Absorption Chillers: Heat Into Cooling

Two absorption chillers inside the data center at Syracuse University.

Two absorption chillers inside the data center at Syracuse University.

These absorption chillers from Thermax Inc. take the heat from the turbines and use it produce cold water for the data center’s cooling system. Absorption chillers use a lithium bromide solution to absorb vapor from evaporating water, creating a vacuum. The 585 degree F heat from the turbines re-concentrates the solution and releases the water vapor, which is then condensed in a cooling tower, which returns water to the data center at 45 degrees F (7 degrees C). IBM says this approach increases the amount of cooling generated.