ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 47

COLUMN DATA CENTERS
would otherwise waste a natural resource and pollute
the environment. 7
In contrast, no such competition or catalyst exists for
fi at currency data centers to be effi cient. Past data center
industry surveys have identifi ed operating power usage
effectiveness (PUEs) greater than 1.5 as an industry average,
while the banking portion is widely believed to be
much higher due to greater system redundancies in
both electrical and mechanical system topology. 8,9
ASHRAE Standard 90.4-2019 identifi es maximum
annualized design requirements for mechanical load
component (MLC) by climate zone range from approximately
0.12 to 0.28 and maximum design MLCs from
approx. 0.21 to 0.33. Maximum electrical load component
(ELC) varies based on combinations of UPS redundancy,
segments of system and loading scenarios. For
reference, MLC and ELC are the design equivalents
of the operating metric PUE. An interesting thought
experiment would be to introduce additional metrics
that may expose the true cost for an average data center
operation for various digital cryptocurrencies on
the same (one U.S. dollar) equivalent basis. The obvious
challenges include a moving baseline currency and
challenging means of quantifying/defi ning the actual
work products since there's a combination of storage,
processing and transmission of the data.
Finally, the goal is to obtain a carbon-neutral approach
(renewable energy sources) regardless of the energy
effi ciency of the data center. The cryptocurrency sector,
particularly mining operations, is far ahead of the data
center industry norms, with an estimated 75% percent
powered with renewable energy sources for the past two
years. 10
Closing Comments
Cryptocurrency stands to improve the energy effi -
ciency of digital currency management rather than
increase energy use .1 Fundamentally, it seeks to reduce
the amount of data storage, data processing and data
transmission associated with the entire ecosystem of
centralized digital currencies of today. Concurrently,
crypto solves many other important issues like cybersecurity
protections of important fi nancial currencies
and assets used to manage the global capitalist
economy. 11
Crypto is still in its infancy despite being more than
a decade old. It has already evolved to new forms of
consensus, which are proving more energy effi cient for
a given work product compared to their fi rst-generation
(mining) solution or the fi at currency system in wide use
today. 12
Cryptocurrency, particularly fi rst-generation, has
built-in incentives to operate more cost-effi ciently without
the need for regular oversight. As newer and additional
forms of crypto are developed, those too will move
the effi ciency needle in the work associated with currency
and asset management in the global economy. For
a time, both fi at and cryptocurrencies will coexist and
compete. However, crypto will most likely win out over
the long term and drive the data center industry toward
a more sustainable future.1
Crypto is emerging as a superior and necessary means
of digital currency in modern times.1 The focus on the
industry should remain on embracing these new technologies
and identifying more effi cient means to achieve
carbon-neutral data center operations through industry
collaboration.
References
1. Elmandjra, Y., D. Hsue. 2020. " Bitcoin Mining: The Evolution
of a Multibillion Dollar Industry. " ARK Invest Management LLC.
https://tinyurl.com/76sw658w
2. Donovan, P. 2018. " The Impact of Blockchain on Data Centres. "
Techerati.com. https://tinyurl.com/2phj98zs
3. Facts and Factors. 2021. " At 30% CAGR, CryptoCurrency
Market Cap Size Value Surges to Record $5,190.62 Million by
2026, Says Facts & Factors. " Facts and Factors. https://tinyurl.com/
w6rrb8jj
4. Di Gregorio, M. 2017. " Blockchain: A New Tool to Cut Costs. "
" PwC Middle East. " https://tinyurl.com/2dhwr4vu
5. Tardi, C. 2021. " Application-Specifi c Integrated Circuit (ASIC)
Miner. " Investopedia.com. https://tinyurl.com/45z6vcyz
6. Lau, Y. 2021. " Crypto miners pull out of China as Beijing
intensifi es its crypto crackdown. " Fortune https://tinyurl.
com/3sfsu7c3
7. Oilman Magazine. 2020. " How (And Why) Natural Gas Flaring
is Being Used to Mine Bitcoin. " Oilman Magazine. https://tinyurl.
com/4ahe2yvb
8. Miller, R. 2011. " Uptime Institute: The Average PUE is 1.8. "
Data Center Knowledge. https://tinyurl.com/b8ycecw
9. Lawrence, A. 2020. " Data Center PUEs Have Been Flat Since
2013. " Data Centre Dynamics Ltd. https://tinyurl.com/kcedys4s
10. Musharraf, M. 2020. " Report: 76% Crypto Miners Use
Renewables as Part of Their Energy Mix. " Cointelegraph. https://
tinyurl.com/3murz8cz
11. Litan, A. 2021. " 3 Blockbuster Blockchain Trends in 2021. "
Gartner. https://tinyurl.com/a5rbu63j
12. Miller, R. 2021. " The Bitcoin Energy Debate: Lessons from the
Data Center Industry. " Data Center Frontier. https://tinyurl.com/
psndcpf9
J U LY 2 0 2 1
a s h r a e . o r g A S H R A E J O U R N A L
47
https://www.tinyurl.com/76sw658w http://www.Techerati.com https://www.tinyurl.com/2phj98zs https://www.tinyurl.com/w6rrb8jj https://www.tinyurl.com/w6rrb8jj https://www.tinyurl.com/2dhwr4vu http://www.Investopedia.com https://www.tinyurl.com/45z6vcyz https://tinyurl.com/3sfsu7c3 https://tinyurl.com/3sfsu7c3 https://tinyurl.com/3sfsu7c3 https://tinyurl.com/3sfsu7c3 https://www.tinyurl.com/b8ycecw https://www.tinyurl.com/kcedys4s https://www.tinyurl.com/3murz8cz https://www.tinyurl.com/3murz8cz https://www.tinyurl.com/a5rbu63j https://www.tinyurl.com/psndcpf9 https://www.tinyurl.com/psndcpf9 http://ashrae.org

ASHRAE Journal - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - July 2021

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - 7
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ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - July 2021 - Cover4
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