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Amazon's New Seattle Office Buildings To Recycle Data Center 'Waste Heat'


A rendering of Amazon's new campus north of downtown Seattle. (Credit: NBBJ)

Amazon is planning on recycling the heat generated from data centers and using it to warm some of its new Seattle buildings. The system plans to take water used to cool the data center in one building, and pipe it under the street to a 400,000-gallon reservoir in the basement of one of Amazon's towers in another building. There a chiller plant will extract the heat from the water and use that energy to help heat the Amazon campus. The chilled water will re-circulate in a parallel pipe back to the data center where it will be used again to cool the data center.

The plan for now is to heat the buildings on Amazon's 4-block, 4 million square feet campus, but the cities recent approval of a resolution suggests there may be more potential.

"My understanding is the waste heat from this facility is significant enough to support more than just those three," said Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien. "I see this project as a first step toward what I hope to be a district wide energy system, that we can build off this as a catalyst."
The city is looking at other sources of wasted heat, including the data centers at Fisher Plaza and a sewer line running through South Lake Union.



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