France’s Val d’Europe Business Park reuses heat from nearby data center’s air-conditioning units

[GBP Note:  This is an excellent example of how to "green" a business park and reduce its carbon footprint while adding value for tenants.]

How air conditioning can heat buildings

A new system created by a French energy firm heats about 6 million square feet of office space, creating no emissions in the process.
By InnovationNewsDaily Staff
Mon, Jun 25 2012 at 11:39 AM EST
Anyone who has worked with a desktop computer knows how it can warm up the room. Now, at one business park in France, the heat coming off computer servers actually contributes to warming the buildings through a district heating network.
Data centers house computing equipment for online services and other companies. They require plenty of electricity, both to run the equipment inside and to cool them, making them responsible for 2 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to think tank Sustainia. Many researchers are working on ways to make them more environmentally friendly.
The Val d’Europe, a business park serving Disneyland Paris, reuses the heat from a nearby data center’s air-conditioning units. Heat exchangers capture the excess energy and use it to heat water to 131 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius). The data center pipes the hot water to a central plant, which distributes it to the business park.
Once the hot water reaches a building, it enters the building’s substation, where it transfers its heat to the building’s hot-water system. The now-cool water returns to the central pipe.
The system, created by the French energy company Dalkia, heats about 6 million square feet (600,000 square meters, or about a fifth of a square mile) of office space, according to Dalkia. It creates no emissions.
Dalkia’s system is one of the world’s first to pipe excess energy from a data center to a network serving several buildings some distance away. Other data centers have tried to reduce their carbon footprints by using the energy to heat one building nearby or to heat a swimming pool or greenhouse. In 2009, a data center below the Uspenski Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, garnered attention for plans to use its excess energy to heat 500 area homes. 

Click here for full article and photo of system in Innovation News Daily


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