A LoRaWAN Wireless Sensor Network for Data Center Temperature Monitoring

  • Tommaso Polonelli
  • Davide BrunelliEmail author
  • Andrea Bartolini
  • Luca Benini
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 573)


High-performance computing installations, which are at the basis of web and cloud servers as well as supercomputers, are constrained by two main conflicting requirements: IT power consumption generated by the computing nodes and the heat that must be removed to avoid thermal hazards. In the worst cases, up to 60% of the energy consumed in a data center is used for cooling, often related to an over-designed cooling system. We propose a low-cost and battery-supplied wireless sensor network (WSN) for fine-grained, flexible and long-term data center temperature monitoring. The WSN has been operational collecting more than six million data points, with no losses, for six months without battery recharges. Our work reaches a 300× better energy efficiency than the previously reported WSNs for similar scenarios and on a 7× wider area. The data collected by the network can be used to optimize cooling effort while avoiding dangerous hot spots.



This work was partially supported by a collaboration grant with CINECA. A special thanks for the support to Michele Toni, Massimo Alessio Mauri, Emanuele Sacco is also acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Belady, C.L.: In the data center, power and cooling costs more than the equipment it supports. Electronics Cooling magazine 3, 1 (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rossi, M., Rizzon, L., Fait, M., Passerone, R., Brunelli, D.: Energy neutral wireless sensing for server farms monitoring. IEEE J. Emerg. Sel. Top. Circuits Syst. 4(3), 324–334 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kim, K., Ruggiero, M., Atienza, D.: Free cooling-aware dynamic power management for green datacenters. In: Proceedings of IEEE HPCS, pp. 140–146 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Top 500 list. Available from:
  5. 5.
    Dongarra, J.: Visit to the national university for defense technology changsha. University of Tennessee, China (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rhomadon, R., Ali, M., Mahdzir, A.M., Abakr, Y.A.: Energy efficiency and renewable energy integration in data centers. Strategies and modeling review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 42, 429–445 (2015)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Park, S., Seo, J.: Analysis of air-side economizers in terms of cooling-energy performance in a data center considering exhaust air recirculation. Energies 11(2) (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Conficoni, C., Bartolini, A., Tilli, A., Cavazzoni, C., Benini, L.: HPC cooling: a flexible modeling tool for effective design and management. IEEE Trans. Sustain. Comput. (2018)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Porcarelli, D., Brunelli, D., Benini, L.: Clamp-and-forget: a self-sustainable non-invasive wireless sensor node for smart metering applications. Microelectron. J. 45(12), 1671–1678 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Balsamo, D., Porcarelli, D., Benini, L., Brunelli, D.: A new non-invasive voltage measurement method for wireless analysis of electrical parameters and power quality. In: SENSORS 2013, IEEE, Baltimore, MD, pp. 1–4 (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    LoRa™ Modulation Basics, AN1200 v22, LoRa Alliance, Inc. 2400 Camino Ramon, Suite 375 San Ramon, CA 94583, LoRa Alliance, Tech (2015)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brunelli, D., Bedeschi, E., Ferrari, M., Tinti, F., Barbaresi, A., Benini, L.: Long-range radio for underground sensors in geothermal energy systems. In: Applications in Electronics Pervading Industry, Environment and Society. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, vol 429. Springer, Cham (2016)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sartori, D., Brunelli, D.: A smart sensor for precision agriculture powered by microbial fuel cells. In: 2016 IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS). Catania, pp. 1–6 (2016)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haxhibeqiri, J., Karaagac, A., Van den Abeele, F., Joseph, W., Moerman, I., Hoebeke, J.: LoRa indoor coverage and performance in an industrial environment: case study. In: 2017 22nd IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA). Limassol, pp. 1–8 (2017)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Morin, É., Maman, M., Guizzetti, R., Duda, A.: Comparison of the device lifetime in wireless networks for the internet of things. IEEE Access 5, 7097–7114 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Das, R., Kephart, J.O., Lenchner, J., Hamann, H.: Utility function-driven energy-efficient cooling in data centers. In: Proceedings of ICAC, pp. 1526–1544 (2010)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Banerjee, A., Mukherjee, T., Varsamopoulos, G., Gupta, S.K.: Energy-optimal dynamic thermal management: computation and cooling power co-optimization. IEEE Trans. Ind. Informat. 6(3), 340–351 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Parolini, L., Sinopoli, B., Krogh, B.H., Wang, Z.: A cyber-physical systems approach to data center modeling and control for energy efficiency. Proc. IEEE 100(1), 255–268 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zhou, R., Wang, Z., Bash, C.E., McReynolds, A., Hoover, C., Shih, R., Kumari, N., Sharma, R.K.: A holistic and optimal approach for data center cooling management. In: Proceedings of IEEE American Control Conference, pp. 1346–1351 (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Liu, Q., et al.: Green data center with IoT sensing and cloud-assisted smart temperature control system. Comput. Netw. 101, 104–112 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rodriguez, M.G., et al.: Wireless sensor network for data-center environmental monitoring. In: Sensing Technology (ICST), 2011 Fifth International Conference on IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    MultiConnect® Conduit™, programmable gateway with Linux. Available from:
  23. 23.
    868/915 Mhz RF Transceiver Module. Available from:

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommaso Polonelli
    • 1
  • Davide Brunelli
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andrea Bartolini
    • 1
  • Luca Benini
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.University of TrentoTrentoItaly
  3. 3.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations