Cambridge-based firm Alquist's energy-saving temperature monitor has been shortlisted for the UK IT Industry Awards 2011.
The product has garnered particular interest from a number of data centres – the facilities that house computer servers and data bases – and account for 3% of the UK’s total energy use.
“Data centres are set to double their energy use by 2015. No other industry consumes as much power,” said Andrew Jones, founder and managing director of Alquist, based at ideaSpace on Cambridge University’s west Cambridge site.
High energy consumption in data centres is due to the constant air conditioning, needed to keep the drives from overheating. Although higher temperatures can be tolerated, the lifetime of computer equipment can be lengthened if Alquist’s temperature monitors are used. The monitors use fibre optic cable that can be up to 5km in length. They constantly measure the temperature at thousands of different points inside the computer server facilities.
“The country is facing a major challenge to its energy supplies. We have already moved from being net exporters of energy to becoming dependent on imports of gas from countries in the Middle East and elsewhere,” said Andrew. “Legislation is forcing companies to reduce their energy use. Government and market forces are combining to drive energy costs up,” he added.