Development of Energy Saving Cooling Technology for Datacenters by Fujitsu
The idea of Energy Harvesting is no news nowadays, with plenty of sources to harvest it from such as thermal or solar. Taking advantage of this idea comes with some challenges to make it economically feasible, leaving some of the potential harvesting technology at the laboratory level. One of the areas where power efficiency can play a major role is in datacenters, where power consumption will hit the roof top with proliferation of cloud services in the near future, where air conditioning used to cool IT resources accounts for some 40% of all the electricity consumed at datacenters. To remedy this problem, Fujitsu has developed a cooling technology which uses heat generated by CPUs in datacenters to produce chilled water which can be used to cool down the server rooms.
The new technology is expected to potentially cut power consumption of air conditioning system in datacenters by 20%. The new technology is based on absorption-type heat pumps which work by absorbing water that has been heated by wasted heat into an adsorbing materials and then vaporizing it, taking advantage of the phenomenon where heat is lost during vaporization. Fujitsu laboratories has developed a new material that has the adsorbing properties if water at room temperature and the ability to stay dry at 55 degrees Celsius. To make this whole thing works the newly developed technology needs to maintain waste water temperature between 40 to 55 degrees Celsius due to the fact that CPU temperatures vary in response to the load. Fujitsu managed to produce a constant stream of chilled water at this temperature range by controlling the flow volume in tandem with CPU load. Fujitsu is expected to deploy this new technology sometimes by 2014 after some fine tunings. The company is planning to deploy the waste-heat capture for use in other area such as factories, office buildings as well as solar power generators and purposes other than air conditioning.