back to the issue of cooling

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Apr 21 18:23:10 EDT 2003


> Sorry to keep kicking a dead horse guys, but the issue of increasing 
> thermal efficiency in large clusters and data centers has been keeping 
> me awake at nights. 

wow.  you need to get a cluster of your own to worry about ;)

> Has anyone tried to use a stirling engine or other 

afaikt, this sort of thing depends on the presence of a substantial
temperature differential, not just a lot of energy.  my machineroom 
dissipates around 35 KW, but the return air isn't supposed to get 
above about 30C (unlike today, when we hit 35.8 :( )

I have a vague recollection that the efficiency of heat engines is 
strongly dependent on the temp differential, which would be only about 20C
assuming our chilled water stayed chilled...

> order to recover some of the heat energy that would simply be wasted at a 
> large facility. Could this be economically viable?  

I think it would be more effective to reduce at the source.  for instance,
my ES40's have 2-of-3 redundant power supplies, which seem to dissipate 
a lot more heat than another cluster which has 1-of-2.  of course, the mere
fact that we're using Alphas is a declaration of war on coolness ;)

I hear those Opterons are pretty cool...

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