Cube. The data center uses an innovative air-water process, which makes it possible to accommodate the computers in an extremely space-saving manner. The 27 x 30 x 22 cubic metre cube-shaped building can accommodate a total of 768 computer cabinets on six floors. At present, two of the six floors have been extended with a maximum cooling capacity of four megawatts, which will allow a maximum cooling capacity of 12 megawatts in the final stage of construction.

The cooling technology was developed by FIAS board members Volker Lindenstruth and Horst Stöcker. Volker Lindenstruth is Professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt and was at that time Fellow at FIAS and Professor in Heidelberg. Horst Stöcker, who has been a member of the FIAS since its founding in 2004 and is also a professor in Frankfurt, was vice president of the Goethe University and scientific director at GSI at the time the technology was developed. The powerful concept has already won several awards for innovation and environmental friendliness.

"The label "Blauer Engel" sets high standards for the architecture and operation of a data center,"

says Volker Lindenstruth, pleased with the award of the eco-label to his development. "The requirements are examined very carefully. We are very proud of this award, as it also independently confirms the very good performance data. We look forward to further imitators."

The Blue Angel has been the German government's eco-label and an orientation for sustainable purchasing for over 40 years. Independent and credible, it sets demanding standards for environmentally friendly products and services. The Blue Angel guarantees that products and services awarded with it meet high standards of environmental, health and usage properties. The entire life cycle must always be taken into account in the assessment. For each product group, criteria are developed which products and services labelled with the Blue Angel must fulfil. To reflect technical developments, the Federal Environment Agency reviews the criteria every three to four years. In this way companies are required to make their products increasingly environmentally friendly. The Green IT Cube is the first data centre to be awarded the eco-label on the basis of the criteria, which will change in 2019. 

Weitere Informationen:

Press releaseby the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

Product information on the website of the Blue Angel eco-label