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Fujitsu uses waste heat to cool data centers

DAILYHOSTNEWS, November 8, 2011 – District heating may refer to when excess data centers heat is used to heat homes – but now Fujitsu Laboratories says you don’t even need to send the heat out of the data center, instead it can be used for internal cooling.

Fujitsu said it has developed a new cooling technology that uses heat as an energy source, instead of traditional cooling factory equipment which uses electricity to cool air.

It said the technology, once deemed reliable enough, could be seen in commercial deployments by 2014.

The technology chills water from relatively low-temperature sources, including CPUs, which if water cooled, will produce water at 55°C, keeping it at a constant temperature.

“This technology offers the ability to use a CPU’s waste heat to cool a data center, which had previously been impossible, and could save about 20% of the power used to air condition data centers, which accounts for approximately 40% of all power used by data centers,” Fujitsu Laboratories said in a statement. ”For a single server rack, which consumes up to 12,000 kWh per year, this is equivalent to the volume of CO2 cut by 360 cedar trees.”

Also read: Top Data Center in Singapore

Fujitsu Laboratories said the technology could not be used if water temperature is about 65°C, but below that level water can be continuously cooled to 15-18°C.

To bring the new solution to life, Fujitsu had to create a new material that has the absorbent properties of water at room temperature and the ability to dry at 55°C so the absorption type heat pumps could work, vaporizing the water taken in by the absorbing material to take advantage of the lost heat during this process.

It also had to develop technology to maintain the temperature for drying.

“To produce a constant stream of chilled water, it is necessary to maintain waste water at 40°C to 55°C, this being a temperature range in which the adsorbent material is capable of vaporizing water,” Fujitsu said.

It did this by controlling the flow in volume and tandem with the CPU load.

How the Fujitsu’s cooling technology works

Fujitsu said it is not only data centers that can benefit from this new technology. It said that it plans to take its new technology into factories and office buildings, and expand its uses for purposes beyond air conditioning.

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