AI, ESG and early talent: Schneider Electric shapes the sustainable data centres of the future at Data Centre World London, 2024

22 February 2024

Mark Yeeles, vice president for UK and Ireland’s secure power division, Schneider Electric

Mark Yeeles, vice president for UK and Ireland’s secure power division, Schneider Electric

Today the demand for sustainability and the subsequent impact of AI are driving a significant step change across the data centre industry – causing businesses around the world to rethink their requirements for resilience, and energy efficiency, and placing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) at the heart of their decision-making. The energy crisis, for example, has brought about higher operating costs and supply uncertainty, and many companies have begun to re-think their deployment and energy strategies to ensure resilience of their mission-critical systems.

Data Centre World London is the industry’s largest gathering of professionals and end-users, and during its 2024 event, Schneider Electric will delve into the changing landscape of data centres - bringing together some of the sectors’ most prominent leaders to discuss how we can transform the industry’s perception from 'Toxic Dumps' to 'Essential Players in the Fight Against Climate Change,' and positioning data centres as the career path of choice for the next generation of talent.

Chaired by Kelly Becker, president, Schneider Electric UK and Ireland, the panel - which takes place on the 6th March 2024 in the Design & Build and Physical Security Theatre - will feature industry figureheads including Leading Edge CXO, Lauren Ryder, Middlesex University student Madison Clements, World Wide Technology’s chief technology adviser, David Locke, Pure Data Centres Group CEO, Dame Dawn Childs and Schneider Electric’s vice president for UK and Ireland’s secure power division, Mark Yeeles, as they explore the industry’s ESG commitments, and how collectively, the industry can work together spearhead action that enables sustainable change.

The impact of AI of data centre design

In just a short space of time, AI has had a profound effect on businesses and enterprises globally and remains one of the most prominent trends driving technological change in data centres. A recent report, for example, found that AI could consume as much electricity as the entire country of Ireland, while new research from JLL predicts that hyperscale data centres are projected to increase their rack density at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%.

On 6th March at 11am, Schneider Electric’s vice president for data centre and innovation, Steven Carlini, will deliver a Keynote speech exploring the challenges of deploying edge AI inference servers at-scale, and sharing key strategies to help solve issues surrounding grid availability, while enabling more sustainable, efficient operations. The session, which takes place in the Data Centre World Global Strategies: People, Environment & Innovation Theatre, will also share best practices to help businesses harness the potential of AI within data centres and discuss how operators can unlock new capabilities within new builds and legacy sites.

Matthew Baynes, vice president of design and construction partners at Schneider Electric Europe, will also join a panel alongside the Open Compute Project, exploring how technologies such as machine learning, liquid cooling and digital twins are enabling businesses to optimise their data centres ready to host AI and HPC Clusters. This session takes place on 7th March from 11.55am – 12.30pm in the Energy Efficiency, Cost Management & DCIM Theatre.

The resilient data centres of the future

At Stand: D730, Schneider Electric will bring together experts from its Secure Power, Digital Energy and Power Products, Services and Sustainability businesses to showcase its award-winning EcoStruxure for Data Centres portfolio - providing guided tours and virtual product demonstrations to illustrate how end-users and operators can make their infrastructure systems more sustainable, resilient and energy efficient.

Its dedicated critical power zone, for example, will feature its Galaxy™ VS range of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) with Lithium-Ion batteries, including its patented eConversion technology, which offers up-to 99% efficiency, without compromising availability. Also available are its Easy Modular UPS solutions, the company’s latest medium UPS offer, which provide an easy to use, easy to service and easy to maintain critical power protection solution, with optimum reliability.

Additionally, the zone will showcase Schneider Electric’s APC™ NetShelter racks and Smart-UPS™ Ultra; the industry’s first 3kW and 5kW 1U single-phase UPS, which is designed to deliver more power, flexibility, and intelligent monitoring in the smallest footprint. Smart-UPS Ultra enables IT and data centre professionals to address many of the challenges with deploying infrastructure in distributed IT and edge computing environments, enabling efficiency and industry-leading uptime for critical applications everywhere.

The Critical Power zone will also host the breadth of Schneider Electric’s complete Power Systems offerings, including its medium voltage (MV) SMAirSeT, an SF6-free Modular MV Switchboard - a green and digital, air-insulated switchgear solution, which combines pure air and vacuum technology to replace greenhouse or alternative gases (GHGs).

Further, at 11:30am, Ionut Farcas, senior vice president, power products, will provide visitors with an exclusive first look as Schneider Electric unveils a brand-new, ground-breaking new product innovation, combining scalability, durability, and connectivity to enhance the future of data centre performance, uptime, and safety.

Software and digital services

2024 will mark the biggest step-change that European data centre owners and operators have seen since in years’, becoming legitimately accountable for their energy consumption via the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). While the impact on UK businesses is still unknown, in the EU, operators with a power consumption of 500kW or more will be required to report their energy performance data.

To achieve this, software and advanced data analytics are vital, and at Data Centre World London, Schneider Electric will demonstrate its award-winning data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software capabilities, including its open and vendor agnostic EcoStruxure IT™ platform. EcoStruxure IT Expert goes beyond incident prevention, providing advanced remote monitoring, wherever-you-go visibility, predictive maintenance, and data-driven recommendations to mitigate security and failure risks.

The software pods at Stand: D730 will showcase how Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Data Centre Expert, on-premises DCIM software, and its Aveva and ETAP® Digital Twins platforms, are helping to shape the data centres of the future - providing a comprehensive suite of solutions to help fast-track the simulation, design, monitoring, control, optimisation, and automation of power and cooling systems, while enabling real-time visibility from anywhere.

The buildings of the future

Schneider Electric’s next-generation building management software – EcoStruxure Building Operation – is the edge-control heart of the EcoStruxure Building system, and at Data Centre World, the company will showcase how it enables enterprises to seamlessly facilitate the secure exchange of data and analysis from third-party energy, lighting, HVAC, fire safety, security, and workplace management systems while leveraging digitisation and big data.

Finally, the stand will feature Schneider Electric’s Power Monitoring Expert (PME) software, which provides insight into electrical systems health and allows users to make informed decisions that improve performance and sustainability. With its open, scalable architecture, PME connects to smart devices across business’ electrical systems, power and energy meters, protective relays, and circuit breakers, and integrates with process control systems to convert data into action - delivering real-time power and equipment monitoring for greater efficiency and sustainability.