China is the world’s biggest energy consumer and home to 500 million internet users. Unprecedented demand and policies are driving rampant growth in data centers throughout the country.


DOE is working with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and industry to promote open standards, test procedures, specifications, and evaluation metrics for U.S. and Chinese data centers. DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) is working with participants in the Open Compute Project (OCP) to expand its concept to China. Information on this Industry-Driving Harmonization of International Data Center Standards project is available here.

A green data center symposium was held in Shanghai on September 2015. The symposium was organized by the Chinese Institute of Electronics (CIE) and OCP in order for industry experts to share best practices, explore new technologies, and discuss data center design. Companies represented include Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Life Insurance, Huawei, Neusoft, United Technologies, and Emerson.


In June 2017, Dale Sartor of LBNL traveled to Shanghai and met with a range Chinese partners to discuss advancing energy efficiency in data centers. We participated in the Data Center Dynamics Conference, giving a ½ day workshop on best practices for energy efficiency in data centers (presentation here) and partaking in two panel discussions- The Future of the Data Center and The Future of Warm Water Liquid Cooling for the High-Density Data Center, and Harmonization of International Standards (presentation here), where we announced our recent harmonization project.

Dale Sartor and Dr. Bo Shen of LBNL met with 4 companies (Intel, Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba) and the Chinese Institute of Electronics (CIE) to strategize collaborative efforts between the leading companies of China and the U.S. (Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Intel) to harmonize open data center standards and specifications. The initial goal is to develop a liquid cooled rack specification compatible with existing OCP and Scorpio rack designs that could accommodate multiple vendors and provide an infrastructure for multiple cycles of refresh with a variety of liquid cooled servers/suppliers.  Effectively linking efforts in both countries will enhance efficiency in both energy consumption and cost. The working group tentatively decided to develop the pathway for harmonizing standards for immersion technology and cold plate technology in parallel, with a focus on equipment cabinet, using which as a black box for specific standardization work. For the next step, Alibaba will take the lead to develop an outline for the standardization work from the user need points of view, which will be discussed by the working group members from both US and China.

 The team that participated in the International Harmonization Panel