Data centre day-ahead energy demand prediction and energy dispatch with solar PV integration

Oluwafemi Ajayi, Reolyn Heymann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a novel Marine Predators Algorithm for both training an Artificial Neural Network model used for predicting the energy demand and for solving a dynamic combined economic and emission dispatch of a data centre. The MPA is proposed for first finding the optimal weights and biases of the neural network based on a Mean Squared Error and Mean Absolute Error minimization objective function. Real life dataset obtained from an anonymous data centre operator in Cape Town, South Africa was used for the model implementation. The dataset was made up of a total of 564 samples and was split into training and testing set using an 80:20 ratio. The input variables contained in the dataset are the data centre's ambient temperature, ambient relative humidity, chiller output temperature and Computer Room Air Conditioning supply temperature while the energy demand is the target variable. The optimal weights of the neural network model were analysed using a weights-based approach to determine the level of influence each input parameter of the model has on the data centre's energy demand. Then based on the predicted energy demand of the data centre, a dynamic economic and emission dispatch problem is solved for the building while considering thermal and solar photovoltaic generations. A spinning reserve is also incorporated in the energy dispatch model to cater for any shortfall that may exist between the predicted and actual energy demand of the data centre due to possible inaccuracies in the energy demand prediction model. Results for the energy demand prediction task showed that the proposed method outperformed the state-of-the-art by producing the least Mean Squared Error, Root Mean Squared Error, Mean Absolute Error, Mean Absolute Percentage Error and highest prediction accuracy for the training and testing sets. Further analyses also highlighted that the data centre's ambient temperature has the highest influence of about 37.63% on its energy demand pattern. For the energy dispatch task, the proposed method also identified solar photovoltaic as the preferred energy source over conventional thermal generators in fulfilling the objective function, depending on its availability. Overall, the findings presented in this study emphasize the robustness of the proposed method in solving the problems considered and its potential application towards solving even more complex problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3760-3774
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Reports
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Artificial Neural Networks
  • Data Centre
  • Economic and Emission Dispatch
  • Energy Demand Forecasting
  • Marine Predators Algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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