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Sustainability: Reusing Data Center Waste Heat

Abstract

Data Centers are facilities used to house a large number of computer systems and their associated components, such as telecommunications and data storage systems. Nowadays many organizations depend on the reliable operation of their data centers for their day to day business operations. Data centers are designed with redundant and backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, robust cybersecurity protocols and very strict environmental controls. The many computer systems held in a typical data center generate large heat loads that need to be continuously removed with high grade air conditioning systems. Anthem currently owns a large corporate data center in Richmond that generates a large amount of waste heat that is currently dissipated into the environment. The objective of this project is to design a system that will help Anthem reuse some or most of the waste heat generated by the data center, possibly using it to heat the adjoining office building. The proposed system would not only reduce Anthem’s energy costs to heat the office building but it would decrease Anthem’s overall environmental footprint. The solution that the team decided upon is to add a second condenser bundle to an already existing centrifugal chiller. This would allow for a higher-grade heat to be produced. This hot water would then be piped to a coil within the make-up air handler units and the outside air that would normally be heated by natural gas will now be heated by the hot water. The air passing through the coil would now be hot usable air and thus able to be distributed throughout the building.https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/capstone/1128/thumbnail.jp

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