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IT Peer Network

2 Posts authored by: DougGarday

If you invested one dollar and it returned 10 dollars, you'd think that was an excellent return wouldn't you? So what if you could get this same 10X return on energy? An industrial heat pump system called Heat Recovery where an additional 100 kW of power used returns 1 megawatt of heat energy.


This return or ratio of energy in vs energy out is called Coefficient Of Performance (COP). A resistance heater uses 1kW of power to produce 1kW of heat, providing a COP of 1. Residential Heat Pumps are efficient but very dependent on ambient weather conditions and produce less usable heat when outside conditions are colder. So how about a system that works at a COP of 10 regardless of weather conditions outside?


I hope you have seen our discussion on whether the data center is green or efficient Greening Data Centers or Make 'em Efficient? but either way you slice it the data center consumes energy. How can we reuse that energy for other purposes? Check out Part 1 of a two-part podcast (look for this next week) that describes how we have designed a system to capture the heat coming off all the equipment in the data center and recycle it to heat offices and warm water for cafeterias and other domestic water purposes.

Check out the brief for more details  Data Center Heat Recovery Helps Intel Create Green Facility.

Update:  Part II of the podcast series is now available  Part II: What if you invested a dollar and it returned 10?  This is where I get into discussing the numbers and the total cost of ownership.

Another twist to energy conservation is energy reuse. It is possible to use the waste heat generated in a data center for non data center heating needs. This can be thought of as Energy Recycling, a method of reducing the impact of data centers on the environment. A great opportunity to enable a data center for energy reuse is at their conception as a goal during the design. With the growing number of data centers being built, now is the time to integrate energy saving and reuse methods. Data centers located in climates with a need for heating, will hopefully recover and reuse a majority of their operating energy for heating non data center areas and adjacent buildings in the future. Since data centers operate at a relatively constant energy demand, they offer a stable and near constant source of heat. The colder the environment, the more financially attractive it can be to install the equipment needed to recover and transfer the heat from the data center to adjoining areas or even neighboring buildings. Imagine data centers located in downtown areas of the city sending off their heat energy and heating other buildings as if they were a utility provider!


Read Data Center Heat Recovery Helps Intel Create Green Facility to see more about what we are doing to reclaim and recycle energy.

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