The data center industry has to innovate quickly to keep up with current trends, which is a primary reason it receives a lot of attention. One aspect that is always top of mind in this industry is energy conservation, thanks to the fact that high amounts of energy are consumed by data centers. While we need data centers, we also need to be conscious of the effect they have on the environment.
Utilization of the heat generated by a data center is one thing that engineers are looking at in regards to energy consumption. Generally, the temperatures recorded in the hot aisles of a data center hover between 80 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This may not seem very high, but considering that data centers usually thrive in colder temperatures, the heat generated needs to be utilized efficiently, too.
There are two ways this issue is being addressed: first, by looking for ways to reduce the amount of heat that is generated in a data center environment and second, by putting it to use. Here are some of the ways the heat generated by a data center can be and, in some cases are being, utilized.
- Excess heat generated from collocation facilities can be diverted to nearby homes and businesses, creating a district heat network. Thus, the waste heat is converted and utilized as a source of energy.
- Excess heat can be used to heat nearby swimming pools during the winter. This may seem like a logical solution, yet, it is seldom put to use.
- Ducts running out of the heat exhaust systems can be directed into nearby buildings, thus providing them with heat when colder temperatures prevail. The heat supplied can be controlled through the use of pneumatic baffles.
- Telecity, a data center in Paris uses waste heat to provide heat to an on-site Climate Change Arboretum, where the effects of future climate change are studied.
- The Notre Dame Center for Research Computing uses the heat to maintain warm temperatures at a local municipal greenhouse.
Recycling the heat generated not only results in energy management and savings, but it also means that the additional investments required for reducing the amount of heat generated can now instead be utilized for the optimization of other avenues in a data center business.
At Lifeline Data Centers, we focus on the latest innovations to make sure the energy conservation and recycling structure in our business remains efficient. Schedule a tour with us today to learn more.