Hyperscale Data Centers

Hyperscale data centers are typically owned by large tech firms, cloud providers, and telecommunications organizations. They are massive in size and energy/water requirements. They also have high requirements for continuous, uninterrupted operation.


Hyperscale facilities have unforgiving demands for availability that often translate into power and cooling redundancy at the cost of more energy consumption. The need for continuous operations, combined with massive scale, can make major retrofits difficult.


Large tech firms have fleets of data centers that can mirror and continuously sync their workloads; if one data center goes down, customer data and applications can be resumed at the sister facility. This network redundancy can reduce the need for redundant, energy-consuming power and cooling components onsite. A wide range of efficiency strategies can be implemented, including:

  • Virtualization of servers and workloads on the IT side.
  • High-voltage power, direct current, and more efficient uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs).
  • Better air management, liquid cooling, and maximized use of economizing and evaporative cooling.
  • Increasingly, hyperscale data center owners are buying renewable energy or installing solar photovoltaics, fuel cells, and batteries onsite.


A Method for Estimating Potential Energy and Cost Savings for Cooling Existing Data Centers
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a methodology to help existing data center facilities prioritize which data center cooling systems should be upgraded based on estimated cost savings and economics. The methodology uses annual energy use and cost; PUE; cooling system size (in tons); and location data as input.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells for Data Center Applications Project Meeting: Workshop Report
This report explores how fuel cells can be used to support critical loads for energy reliability, security, sustainability, and economic benefit. They offer the potential for backup or prime power, microgrids, grid support, and combined heat and power applications in the data center.

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