Today we got a bit empirical with my friend Juha Sipilä from Helsinki Energy. Armed with a thermal imaging device, we went paparazzi to the surroundings of some known data centers in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The tour included some parkour too, as some of the cooling towers were landscaped nicely.
Although we knew that lots of energy is wasted to the thin air, the findings were surprising. The excess heat from a cooling system of a small data center would easily warm several houses around the year – this heat is now just contributing to global warming, literally, as the exhaust units are in free air.
Had this been measured, I believe, the ‘energy leak’ would have been fixed a long time ago.