Rudolph/Libbe Companies and its subsidiaries, BHP Energy and GEM Inc., are building one of the world's most energy-efficient computer data centers for Syracuse University. The data center is expected to use 50 percent less energy than a typical data center today, making it one of the "greenest" computer centers in operation. BHP was selected by Syracuse University and IBM to integrate a tri-generation concept into the data center. This system includes 12 patented Capstone C65 Hybrid UPS systems that run on natural gas and produce 65 kilowatts each. The center will make its own heat and air conditioning. Waste heat from the microturbines will be linked to absorption chillers, which will use the heat energy to make cold water to cool the computers. During winter, waste heat from the Capstone microturbines can be used to make hot water for an adjacent building. Computers will be cooled with water rather than air. The on-site electrical tri-generation system will allow the data center to operate completely off-grid.

BHP is an authorized distributor of Capstone Turbine power generation systems. Capstone turbines are compact, affordable energy systems that reduce energy costs while helping to protect the environment with near-zero emissions. "Syracuse University, the state of New York and IBM are true innovators. We are extremely proud to be working with them on a project that will influence the way data centers are designed and operated all over the world," says Hussien Shousher, president of GEM Inc.

IBM will provide more than $5 million in equipment, design services and support. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is contributing $2 million to the project.

The liquid cooling system will use double-effect absorption chillers to convert exhaust heat from the microturbines into chilled water to cool the data center's servers, with sufficient excess cooling to handle the needs of an adjacent building. Server racks will incorporate IBM's Rear Door Heat eXchanger "cooling doors" that use chilled water to remove heat more efficiently than conventional room-chilling methods. Sensors will monitor server temperatures and usage to tailor the amount of cooling delivered by each Rear Door Heat eXchanger-further improving efficiency. The project also will include a direct current (DC) power distribution system. The data center is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.