A growing number of data centers are redirecting the heat from their hot aisles to nearby homes, offices, greenhouses and even swimming pools. The ability to re-use excess heat from servers is being built into new data centers, helping to improve the energy efficiency profile of these facilities. Temperatures in most data center hot aisles range from 27 to 46 degrees Celsius, still fairly low temperatures for some heat recovery strategies. But we’re seeing more facilities finding ways to capture and reuse this heat.

Heating A Swimming Pool:

Data Center Used to Heat Swimming Pool: An IBM data center in Switzerland is being used to heat a nearby swimming pool. Hot air generated by the Uitikon center will flow through heat exchangers to warm water that will be pumped into the nearby community pool. IBM says the volume of heat thrown off by GIB-Services’ data center is enough to warm 80 homes. Or one swimming pool, it would appear.

Heating Greenhouses

This example comes from Telecity, which is using waste heat from its new Condorcet data center in Paris to heat an on-site Climate Change Arboretum, where scientists will recreate the climatic conditions expected to prevail in France in 2050. Société Forestière and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) will use the arboretum to grow and research plants from around the world with the aim of selecting those species most adaptable to changes in the prevailing climatic conditions.

Data Center Heats A Greenhouse: The Notre Dame Center for Research Computing has placed a rack of high-performance computing (HPC) nodes at a local municipal greenhouse, the South Bend Greenhouse and Botanical Garden, to help heat the flowers and plants in the facility.



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