Data centers in hot water

ITEM: The waste heat from a new data center in Switzerland is being used to heat a nearby swimming pool.


According to an AP report, the hot air generated by the GIB-Services data center in Uitikon will flow through heat exchangers to warm water that will be pumped into the nearby pool. The town covered the cost of some of the connecting equipment but will get to use the heat for free.


It's a clever idea, since the heat generated by data centers is wasted energy. Steven Sams, vice president of IBM Global Site and Facilities Services, which built the data center, says that it's theoretically possible to reuse up to 90 percent of the electricity used to power required a data center as heat energy, potentially saving approximately 130 tons of carbon emissions, according to Data Center Knowledge.


IBM also says the volume of heat thrown off by the GIB-Services data center is enough to warm 80 homes (or one pool).


How much of this could be applied elsewhere might depend on the demand for pool heating, but it's good to see that someone's thinking of energy efficiency in ways other than less power-hungry servers or alt-power sources.