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Internet can give you heat!

image credit: I took it myself during my Siemens time, this data room is in Paris

Norbert Vasen's picture
CEO Birdseye Energy Consulting GmbH

I am on a quest to bring more Energy Managers into industry. Energy Efficiency is behind on Renewable Energy and that is because it is less exciting (is it?) and labour intensive (each situation...

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When working at Siemens, I often met Robert of Siemens Milan, Italy, maybe the greatest Energy Efficiency designer for data centres in the whole country. He was not only good, he was an artist. But why should YOU care about datacenters?

First: you might have yourself at least 1 server, consuming between 500 and 1200 Watt. Second, maybe there is a datacenter in your neighbourhood, giving loads of thermal energy. An example is described in the article of Peter Gerhardt, May 16, on www.tagesschau.de (in German), saying that the heat from the many data centres in the city of Frankfurt can deliver the heating for the whole city (93’000 inhabitants + enterprises). 

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How will they do that?
Nowadays, the heat is discharged with warm air between 25 - 35°C but new technologies work with water cooling, at 60°C, much more useful and easier to transport! The problem is that there is apprehension to bring water so close to the electronics. 

I can understand what they mean but it is a good challenge that can be overcome, especially with the amounts of energy that is going today in data centres: about 1% of the electric energy today, probably the double in 2030. Existing data centres will be difficult to convert but they don’t live very long and many brand new data centres are being built. Bitcoin mining will become less controversy. 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 7, 2021

"I'm not wasting time on the Internet-- I'm actually providing heat and energy to our neighbors!" :)

Norbert Vasen's picture
Norbert Vasen on Jun 9, 2021

Right, that is the sense of Internet movies during the winter 😉.

But what surprised me (even if makes total sense) is that using water increases the value of the heat of the servers so dramatically, not only a higher temperature but also the transportability. I don't know if Frankfurt is so far already for the next server Heat Recovery project.

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