Data Center Energy Recovery Program｜2019
Since 2014, the Chinese government has been working with the Alibaba group on the Guizhou-cloud project to harness local climate and hydropower resources to build clusters of data centres. Guizhou's caves are a natural refuge for servers due to their low temperature, high humidity and secrecy, which has led many technology companies such as Tencent, Huawei and Apple to move their data centres to the caves. In addition, Guizhou's economic structure is dominated by tourism and farming, while educational resources are very poor, and most children do not have access to higher education. Hence, this project aims to address the issue of harmony between the local people, the natural ecology and the data centres.
Data centres consume a large amount of coal for power generation, among which the most power consumption is the air conditioning used to cool the servers. This idea proposed to use the abundant water resources in the area to cool the servers instead of air-conditioning. It then recycles the waste heat generated by the servers to heat a new tropical park, which is not seen in Guizhou because of its cold climate. Thus, attracting tourists. This tropical park can serve as an educational site for the children by learning how information works and how energy is reused through glass panels in the data centre.
The machine room is placed inside the cave. The main way to cool it down is to use cold water and numerous fans to bring the cool air in while taking away the hot air.
The heated water during the cooling process is discharged from the pipeline and used for heating. The heating pipes are arranged in a park on the hillside to create a living space which is suitable for tropical plants to grow.
Based on Alibaba's two ideas for the development of the education industry and the big data industry, I have combined science and technology with geographical resources to design a system that balances industry and nature – whether it is the natural landscape or the status quo of technological companies, they both could become a place where local people can visit and learn.
EMPATHY MAP OF ANUO
To complete my system, I designed a device that recycles heat from a server to a tropical theme park.
Thanks to four fans, it absorbs heat efficiently, and I simplified the construction of the pipes, making them easier to place in the machine room, reducing metal fittings, and making them lighter and easier to maintain.
The bottom button is more convenient to be installed on the top of the server cabinet, and the indicator light makes it easy for the staff to work in poor lighting conditions.
Changed to a movable bracket structure, which is more suitable to be installed and maintained with hydraulic rods.
After visiting the tropical park, children can watch the heat source of the entire park through the glass or screen -- the data center. They can learn here how information works and how energy is reused.