Panel: Reusing the heat - what should be done to align current data center business models with future sustainability goals?
Data centers don’t consume energy, they convert electrical energy to heat energy, which can be an asset, or a waste product depending on the relative quality of the heat. Data center waste heat has been utilized for decades, but in limited applications. However, global interest in sustainability is now driving innovation in energy reuse to be a high priority, in many cases a mandate. Although data center heat reuse is attractive in concept, it is often not deemed as practical in many data center designs and locations. Waste heat from air cooled ITE is typically below 35C – a potential resource in colder climates for applications like district heating and agriculture. Liquid cooled ITE waste heat can be over 60C – opening a spectrum of reuse applications in virtually every climate.
The OpenComputeProject Data Center Facilities Project has key tenants around efficiency and sustainability. Liquid cooling is one technology that advances sustainability and heat reuse, but traditional air cooled ITE also provides opportunities in some regions. This panel brings together members of the OCP Advanced Cooling Facilities subproject and data center industry highlighting existing applications in data center heat reuse, and the vision of how expanding deployment of liquid cooled ITE can broaden heat reuse opportunities.
This session took place on July 15, 2021
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