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In this age of technology, companies use data centers to house the IT infrastructure that keeps their users connected to their applications. But what those users may not realize is that it takes a large amount of energy to power these data centers, which account for 2% of total energy used in the U.S. – and that number is rising.

With the aid of artificial intelligence, the UCF alumni-led startup Fluix designed an autonomous system named AIMI that optimizes energy use in data centers, reducing the HVAC energy consumption by 65%.

Utilizing advanced self-learning AI models, the technology analyzes environmental data to intelligently adjust the HVAC systems in data centers. The innovative technology offers a sustainable solution for data center management by lowering power consumption and carbon emissions.

Abhishek Sastri ’20, the founder and CEO of Fluix, set his sights on decreasing data centers’ energy usage last year, after winning $25,000 from Blue Origin for his company’s microgravity coolant.

“While working at a Department of Defense data center, I noticed that HVAC, IT, water and facility systems were fragmented and often operated inefficiently, wasting energy and water,” Sastri says. “Inspired by how autonomous cars integrate sensor data to make intelligent decisions, I saw potential for AI in facility management. After meeting a brilliant AI researcher from the University of California, Irvine, we began exploring how foundational AI models could revolutionize complex building management, especially in data centers.”

That researcher was Chase Overcash, who now serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Fluix. Together, Cash and Sastri launched their new product with pilot client Solideon, a company that set out to pioneer a new era in aerospace manufacturing. Sastri met Solideon’s founder through the Techstars accelerator program in 2021. Through their collaboration, Fluix enhanced Solideon’s cleanroom operations, optimizing cleanliness and resource efficiency with AIMI’s automated solutions. Upon the experiment’s success, Solideon extended a $24K letter of intent to Fluix to incorporate AIMI’s AI copilot into their manufacturing process.

This innovative breakthrough in energy reduction is critical to sustainability, as the development of new technologies, including AI, will require massive amounts of energy.

“AI services like ChatGPT, DALLE and Gemini are hosted by data centers,” Sastri says. “As AI grows, so does the energy demand from these centers, increasing the need to save energy and money. Fluix is developing Autonomous ECO-AI control systems like AIMI to address this issue.”