The idea behind “WindCORES” is as simple as it is efficient: to build electricity-intensive data centres where the electricity is produced in a climate-friendly way — consequently also in wind energy plants. “It is wonderful to see when innovative solutions for existing and future fields of application grow out of research ideas,” says Dr Schomaker from the SICP. The pilot that won second place has already been running successfully for over a year in a wind turbine near Lichtenau in the Paderborn district.
For a further application, WestfalenWIND IT is now working together with the internationally active equipment supplier Rittal: Maximising the footprint for servers in wind turbine towers is the goal. The new concept shows how up to 50 racks can be installed in a single wind turbine. System houses and medium-sized corporate customers can use this capacity for their own IT systems.
The 16-member expert jury of the German Data Centre Award was particularly impressed by the combination of economic efficiency and sustainability in a single concept. This is because WindCORES uses over 90 percent wind power and avoids the consumption of additional resources. By installing them in wind turbines, existing buildings, infrastructures and power grids are used.
The vision of the makers of WestfalenWIND IT is to bring sustainable energy production and digitalisation into harmony — not only in East Westphalia, but in Germany and Europe. This path offers an innovative solution for future-oriented fields of application such as connected driving, Industry 4.0 or the Smart City.
The barely discussed increasing energy demand of digitalisation is one of the major societal challenges. The electricity demand of the internet already accounts for 7 % of global electricity consumption. In data centres, energy accounts for an average of 40 % of total operating costs. Due to the direct supply of wind power, the electricity costs at WindCORES are significantly below the market average.
“On the way to more sustainability and profitability in the IT industry, WindCORES must become part of the solution!”, wish WestfalenWIND IT co-founders Dr. Fiete Dubberke and Dr. Gunnar Schomaker.
Four fire-resistant IT security cabinets are set up at the foot of the 13-metre-wide and 150-metre-high reinforced concrete tower of a wind turbine The data is protected in the IT safe cabinets against unauthorised access and EMC interference (electromagnetic compatibility).
WestfalenWIND IT GmbH & Co. KG
Daniel Saage /Sonya Harrison
Vattmannstraße 6, 33100 PB
0 52 51 — 68 25 814
0177 — 84 85 86 8
About WESTFALENWIND IT GMBH & CO. KG
WestfalenWIND IT GmbH & CO. KG belongs to the Paderborn-based WestfalenWIND Group. Since its foundation in 2009, it has operated a total of 60 wind turbines with a nominal output of 140 MW. In terms of technical monitoring and support, WestfalenWIND is responsible for a total of 170 wind turbines with an output of around 360 MW in the Paderborn district. During the development of the projects, great importance was attached to citizen participation from the very beginning. For example, a foundation and a cooperative society were set up on the company’s initiative. The WestfalenWIND Group includes its own electricity sales company, which also offers Germany’s lowest electricity price. The Group participates in various model projects out of conviction in order to advance sector coupling (e.g. power-to-heat projects /wind power for heating buildings) more quickly. WestfalenWIND founding managing director Johannes Lackmann is also the originator of ideas for WindCORES.