Supercomputer reuses waste heat to warm buildings

IBM's Aquasar cuts energy use with water-carrying "micro-capillaries" that cool microchips and reuse the heat elsewhere.

06/24/2009


New supercomputer technology from IBM can remove waste heat and use the excess energy to warm a building, reports Reuters . According to IBM , the computer will reduce overall energy consumption by 40% and save up to 30 tons of carbon dioxide a year, exciting figures for companies who are trying to cut cooling costs for energy-hogging data centers.

The supercomputer, developed jointly with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich , won't start operation until 2010 and will cost more to build than a supercomputer with a traditional cooling system. IBM says the return on the investment will come within a year, given the system's efficiency.

The Aquasar uses water-carrying "micro-capillaries" to take water close to microchips so the system is cooled at a temperature of 140 F, according to IBM researcher Dr. Thomas Brunschwiler. The excess heat from the computer can be used in a 25 kW system that will only account for a "small fraction" of the building's overall energy demand, but researchers said future applications are promising.

"In a future system if you run an entire data center in this mode then it will be a large fraction of the energy demand of an entity like this," said Dr. Bruno Michel of IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
BIM coordination; MEP projects; NFPA 13; Data center Q&A; Networked lighting controls; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Emergency lighting; NFPA 3 and 4; Integrated building systems; Smart lighting, HVAC design
Designing for energy efficiency; Understanding and applying NFPA 101 for mission critical facilities; Integrating commissioning and testing for fire alarm systems; Optimizing unitary pumping solutions
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me