[Beowulf] small cluster cooling / beer fridges

Greg Matthews gmatt at nerc.ac.uk
Thu Sep 25 06:30:46 PDT 2008

Ellis Wilson wrote:
> This is just a thought, but with the advent (or recent popularity) of 
> "green buildings", could one use the same technique to keep large stores 
> of computers cool?  That is, could one run a series of pipes deep 
> (100-500ft) into the ground, maybe fill them with antifreeze or 
> something more fun that won't freeze and circulate it to cool a room? 
> It seems to me that if this would work all costs would be quickly 
> amortized and would save money versus A/C in the long run.

one can certainly do it. Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) work this way 
to provide low temperature (typically underfloor) heating for domestic 
and commercial buildings. In the summer, some GSHPs can be reversed to 
"dump" heat back into the ground.

The ground loops work best in wet environments (small lakes or rivers 
are ideal) but for large temperature differences (>30 deg C) they 
quickly lose efficiency.


btw, my posts are getting moderated and I cant work out why.

> I guess this question is directed at physicists on the list since I 
> don't fully appreciate/understand all the nuances of heat transfer.
> Ellis

Greg Matthews           01491 692445
Head of UNIX/Linux, iTSS Wallingford

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