West London canal water cools computers

Water from the Grand Union Canal is to cool the computer centre at a pharmaceutical company's west London headquarters.

British Waterways, guardians of 2,200 miles of the UK's canals and rivers, launched a new energy saving cooling system for GlaxoSmithKline earlier this week.

It is hoped that the new cooling system will lead to £100,000 in savings on GSK's energy bills, while reducing its carbon emissions by 920 tonnes a year.

The system takes water from the canal and via heat exchange and a water-cooled chiller, which works on the principle of a car radiator, cools the GSK data centre.

Water is returned warmer to the canal, so an assessment and permission from the Environment Agency was necessary.

Tony Hales, British Waterways' chairman, said: "A legacy of their industrial past, our waterways pass alongside thousands of waterside organisations seeking greener ways of doing business."

According to the organisation, 1,000 canalside businesses could benefit from similar cooling systems, saving £100 million in energy bills and cutting carbon emissions by one million tonnes.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs has urged IT departments to comply with a recently released EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres, to save energy and cut emissions.

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