IBM and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are working on a water-cooled supercomputer whose surplus heat will be reused to heat the university’s buildings, CNET reports. The Aquasar supercomputer will combine two rack-mounted IBM BladeCenter servers, each containing multiple blades, and IBM estimates that the water-cooling scheme will reduce the system’s carbon footprint by up to 85 percent and save up to 30 tons of carbon dioxide annually, compared with standard cooling approaches. The refrigeration units typically used by data centers consume about half of the centers’ energy. Aquasar will need no such equipment. As a result, it should reduce overall energy consumption by 40 percent, according to IBM. Pipelines from the individual blades link to the server rack’s water-pipe network, which is connected to the main water transportation network. Aquasar will need about 10 liters of water for cooling, pumped at some 30 liters per minute, IBM said. The cooling system is a closed circuit: The water is heated by the chips and cooled to the required temperature as it passes through a passive heat exchanger, delivering the removed heat directly to the heating system of the university…

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