Economic investigation of heat pumps for heat recovery from data center


  • Vahid Zangeneh
  • Lars Erik Øi



Data center, heat recovery, district heating, heat pump, Aspen HYSYS


The rapid growth of technology and digitalization lead to an increase in the number of data centers around the world. Data centers produce a considerable amount of heat because of their servers and a large number of electric components. The heat generated by the data centers can be used as a potential source of heating, but the quality (temperature level) of the heat is normally low. In this work, the temperature of the excess (cooling) water from a data center is 45 °C. Generally, there is a possibility to use heat pumps to improve the quality of the heat. To obtain a district heating temperature of 60 °C, 70 °C and 80 °C, the coefficient of performance (COP) was calculated to 5.5, 4.3 and 3.5, respectively. This work is about utilization of the excess heat from a data center with three alternative heat pump solutions with a payback period and economic potential for 10 and 20 years. The simulation process was done by Aspen HYSYS. It was observed that the payback period as expected increases with decreasing COP. The payback period was calculated to values between 2.6 and 5.5 years, depending on the market situation and the delivery temperature. In this work, it is shown that Aspen HYSYS is a reasonable tool to calculate alternatives for heat recovery from data centers based on heat pumps.