Idea of the day: Warm up your pool with excess data center heat

Score three (this week!) for IBM's green data center team.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Score three (this week!) for IBM's green data center team. They have been cranking out the green data center "win" press releases in the past week, touting projects in Egypt, Austria and Switzerland.

I have to say BY FAR the coolest idea to come out of these projects comes from the Swiss one, which was built inside a former military bunker outside of Zurich. As part of the collaboration, which involves IBM and GIB-Services, the roughly 2,800 megawatts of wasted heat that the data center will produce each year will be exchanged with the local public swimming pool to keep the water toasty warm.

The companies estimate that the excess heat could supply up to 80 houses with heating and warm water. In the press release about the project, Steve Sams, vice president of IBM Global Site and Facilities Services, says that it's theoretically possible to reuse about 90 percent of the electricity needed to run the data center by reclaiming the heat produced. Reusing the heat from this particular facility will result in a carbon dioxide emissions savings of roughly 130 tons, according to the press release.

The data center, located in Uitikon, Switzerland, completed in the first quarter; the project to heat the swimming pool will be completed in the next several months.

Finally, here's the parent link to IBM's Project Green Web site.

Editorial standards