In a very innovative initiative to recycle the hot air generated from servers and communications equipment in an office, a new computer center in Switzerland is going to funnel the hot air next door to warm the local swimming pool. The town pool in Uitikon, Switzerland, outside Zurich, will be receiving the waste heat from a data center recently built by IBM Corp. for GIB-Services AG. The air will travel through heat exchangers which shall use it to heat up their swimming pools. According to IBM the computers in the Uitikon center will throw off enough heat to warm as many as 80 houses. Although the town shelled out some money for connecting the ducts, they will get to use the heat for free.
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – 02 Apr 2008: IBM and GIB-Services today announced a new energy efficient “green” data center at a former military bunker outside of Zurich. The new data center is a highly secure data storage facility where GIB will support its clients in Switzerland, and will offer a first-of-its-kind energy model where a direct heat exchange will take place between the data center and a public swimming pool in the town.
Located in Uitikon, Switzerland, the data center is expected to create 2,800 megawatts of wasted heat per year when operating at full capacity — the same amount of energy needed to supply up to 80 houses with heating and warm water for one year. In order to repurpose some of this previously wasted energy, the town is looking to the needs of local civilians — ensuring a comfortable temperature for swimming in the town pool.
“We found a partner for this unique project in IBM, a company that distinguishes itself through its vast experience in building high availability data centers with the highest demands on security,” said Hans-Rudolf Schärer, president of the board of directors, GIB-Services. “Our decision to collaborate with IBM was easily made given IBM’s data center expertise, innovation and commitment to green technology.”
“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 Steve 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.”
The data center agreement was signed in 2007 and recently completed in the first quarter of 2008. The project to heat to the public swimming pool was signed in the first quarter of 2008 and will be completed in the next few months.