Audi computing center.automotiveIT

Audi's new computing center is cooled by outside air when outside temperatures fall below 11 degrees (Photo: Audi)

Audi switched on a new computer center it says will set new standards for green IT.

The center, located at the premium car maker's headquarters in Ingolstadt, southern Germany, hosts all main IT applications for roughly 51,000 computers in use at Audi.

In addition, the facility is at the hear of the Audi connect services, which Audi drivers can use to access traffic information and social networks.

The new computer center has 650 racks that can accommodate 6,000 servers and IT components.

"We are making an important contribution towards implementing our sustainability strategy here," said Audi CIO Mattias Ulbrich.  Through the use of new technology, CO2 emissions will  be cut by 9,000 metric tons a year, he said.

Audi uses outdoor air to cool its servers when outdoor temperatures fall below 11 degrees centigrade. That eliminates the need to use energy-intensive refrigeration compressors everywhere. The carmaker has also equipped the data center with low-loss transformers, which further boosts overall efficiency.