Would you feel a little less guilty about all those lost hours playing "City of Heroes" if they helped stop global warming?
Turns out it's possible to channel the waste heat from computers into uses that can save on burning fuel to heat homes. Telecomm company Telehouse Europe plans to open a data center in 2010 that will capture the excess heat generated by the facility's servers, and make it available to homes and businesses nearby.
The $131.6 million (80 million British pounds) "Telehouse West" center will provide up to 9 MW of heat, enough to control temperature and heat water for around 450 homes in London's Docklands neighborhood -- for free. All the company expects in return is some co-financing of the needed heat exchanger on the data center's site.
Used to capacity, the waste heat could save the equivalent of 1,110 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
"Telehouse intends to install a heat exchange unit to pump water, warmed by the data centre’s cooling systems, to the perimeter of the site," write Iain Aitch and Hannah Bullock of Green Futures, "from where a developer can pipe it on to their own site and use a heat exchanger to warm or cool buildings."
If the plan comes off, it will be an interesting contribution to IT industry efforts to improve the energy efficiency and otherwise green up data center operations.
Image: Telehouse West concept image, from engineering firm WSP UK, which working on the project with Telehouse.
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