Reusing waste heat from and/or to power ICT facilities & gear

Global Green ICT Update: Europe

Updates from Europe. Click on "Europe" tag above for all news about the region. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe.


TCO Developement offers A Guide to Sustainable IT Purchasing with TCO Certified. The TCO Certified program is Euro-centric, but anyone seeking to improve their Green ICT purchasing can use this comprehensive approach. The Guide offers thirteen "Leading Edge Sustainability Criteria", eight points of verification, and a three-phase purchasing process.

"Energy Harvesting" Powers Small Wireless Devices

We've been tracking the potential of "energy harvesting" to power devices without conventional batteries or grid connections since 2011. The latest market entrants demonstrate this segment continues to expand to meet the need son the Internet of Things (Iot).

Sol Chip's "Everlasting Solar Battery" "...integrates all the components required — in a single battery unit — to harvest and supply sustainable solar/light energy to low-power applications." Sol Chip was recognized as a 2016 Sustainia 100 solution. The Sustainia citation noted the potential impact on IoT e-waste " limiting the need to continuously replace batteries and reducing the associated costs and waste."

Distributed Servers Could Become 'Data Furnaces'

We have been covering the use of datacenter waste heat to warm facilities from municipal buildings to swimming pools since 2009. That led to coverage of a 2011 Microsoft research idea for how individual servers might become 'data furnances'. That original post with excerpts from the researchers' publication is available below.

Three European companies have now brought the idea to market. Two explain the concept with a video.

Will Liquid-Cooled Computers Make a Comeback?

Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling. We identified several efforts to bring liquid cooling to the server world in our first version of this post in 2012 and have seen continuous progress since. Here is the latest news.

Data Centers Reuse Waste Heat

ICT facilities are becoming increasingly innovative in reusing their waste heat, a trend we first identified in 2009. This has been strongest in Europe, where many municipalities have district heating infrastructures into which facilities can transfer excess heat. Our latest example, from Switzerland, is just this sort of arrangement.

Madison, WI - How a City Greens Its Municipal IT Operation

City governments can show Green ICT leadership. Paul Kronberger, CIO of Madison (WI-USA), a city of 270,000 residents, tells me the municipality has taken these steps to improve the sustainability of its own operations.

Sewage Powers Microsoft's Zero Carbon Data Center

Microsoft has announced plans to spend $5.5 million to build a zero-carbon data center pilot project in Wyoming. A source of very low carbon electricity is key to such projects. Microsoft's power generation fuel? Municipal sewage!

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