Wednesday, October 1

Hot Data Servers Can Warm A Winter Greenhouse

We recycle everything else: so why don't we reuse heat?

Computer servers create a lot of warmth — so much so that keeping them cooled to 70 degrees is a major expense for data centers.

Remember Google's clever idea to float data servers on the cold cold sea, and pump all that deep cold water up and around their data farms to keep them cool?

Well, here is the reverse idea: Just as data farms need to have that warmth removed, day in/day out, conservatories, on the other hand, need a supply of consistent warmth, summer and winter.

A nice warm data farm can help out a conservatory.

So Indiana's University of Notre Dame is housing its computer servers in a conservatory for cacti and other desert plants. In coal-fired Indiana, air conditioning for data centers creates a lot of carbon emissions. And Indiana has cold snowy winters.

By putting the data servers where the heat they give off is removed and circulated around the conservatory, Notre Dame reduces their $100,000 in data cooling costs. Plus the city saves the $70,000 it spent to warm the conservatory.

And since heating costs had been scrapped entirely from the city’s 2010 budget, this boot-strappingly frugal good idea is a lifeline for the conservatory. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

Now, if only there was only somewhere that Notre Dame could sell those saintly carbon credits that will result from this clever low tech plan...oh, wait! Now there is!

Via Terrapass

For Matter Network