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  • Norbert N. Vasen

Internet can give you heat!

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).

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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