Data Center Heat Recovery Used as Office Heating System in Downtown Seattle

Bryan Kilgore for Zondits, November 12, 2014

In downtown Seattle, Amazon is proposing a significant energy efficiency project for their new three-building campus. Heat recovery from the Clise Properties data center will be used for space heating in the new Amazon campus. During normal operation the data center’s cooling water is routed to rooftop cooling towers to remove the heat. Now in the winter the heat can be repurposed and used to save energy. Heated water from the data center will be piped beneath the street and extracted for the new buildings’ hydronic heating system. McKinstry, the building-design firm working with Amazon and Clise, estimates that the project will yield electrical savings of 80 million kWh over 25 years. The project is awaiting final city approval before moving forward, but it is very promising. If it is successful it could lead to expanded projects of a similar nature. As our digital society is expanding — and thus the demand for more data centers grows — finding somewhere to use that heat becomes important.

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A First in Energy Efficiency

Governing, November 7, 2014

Partnering with other companies, Amazon will use waste heat from a data center in a Seattle skyscraper to warm its soaring new Denny Triangle campus across the street.

The project, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, will send water coursing back and forth through pipes under Sixth Avenue and could pave the way for a large swath of Seattle to recycle energy, City Councilmember Mike O’Brien said.

“I think it’s outstanding,” O’Brien said. “It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in a while. I see it as having huge potential for our community.”

The system involving Amazon, Clise Properties and building-design firm McKinstry will help Amazon and Clise use less electricity and water and save money, they say.

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