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A project designed to cut energy consumption in the rapidly growing global data centre sector has been shortlisted for a distinguished global award.

The team from Heriot-Watt’s Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) were selected as finalists in the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) awards - for a project which could see energy consumption reduce by 50%.

Currently, there are around eight million private and commercial data centres globally, with the digital world predicted to grow 44 times until 2020.

And over half the electricity consumed by these centres, is for cooling.

Now the shortlisted partnership project, will bring together innovative technologies developed in Malaysia and the UK, with the aim of improving their sustainability by changing the way they are cooled.

The groundbreaking scheme is set to reduce energy consumption as well as reduce localised emissions caused by diesel powered back-up generators. 

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Director of Heriot-Watt's Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS), said: “This is great recognition for our project and we’ve all been celebrating reaching the final of these prestigious awards.

“There were over 240 entries from over 21 different countries, so we’re thrilled to have made it through to the shortlist.

“Our multidisciplinary project really is something special in that it addresses sustainability as well as creating new market opportunities for green data centres worldwide.”

The research was a partnership effort between Heriot-Watt University, Universiti Teknologi in Malaysia, Dearman Engine Company Ltd and Green Data Center LLP.

Scott Meekin, Chief Executive Officer at Dearman added: “On behalf of all the partners involved, we are thrilled to have made it the finals of this global award. This is an important project because by 2030, without intervention, data centres will consume 10% of global electricity.”

Now in its 23rd year, the IChemE Global Awards is widely recognised as the world’s most prestigious chemical engineering awards ceremony.

Winners from each category will be revealed on 2 November 2017.