IBM Demos Reuse Of Data Center Waste Heat - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
Commentary
11/21/2008
06:32 PM
Roger Smith
Roger Smith
Commentary
50%
50%

IBM Demos Reuse Of Data Center Waste Heat

The energy consumption of data centers is enormous. According to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report to Congress, the peak load on the power grid from data centers and servers is currently estimated to be approximately 7 gigawatts, equivalent to the output of about 15 typical power plants of 1,000 megawatts each.

The energy consumption of data centers is enormous. According to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report to Congress, the peak load on the power grid from data centers and servers is currently estimated to be approximately 7 gigawatts, equivalent to the output of about 15 typical power plants of 1,000 megawatts each.According to a report this week by IEEE Spectrum Online, IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory has announced additional details about a prototype system that can cut data center energy in half through an innovative process that cools computers with water and reuses the dissipated energy to heat nearby homes and offices. Bruno Michel, the manager of the advanced thermal packaging group at the IBM laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland, explained that the company's engineers had constructed a facility that reuses 85% of its generated heat while consuming only half the energy.

The goal of the zero-emission data center model is to reuse heat generated by computer chips for heating buildings, swimming pools, etc., or simply conducting the heat into municipal heating networks. An important requirement for the direct use of heat this way is that the temperature of the waste heat be above a certain threshold, which, for modern municipal heating networks, is about 120°F.

As reported by an IBM press release earlier this year, the first prototype of the zero-emission data center was demonstrated at this year's CeBIT trade fair, and was capable of reusing about three-quarters of the electrical energy needed for IT operation. This corresponds to a capacity to heat up to 70 homes, besides a 40% reduction in energy consumption for a typical 1-MW data center.

In addition to having an immediate ecological benefit, IBM's new water-based cooling system may make the most sense economically, especially if the new Obama administration goes through with its plans to levy new taxes on carbon dioxide emissions. According to the ProPublica public interest journalism site, Obama backs a cap-and-trade system that would put limits on carbon-dioxide emissions and allow utilities and other producers to trade carbon allowances, or credits, similar to the system that has helped reduce sulfur-dioxide emissions that cause acid rain.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
Gartner Forecast Sees 7.3% Shrinkage in IT Spending for 2020
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/15/2020
Slideshows
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
Commentary
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll