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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Klepach, Thomas [1], Brenner, Paul [2].

Green Heat in a Greenhouse: An Innovative Grid Heating Synergism Between Information Technologies and Greenhouse Management.

Rising energy costs coupled with growing public concern for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship require exploration of progressive heating solutions in botanical conservatories and greenhouses. We present a grid-heating (GH) framework that utilizes the ambient heat generated by a multi-node computer cluster physically located within a greenhouse [1]. The national energy consumption for powering and cooling IT servers in commercial, academic, and governmental use will increase by $1.74 billion over the next three years according to a recent EPA report. Economically the GH approach removes the substantial cooling expenditures associated with high–performance computing (HPC) and provides a dynamically distributed heating infrastructure at a shared power cost lower than the IT or Greenhouse owner would pay individually. This method promotes the efficient growth and sustainability of HPC capabilities while converting the expended electrical energy into a thermal asset.
In 2003, northern Indiana had approximately 6000 heating degree-days (defined as the total number of degrees below 65° F per day per year) spread across approximately 210 days of heating. This highlights the challenges associated with heating a 26,000 Sq.Ft. glasshouse containing plant specimens predominantly from hardiness zones 9 through 11. The City of South Bend spent ~$100,000 on heating costs in 2007 to house these specimens at the South Bend Botanical Conservatories and Greenhouses. Due to budgetary limitations, the closure of the facility is under ongoing consideration, however through a partnership between the City of South Bend and the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing, a pilot implementation of a GH framework has been established in the conservatory desert dome, offering hope for the continued facility operations through a projected reduction in heating costs. The results, implications, and further deployment of this technology will be discussed.
1. Brenner, P.; Thain, D.; Supercomputing 2008 (Submitted)

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1 - University of Notre Dame, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 251 Nieuwland, Notre Dame, IN, 46615, USA
2 - University of Notre Dame, Center for Research Computing, P.O. Box 539, Notre Dame, IN, 46615, USA

grid heat
alternative heating
energy efficiency
high performance computing
botanical conservatory
distributed heating infrastructure
thermal asset
economic benefit
energy cost.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 52
Location: 157/Law
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 52001
Abstract ID:523

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