As rapidly improving technology encourages more of us to explore the range of experiences it provides, the demand for connectivity keeps growing. There are millions of set-top boxes and modems in the homes and offices of our customers and an ever increasing number of devices connected to them. To make the most of technology’s potential to help us learn, work and play, we must be able to keep increasing the amount of bandwidth available – but ever-more bandwidth can also mean ever-more energy. Fortunately, with the help of our partners we have come up with an innovative solution that reduces energy usage.
Our company is always trying to push boundaries and experiment with new ways of working. For a number of our markets, this has inspired unique thinking about our edge facilities – regional data centers and other technical facilities that connect homes and businesses to the wider network.
As demand for bandwidth rises, the network needs a greater number of edge facilities to support it. These critical facilities need stable low temperatures to maintain peak performance, and regulating temperature usually requires constant energy consumption.
To address this issue, we have incorporated in the Netherlands, Romania and Ireland revolutionary phase-change material (PCM) into the fabric of its new technical buildings. A PCM heat exchanger acts like a thermal battery, keeping temperatures even by absorbing warmth from the air in the day and then releasing it back during the cooler night that follows. As a result, our sites built with cutting-edge phase-change material use 40% less energy than standard-construction edge facilities – and they don’t require the use of any refrigerants either. The result is that we’re now saving an estimated 4.7 million kWh per annum – enough to power 1,000 homes for an entire year.