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Provisioning and Harnessing Energy Storage in Datacenters

Event Date: April 14, 2014
Speaker: Di Wang
Speaker Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University
Sponsor: Prospective ECE faculty member
Time: 10:30am, Reception 11:30am
Location: EE 118
Contact Name: Vijay Raghunathan
Contact Phone: 765-494-7392
Contact Email:

Power consumption of datacenters continues to pose serious economic, societal and environmental concerns. A large datacenter spends millions of dollars in yearly operational expenditures (op-ex) paying its electricity bills. An even larger capital expenditure (cap-ex) goes into provisioning the power delivery network, to accommodate the peak power draw, even if this draw is never or rarely sustained. With consumers demanding more for less, extracting the maximum value out of every provisioned and consumed watt in these datacenters is critical to profitability and sustenance.

In this talk, we will focus on leveraging energy storage such as batteries, ultra-capacitors, flywheels, and even compressed air based energy storage device to reduce cap-ex and op-ex costs. Specifically, we will discuss the challenges and issues in provisioning and harnessing these devices for enhancing datacenter power demand response capabilities. First, we will look at our modeling and optimization framework to figure out which devices to use, where to place them and how much capacity to provision given different cost-benefit trade-offs. Then, we will explore the problem from a practical setting, and discuss system software support for virtualizing datacenter power distribution hierarchy. Finally, we will discuss big data problems in collecting, characterizing and analyzing datacenter power demand for efficient power management using these energy storage devices and other computing techniques.

Di Wang is currently a Ph.D. candidate, advised by Prof. Anand Sivasubramaniam, in the Computer Science and Engineering department at Penn State University. He received B.E. in computer science and technology from Zhejiang University of China in 2005 and M.S. in computer systems engineering from the Technical University of Denmark in 2008. He worked for Teklatech (an EDA startup company in Copenhagen) as an R&D engineer in 2008, and interned at IBM Almaden research center in the summer of 2011 as well as Microsoft Research in the summers of 2012 and 2013. He received two Best Paper Awards and one Best Paper nomination. His work has been featured in CACM news and was chosen as IEEE sustainable computing register's pick of the month. He also won the Best Graduate Research Assistant award at Penn State.