ECO-Qube Pilot Studies - EMPA NEST, Switzerland


The EMPA NEST micro data center is all about testing new technologies, materials, and systems.

Opened in 2016 and located on the Empa campus in Dübendorf, NEST hosts more than 150 partners from research, industry, and the public sector, contributing towards a more sustainable, and circular use of resources and energy.

What is remarkable about NEST is that installed units are not isolated laboratory environments, but rather real living and working environments, making it a fertile ground for sustainable innovations.

In terms of its capacities, EMPA NEST hosts an open source OCP rack with a 12 kW IT load and a zonal cooling capable 12 kW cooling system, with an IT infrastructure consisting of 32 servers, 762 nodes, 6.6 TB memory, and 21.3 TB storage. 

For NEST, the main reason behind using Eco-QUBE’s cooling solution is to improve its energy management for optimum IT performance, minimum carbon footprint, maximum renewable energy usage, and waste heat valorization. 

At the same time, the EMPA NEST is an ideal microgrid site where an edge unit can be integrated within the building's cooling, heating, and power networks. 

ECO-Qube’s smart workload orchestration system with its IT load queue option can enhance renewable energy usage, and reduce grid power usage for EMPA NEST. 

In addition, the zonal cooling system can improve the flexibility of the inlet temperature and airflow of the micro data center, which will enhance the cooling efficiency and waste heat valorization capacity.

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