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From EcoGeek.org by Megan Treacy on 30-11-2009
Data centers generate a lot of heat. In fact, over 50 percent of the energy used by data centers is for cooling the servers, not computing. Almost all efforts to make them more efficient focus on keeping the equipment cool with less energy. But what if all that heat could be used for good? We recently wrote about the potential of using waste heat to generate electricity, but this time the benefit of the heat is the heat itself.
The excess heat generated by a new Finnish data center will be used to warm homes throughout Helsinki. The data center will be builit under the Uspenski Cathedral, nestled in the bedrock in a former WWII bomb shelter. The waste heat will be captured and pumped into the city heating network that consists of water-heated pipes that deliver heat to homes.
The data center, being built by company Academica, will be able to heat 500 large houses, equivalent to the energy output of one large wind turbine.
In order to attain the title of "world's greenest," the data center will also consume half the energy of a typical data center. Academica expects the efficient data center to cut half a million dollars from their energy bills.