The May 21, 2007 issue of Computerworld has an interview with Amory B. Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Talk about RETHINKING—who would have thought industry had a good use for slush?
You advocate using, of all things, slush to cool data centers. Can you explain that? We recently did a design for a high-tech facility in a temperate climate that was originally going to have over 20,000 tons of chillers, and by the time we got through, the number was zero.
We found we could meet about 70% of the load with the coolness or dryness of the outside air using either air-side or water-side economizers, depending on the time of year. The rest [came from] a mountain of slush sprayed out of snow-making machines into a hole in the ground on a few cold nights and used to provide 32-degree Fahrenheit meltwater all year.
Twenty thousand tons of chillers originally planned; zero used. They use snow-making machines to generate the slush; perhaps the next step should be finding a way to use the mountains of snow urban areas are always struggling to dispose of in the winter.
This reminds me of the geothermal heating system friends of ours in CT put in. As far as I know thay have been happy with it. They put it in several years ago, well in advance of the really crazy oil prices. It's probably paid for itself by now.