Data Center Used to Heat Swimming Pool

Here’s a hot one – literally: A new data center in Switzerland is being used to heat a nearby swimming pool. In what appears to be a first, the town pool in Uitikon, Switzerland will be heated by waste heat from a data center recently built by IBM Corp. for GIB-Services AG.

The AP reports that the hot air generated by the Uitikon center will flow through heat exchangers to warm water that will be pumped into the nearby pool. The town covered the cost of some of the connecting equipment but will get to use the heat for free. IBM says the volume of heat thrown off by GIB-Services’ data center is enough to warm 80 homes. Or one swimming pool, it seems.

“This is a great example of an innovative client solution that not only provides a client with a secure and energy efficient data center, but is also a technology breakthrough to benefit the town,” says Sams, vice president of IBM Global Site and Facilities Services. “Theoretically it is possible to reuse up to 90 percent of the electric power required for the operation of the data center as heat energy. Through reclaiming the heat, approximately 130 tons of carbon emissions can be saved. This corresponds to the carbon dioxide discharge of mid-size cars driving 500,000 miles.”

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.