Data Center Cooling System Integrated with Low-Temperature Desalination and Intelligent Energy-Aware Control


Data centers consume enormous energy, presently reported up to 2% of the world’s electricity, with most of this energy then rejected into the atmosphere as waste heat. Meanwhile there is a global scarcity of safe drinking water. The UN states that 20% of the world’s population lives in regions affected by scarcity of drinking water. In this paper, we discuss an on-going research initiative that investigates the reuse of “free” waste heat energy from data centers in coastal cities and island countries, and in modular data centers that are deployed in coastal regions, through a low-pressure desalination process that converts sea water into safe drinking and irrigation water supplies, while significantly improving the Power Utilization Efficiency (PUE) for the data centers. In this paper, we discuss a work-in-progress experimental setup with the purpose of demonstrating that heat removed via common fluid-cooled rack heat exchangers in modern data centers can be re-used via a controlled-low-pressure desalination technique to turn salt water into drinking water at zero added carbon cost for the desalination, and significantly reduced carbon cost for the data center operations.

Proceedings of International Green and Sustainable Computing Conference (IGSC18)