Business intelligence through patinformatics: A study of energy efficient data centres using patent data


  • Nishad Deshpande
  • Shabib Ahmeda
  • Alok Khodea



Cooling, data centres, energy efficiency, green data centres, patents, patinformatics


The advent of cloud computing has nurtured an unprecedented growth of datacentres. With its growth, the main concern for service providers and data centre owners is toefficiently manage the energy of the data centres without compromising their computingcapabilities. This concern is genuine as data centres utilise 10-30 times more energy thanoffice spaces and also generate immense heat. As cooling accounts for half of the total powerconsumption in data centres, efficient cooling systems have become a vital need for datacentres. This has resulted in increased research and innovation in the field of efficient coolingof data centres, which in turn has led to growth in filing of patents in this domain. Patents aretechno-legal documents that contain different kinds of information that is accessible to all. Inthe present study, patents are used as source of information for competitive/businessintelligence to highlight the technological trends in the field of energy efficient cooling of datacentres. The study reveals that IBM, HP, Schneider and Hon Hai Industries are the majorplayers working in this technological area. Contrary to the notion that air conditioning wouldbe the most researched area for cooling data centres, the study reveals that there is alsointerest in the hardware of the servers and racks to produce less heat or to have built-incooling mechanisms. The main technologies for which patents are being filed includeventilation using gaseous coolant, technologies related to rack design as well as liquid cooling.Original equipment manufacturers and other vendors have increased filings, along with cloudservice providers. Most of these technologies originate from Asia-Pacific and this region is astrong market, following the USA.


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